Recession-Friendly Bar Menus

Talk about a recession loss leader! One of Washington, D.C.’s classic saloons, Occidental Grill & Seafood, is toasting 103 years in business by offering classic cocktails at a bygone price. Monday through Saturday from 3-7 p.m., guests can order 95-cent cocktails at the Occidental’s bar (with the purchase of any item off the bar menu). Retro drink offerings like an Old Fashioned, Vodka Collins, Planter Punch or Gin Ricky can accompany executive chef Rodney Scruggs’ lump crab and baby artichoke fondue or signature crab croquettes.


Chicago’s N9NE Steakhouse rolled out its recession-friendly program, which includes half-price handcrafted classic cocktails every Thursday night. Guests can enjoy a lower price on their favorite cocktail, like a Sazerac, French 75, Manhattan, Negroni, Sidecar or Old Fashioned, created by bartenders Michael Cristiani and Dion Lane.

D.C.’s Founding Farmers has released its new cocktail menu, including a Recession Proof section, where chief mixologist Jon Arroyo’s creations run $8 and $9. Drinks include Rio 16 (Cabana Cachaca, Veev Acai Spirit, muddled limes and sugar), El Presidente (Mount Gay Silver Rum, orange curaçao, Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambery, house-made grenadine and fresh lemon) and Bee’s Knees (Plymouth Gin, fresh lemon and honey syrup).

To mark a new bistro menu, the Heathman Restaurant and Bar in Portland, Ore., recently featured an organic happy hour with drinks made from Ashland, Ore.-based Organic Nation vodka and gin. The $5 drinks were paired with dishes like oyster shooters and Pig N’ Bits, a pork tenderloin medallion sautéed in a gin demi-glace. Drinks included the Gatehouse (Organic Nation Vodka, Dolin Blanc Vermouth de Chambéry and blood orange bitters) and Organic Grapetion (Organic Nation Vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, muddled grapes, fresh tarragon and Peychaud’s Bitters).

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