PX

Words by Camper English on 15-May-2012

Address: 728 King Street, Alexandria, Washington DC, Virginia , 22314, United States
Door: Make reservation
Style: Speakeasy

Review

Opened in 2006 and pre-dating many of the more famous speakeasy-style bars in America, PX's success is largely the work of "spirit savant" and DC's resident mad scientist Todd Thrasher. Thrasher is a partner and mixologist for PX, Restaurant Eve, Virtue Fee & Grain, and Society Fair, all in Old Town Alexandria, a $20 or so cab ride from DC. He is renowned both for his creativity in putting drinks together and his DIY-aesthetic: nearly every ingredient that can be made from scratch is, including bitters, tonic water, and roasted pineapple juice. Some of the wilder drinks on offer include ingredients like duck sauce soda (in a drink paired with a large shrimp cracker), tobacco tea, and lime and French thyme-infused sauvignon blanc. Cocktails lean toward the sweet side of the spectrum, but naturally requests for drier drinks are honoured.

Rather than the now-expected tin ceilings and barrel stave walls of most speakeasy bars, PX more resembles a typical brownstone railroad apartment with lots of heavy wood beams, inlaid glass cabinets, and steam radiators for heat. The heart of PX is the centre room holding a small bar with about ten tall chairs around it. Servers bring drinks to people seated at the many couches, tables, and chairs in the other few rooms of PX, while those seated at the bar are treated to the show of the bartender making the drinks. PX is conducive to both quiet conversation with dates, and to outbursts of laughter chatting with old and new friends around the bar.