The District Does Mardi Gras

by Kelsey Kroning

With rowdy parades and colorful beads, it’s no surprise that if you aren’t on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras, you’re missing out. Add some celebratory drinks to your plans for the week and you will find that it isn’t too late to add some Mardi to your party.


D.C. Channels the Big Easy

Vieux Carre

via Vieux Carre’s Facebook

If you’re seeking some Louisiana love this Fat Tuesday, then look no further than K Street. New Orleans themed cocktail bar, Vieux Carre, will host a Mardi Gras celebration, full of live jazz music, complimentary Cajun cuisine and NOLA-themed drinks. Proceeds will benefit the homeless charity, UNITY of Greater New Orleans. Guests should be prepared to celebrate with beads, party favors, masks and more.

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Where: 1413 K Street NW

When: Tuesday, February 28 at 6:00 pm.


via Bayou’s Facebook

New Orleans comes right to Pennsylvania Ave. this Mardi Gras at restaurant and bar Bayou. Enjoy a funky Louisiana vibe with live performances and dancing from 11 a.m. to midnight. Aside from specialty NOLA-style cocktails, Bayou will be offering a $25 all-you-can-eat buffet after 5 p.m.

Where: 2519 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

When: Tuesday, February 28 from 11 a.m. to midnight


Central Michel Richard

via Central Michel Richard’s Facebook

Bistro Central Michel Richard invites all Mardi partiers to enjoy a one-night-only speciality dinner and drinks. From signature New Orleans cocktails, like the Central Hurricane and the Sazerac, to timeless Mardi Gras dishes, including jambalaya and frog legs, this night is sure to whisk you down to the French Quarter.

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Where: 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

When: Tuesday, February 28 at 5:00 p.m.



Clarendon Mardi Gras Parade and Ball

via Wikimedia Commons

Check out the DMV’s take on Bourbon Street at the Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade and Ball. The 18th annual festival is full of beads, floats and… yes, bar celebrations at the Clarendon Ballroom. Don’t forget to dig out your best purple, green and gold attire for a costume-themed night and a chance to win “best-dressed.”

Where: Wilson Boulevard (N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street) in Arlington, VA

When: Tuesday, February 28; the parade begins at 7:00 p.m., ballroom celebrations to follow; $25 ball admissions


Mardi Mixin’

via Wikimedia Commons

Why order Southern-style drinks when you can make learn to make them yourself? Start your Fat Tuesday off with a lesson in mixology. For $45 per person, enjoy the benefits of bartending, alongside complimentary beads and gumbo. Participants will be able to compete against one another for a chance to guest bartend at a local watering hole. Purchase tickets here.

Where: 407 H Street NE

When: Tuesday, February 28 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


…But if you have “out-partied” this year’s Mardi, why not stay in and make some homemade drinks?
The 1893 Pure Gold

1.5 oz Bulleit Bourbon

4 oz 1893 Pepsi

Lime wedge

Blackberry Paloma

1.5 oz Ciroc vodka

2oz Mountain Dew Black Label

2 oz grapefruit juice

Hurricane Smoothie (for two)

1 cup strawberries

1/2 cup bananas, sliced

1/2 cup raspberries

1/2 cup strawberry yogurt

1 tablespoon powdered lemonade mix

1/2 cup ice cubes

2 oz vodka

2 oz rum

2 oz whiskey

2 oz cherry vodka


Pimm’s Cup (for four)

1/2 a small cucumber, sliced thin

8 strawberries, sliced thin

1/2 an orange, sliced thin

1/2 a lemon, sliced thin

1/2 a green apple, sliced thin

1 quart ice

1 cup (8 ounces) Pimm’s No. 1 Cup

3 cups (24 ounces) Sprite, 7-Up, or other clear citrus soda

Mint sprigs to garnish



1/4 teaspoon anise flavored liqueur

1 teaspoon water

2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

ice cubes

1/4 cup rye whiskey

1 lemon twist, for garnish


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