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Food & Drink

Best Bartender

James Chamberlin

Come winter many folks are happy to step inside Clare & Don’s, where flip-flops and surfboards create a vacation vibe and the margaritas are flowing. But cold weather doesn’t stop the place from offering outdoor seating around the patio’s fire pit. That’s where you’re apt to find James Chamberlin mixing local cider with salted-caramel vodka—an elixir he promises will warm your insides. Chamberlin has been tending bar here ever since he turned 21; seven years later he still avoids premade mixers, using freshly puréed strawberries for daiquiris and crushed pineapple for piña coladas. His current drink of choice, The Painkiller, features dark and light rum, pineapple, coconut cream, orange juice and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Doesn’t hurt a bit. –Laurie McClellan

Clare & Don’s Beach Shack, 130 N. Washington St., Falls Church,703-532-9283, clareanddons.com


Other top vote-getters:

Mairead Hartnett, Ireland’s Four Courts
James Hohman, Circa at Clarendon