I’ve enjoyed my share of Mari Vanna’s house-infused vodka shots in the past, but the small glass I had last week was particularly welcome for two reasons: First, I came into the bar to escape a bone-chilling arctic freeze that I usually associate with Siberia, and the fiery mix of spicy peppers and viscous honey was particularly bracing; second, it was free.
The year-old Russian restaurant, located between Farragut Square and Dupont Circle, has kicked off a weekly promotion called Vodka Day. A patron receives one free vodka shot of his or her choice Monday from 5 to 8 p.m. Pick any of the 16 house-infused flavors, including cool cucumber and dill, pungent horseradish or the sweet, slightly bitter sea buckthorn. After you’ve taken your shot, there are drink specials the rest of the night, including $7 house cocktails. That’s cheaper than a regular-price shot or a half-liter bottle of Baltika beer, both of which cost $8.
Mari Vanna, 1141 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-783-7777.