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World Cup Happy Hour: Russian vodka vs. South Korean soju

Welcome to World Cup Happy Hour. Every afternoon, we'll examine the schedule and provide options for places to watch the day's 6 p.m. match. In the morning, we publish World Cup Lunch, which has suggestions for where to take a long lunch with the noon match of the day.

A shotglass full of house-infused honey pepper vodka at Mari Vanna. The Russian restaurant has started giving away free shots of vodka every Monday. (Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post) A shotglass full of house-infused vodka is waiting for soccer fans at Mari Vanna. (Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

Let's be honest: Russia vs. South Korea won't attract the crowds that the United States and Ghana did yesterday. But in a wide-open Group H, it could prove to be an entertaining World Cup match.

Where to watch: Where would Alex Ovechkin watch Russia? We're guessing Mari Vanna, the downtown Russian restaurant and vodka bar, which will switch its televisions away from Russian cartoons to World Cup matches through the end of the tournament. For fans of South Korea, it doesn't get better than the karaoke bars and restaurants of Annandale. We particularly like Cafe Tu Ah and Baden Baden.

What to order: Mari Vanna's World Cup happy hour is an enticing and boozy one, especially tonight. All soccer fans get a free shot of the house-infused vodka upon arrival. (I'm a fan of the horseradish, and the honey pepper is nice if you want something less intense.) Then, until 8 p.m., all Russian beer is half-price, which means $4 for a half-liter bottle of Baltika or Zhiguli. At Cafe Tu Ah and Baden Baden, try the Korean fried chicken (Tu Ah has it as a special until 8:30 p.m.) and seafood, and celebrate goals with shots of soju, a spirit distilled from rice.

More on the World Cup: Where to find fans of your favorite team | The area's best soccer bars | World Cup happy hours | Tips for first-time fans | World Cup TV Schedule | All Washington Post World Cup coverage

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.



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Fritz Hahn · June 17, 2014

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