The Hour in Alexandria, Va. allows you to ditch the Solo cups and treat your perpetually partying pals with vintage glassware from the heyday of home entertainment.
Be careful stepping into this two-story shop – it’ll seize you with the urge to pick up one of the store’s classic martini glasses and pronounce, “Bond. James Bond.” The store will transport you back to the glitz and glamour of the 1950s with its rows upon rows of glasses, decanters and flasks. The Hour also offers antique jewelry and clutches so your friends can be cocktail-ready in genuine “Mad Men” style.
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask an employee for help. They really know their stuff and can teach you a thing or two. (“Oh, that’s what ‘shaken, not stirred’ means!”)
Bitters and Mixers – $19.95 to $29.95
If you’re not looking to spend hundreds of dollars on cocktail paraphernalia, The Hour’s downstairs area has an affordable selection of coasters, trays and vials of bitters and mixers.
After all, a real home (or dorm) entertainer always has a trusty set of bitters and mixers on hand to flavor straight shots of vodka. Bitters, true to its name, add a bitter or sour flavor to the drink (think the bite of an Old Fashioned) and mixers sweeten an otherwise unappetizing cocktail.
If you’re looking for a starter’s set of bitters, try The Bitter End Variety Bitters pack for $29.95. Or if your friend is more of the DIY type, buy them Berg & Hauck’s Bitters Kit for $23.95. If you’re more partial to the sweet side, mix it up with the Hour’s Element [Shrub] Chai Pear syrup, a steal at $19.95.
Antique Jewelry – $65 to $140
As for the second floor? Well, let’s put it this way: If you’re in any way accident-prone, it’d be best to steer clear. The expensive and delicate sets of pitchers, cocktail glasses and stemware are beautiful to admire, however, and dream of a day when you can throw “Great Gatsby”-esque parties of your own.
The vintage jewelry sets, however, are more recently priced. Try for an Audrey Hepburn look with the Clear Rhinestone “Dragonfly” Set – $140 for a pair of earrings and a choker – or surprise a Don Draper fan with $65 enamel on copper cufflinks to add some old-school flair to a suit.
Flasks – $125
More collegiate but still classy, the Hour has a selection of flasks made of glass and leather for an upscale version of the university classic. Their Bourbon and Rye glass flasks – cheaper than most but still pricey – are covered in leather and perfect to bring to either a music festival or the club.