As much as it’s about politics, D.C. is also a very creative city, full of passionate people who are experts at their chosen craft. Speaking of craft — as in breweries, distilleries and cocktails — we’ve put together a roundup of perfect spots for all you literate, artistic and theatrical imbibers to visit after a long, hard day of creative effort.
Quarter and Glory
2017 14th St. NW
Quarter and Glory is the quintessential midcentury American cocktail bar. Celebrating one year on the D.C. scene, the bar’s name has a literary origin. Famed playwright Eugene O’Neill started a secret literary society where members would gather, raise their glasses and share the vow of “Quarter and glory!” (You know what glory means. Quarter means mercy, as in “Spare my life!”) Among the 25 specialty cocktails on the menu is the Zelda, made with Rock Town vodka, Giffard Pêche de Vigne, lemon, honey, an egg white and sparkling water. Also worth noting is the Victorian Punch: gin, Laird’s applejack, lemon, honey and cinnamon.
Petworth Citizen and Reading Room
829 Upshur St. NW
Bookish types unite — this cocktail bar and reading room is perfect for the literary men and women of D.C. With punch-packing cocktails like the Blackout — made with gin, lime, simple syrup and blackberry — it’s easy to relax at Petworth Citizen. Monday night is all- night happy hour; every other day it ends at 7 p.m. Snacks like whiskey onion rings and bourbon-glazed chicken wings are a fine accompaniment to the books and the booze.
2009 14th St. NW
The Gibson has a speakeasy vibe reminiscent of places F. Scott Fitzgerald and the like would frequent. The mood is smart and sexy, with flickering candles and a rule of no standing (be sure to make reservations). Cocktails are changed seasonally, with winter drinks like the Ain’t No Tellin’, made with Avua aged cachaça, cinnamon, chocolate and orange bitters and the Midwestern Erotica, made with Appleton Jamaican rum, Cocchi di Torino, apricot liqueur, allspice dram and old fashioned bitters. When the weather gets warmer, the Gibson has a back patio perfect for getting some writing in while sipping blender-mixed drinks like hurricanes or margaritas.
The Rye Bar
1050 31st St. NW
The Rye Bar, located in the Rosewood Hotel, is extremely swanky — think supple leather chairs, a gold counter and $18 old fashioneds. With a patio overlooking the canal and heaters and blankets on hand, it’s easy to sit outdoors and let inspiration strike. The bar’s winter cocktails are mostly classic, like Manhattans and hot toddies. Some are a bit more whimsical, though, with one playing off the popular HBO show “Game of Thrones” titled Winter is Coming! with 16-year-old rye, mezcal, Cynar, lemon juice and grapefruit cinnamon syrup. Get romantic with a fellow writer or thespian and try some of the Rye Bar’s snacks, like their delicious oysters. Or share a plate of decadent mezzi rigatoni in a pork bolognese with shaved Reggiano.