Get our free newsletter
There are plenty of valid arguments for D.C. as a gin town. The first liquor produced here since Prohibition is Green Hat Gin. And the city’s official cocktail, the Rickey, is gin-based. But 2014 made it clear: D.C. is actually a whiskey town. Chances are if you pull up a seat at any new bar, its shelves are dominated by brown liquor. Places like Southern Efficiency, Barrel, Rebellion, Boss Shepherd’s, Denson Liquor Bar, The Whiskey Room at Ri Ra Irish Pub, Second State, The Dignitary at the Marriott Marquis, Plan B Burger Bar, and others I’m surely forgetting all have whiskey-focused drink menus—some with specific focuses on bourbon, rye, or Irish whiskey. (By contrast, D.C. has only one gin-centric bar, the Gin Joint.) These collections aren’t small either. Every new whiskey bar seems to be competing with the last over how many dozens, if not hundreds, of bottles they have and which rare or artisanal whiskies they offer. Jack Rose Dining Saloon still dominates them all, but I can get behind any arms race that generates more whiskey.