The Gibson
    City-Center, Washington DC

    About The Gibson

    139
    8689

    If your whistle does need to be wetted, do keep this convivial and relaxing Washington speakeasy in mind. Serving rip-snortingly good cocktails on (and indeed off) the menu to a clientele of well-clad hipsters, it certainly looks the part - minus machine-toting gangsters, that is. The tenement building in which it is housed isn't much to write home about and it can be hard to find (and even harder to get past the bouncer unless you've thought to reserve ahead). Once inside, you realise why they're strict about letting people past the threshold: the place is tiny, with space for less than 50 people and a no-standing policy (though, in truth, by the end of the night or the start of the morning that can become a little lax). This means that if you want to visit at busy times, you really need to plan in advance. But it really is worth it this is a warm, welcoming space, atmospherically lit with clever lighting and candles that give the place a pleasant glow. But noteworthy as the decor is, it's the cocktails that reign supreme here. Standout concoctions include the New Orleans Sazerac or something called the Salad Days Sour (a pisco sour with hints of celery and cinnamon). The bar staff really know what they are doing and are happy to get creative, so while the official menu isn't extensive, it's only a tiny portion of what's on offer, so feel free to ask. The place attracts a crowd of good looking 20- and 30-somethings and the vibe is buzzy yet relaxed. The only fly at the ointment is that after your two hours are up at a table, you have to leave.

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