Great Bars 2013: Wisdom

First-time visitors often walk past this unshowy Capitol Hill
spot. (Hint: Look for the Chinese carryout next door.) Cozy and dim on the
inside, Erik Holzherr’s little lounge boasts a wide selection of absinthes
and a long cocktail list with a whole page of $10 specialty drinks made
with Philadelphia’s Bluecoat gin. The menu’s symbols key—which rates
drinks on subtlety, essence, and the like—can be laborious to decipher
(especially after a drink or two), so skip it and ask for a First We Take
Manhattan, a smooth, not-too-sweet blend of rye whiskey, Wild Turkey
Honey, and green Chartreuse. Insider tip: A small crowd of regulars
gathers for trivia night each Wednesday. The prizes: for the winners, a
$25 bar tab; for the losers, shots (bartender’s choice). So everyone comes
out on top—at least until the next morning. Open Tuesday through
Sunday.

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