Spirited Traveler: The politics of tippling in Washington D.C

Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:41am EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - As a presidential election year, for many Americans 2012 is all about politics.

This is especially true in Washington, D.C. - a city all about politics, all the time. Even the drinks reference political roots.

Derek Brown, co-owner of The Passenger (passengerdc.com/)and Columbia Room (here) - and self-described "drinking expert" -prescribes an itinerary for visiting tipplers.

The first stop: Dupont Circle, and particularly the Tabard Inn (www.tabardinn.com/bar).

"It's named after the place in Canterbury Tales where travelers would meet up and drink," Brown says. "So it's very appropriate."

In addition to "amazing cocktails" in a "quaint" setting, it's also home to one of the only pictures of America's first president, George Washington, without his famous white powdered wig. ("He looks like Martha Washington," Brown jokes.)

Also in the centre of town, enjoy a Scotch among the suits at the Round Robin Bar (bit.ly/bwvkzH) at the Willard InterContinental hotel.

Point of trivia: Supposedly, the word "lobbyist" was invented here in the early 1870s, when President Ulysses S. Grant complained about "those damned lobbyists." (Some dispute this point, but it still makes for mighty fine drinking conversation.)

And at the JW Marriott (bit.ly/ZGrz5), order a Rickey: It was invented here in 1883, in the former Shoomaker's Bar. Last year it was named D.C.'s official cocktail.   Continued...