By this point, I assume everyone in DC knows about The Gibson and that it needs no introduction. It's one of DC's best cocktail lounges -- it was when it first opened years ago and still is now. But, for those who don't know -- it is a speakeasy-style lounge hidden away on 14th Street with no sign. You just have to be in-the-know.
We had a 7:30 p.m. reservation on a Friday night and the downstairs lounge area was only about 50% full. The drink menu was extensive. I don't think I remember there being this many choices across several pages. The drinks at The Gibson are special -- unlike typical drinks at any bar. High quality liquors are mixed with syrups, bitters, and even champagne. It's usually a case of you love it or you hate it.
I started with the Diablo's Pissed, a cocktail made with Don Julio Tequila, Kummel, Lime, Cilantro Raspberry Syrup, Champagne, and Hellfire Bitters. This one was my favorite. Exquisitely mixed, sour, sweet, and spicy. This drink was all that and then some, short, dark, and handsome.
And we had some olives just for fun. They have a few light bites and I think the olives are the only bite that is vegan.
Next, I tried the Deserves Got Nothin' to Do With It. I'd really like to be there when they come up with these names -- there must be alcohol involved. This drink was more of a classic feel with George Dickel whiskey, Zucca Amaro, Crown Royal Maple Whiskey, and Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters. And with all of those ingredients, it still tasted like a simple whiskey drink.
After two hours, we got booted out of our table in the downstairs area, but, luckily, a table on the outside patio was open and it was a gorgeous night! Inside, it is dark and sexy, but outside, it is playful and bright. The only things I didn't like about the outside patio was that the drink menu is very limited and that people smoke.
But, I found a great drink outside as well. The Jake Brakes Promises is made with Aquavit, Kummel, lime, ginger beer and hellfire bitters. It had an amazing flavor with an interesting aftertaste. Highly recommended.
We ended up leaving after like four hours. Time flies by when you are drinking great cocktails with good friends. The prices of my cocktails ranged from $12 to $16 each and were well worth it. The service was pretty good too. This cocktail lounge is one of my favorite places in the city. It never disappoints.
August 28, 2012
March 24, 2014
2009 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009