Best Brainiac Bartender
Columbia Room, 124 Blagden Alley NW, (202) 316-9396
Finally, there’s an answer for what to do with a history degree. Columbia Room’s J.P. Fetherston’s studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science make the brainiac bartender naturally curious about a drink’s history, which he relays to guests. “I try with as much concision as possible to give people some context. It’s all storytelling back there,” he says. Take the Iron Arm Grog, a drink from the bar’s opening menu that includes Scotch, myrtle berry liqueur, and brose (a rustic oatmeal-based porridge). The bar scored a set of horn mugs, leaving Fetherston and his team with the challenge of discerning who would drink out of such a vessel. “I got specific images pretty quickly of Vikings, Scandinavians, and big burly men up in the Scottish Highlands,” Fetherston says. They built the Game of Thrones–like drink from there.