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Esquire names The Roosevelt one of the top 25 bars in the country

May 28, 2014 2:52 pm by

Esquire Magazine has named The Roosevelt one of the top 25 bars in the country.

Our ninth annual celebration of America’s best bars, our ever-growing list of those exceptional, harmonious, radiant, and occasionally unruly places to have a drink. As always, we’re guided by David Wondrich, Esquire’s favorite drinking partner and America’s foremost cocktail historian. Now, on with it already. We’re thirsty.

When Wondrich passed through Richmond, he was taken by Thomas “T” Leggett’s cocktails, and especially the local Quoit Club Punch:

The thirty members of the Richmond, Virginia, Quoit Club, founded in 1788, met every other Saturday from May until October “under the shade of some fine oaks,” as one visitor recalled, at Buchanan’s Spring, right outside of town. There they would throw the heavy, ringlike quoits at posts, eat barbecue and drink themselves silly on Mint Julep, Toddy and this, the club’s Punch, which was prepared with great skill by Jasper Crouch, their black cook.

The club’s most famous member was one of its founders, John Marshall, chief justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1801 until his death in 1835, the longest tenure in the court’s history. For a great man, Marshall retained a sense of humor. As the story goes, on his watch the court cut down on the convivial tippling that had been such a part of colonial public life to the point that the justices only allowed themselves wine when the weather was wet. But, as Joseph Story, one of his fellow justices, used to recount,

It does sometimes happen that the Chief Justice will say to me, when the cloth is removed, “Brother Story, step to the window and see if it does not look like rain.” And if I tell him that the sun is shining brightly, Judge Marshall will sometimes reply, “All the better, for our jurisdiction extends over so large a territory that the doctrine of chances makes it certain that it must be raining somewhere.

Wondrich has been writing about cocktails for Esquire since 1999. Imbibe, his 2007 tribute to Professor Jerry Thomas, has become an essential text for bartenders and cocktail geeks alike. Punch, his 2010 follow-up, has helped refill the flowing bowl around the world.


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