Washington DC

Allegory is hidden behind an unmarked door in DC’s trendy Eaton Hotel. But defying the standard speakeasy ethos, the bar is a tribute to inclusivity not exclusivity. The dimly lit space features leather banquettes, a sleek wooden semicircular bar and a celebration of mid-century modern design, but the art is the most striking feature. The walls are adorned with a stunning series of murals by Erik Thor Sandberg. The paintings depict civil rights icon Ruby Bridges as the titular character in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass. For its highly imaginative drinks list, Allegory was named the winner of the Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu 2023, as judged by 50 Best’s Academy Chairs.

In 1960, six-years-old Bridges inspired the country when she defied violence and hate as one of the first children to attend an integrated school in the US South. The allegory of Bridges as Alice also provides inspiration for bar director Deke Dunne’s menu. The activist’s words narrate a menu driven by diverse flavours and minority-owned distillers. Allegory’s bar team is an elite roster of industry luminaries and they employ a healthy dose of molecular magic to create whimsical drinks alongside the serious message. The Crow from Tobago combines rye, Himalayan gin, Trinidadian curry, carrots, mango, herbal liqueur, lime and cacao into a spicy, savoury and seriously sippable concoction. Allegory’s flavours are transportive, but the story is quite real.