The many faces of The Gintender (a.k.a Erik Holzherr)

Why the blog?

I am a cocktail aficionado and an owner of three cocktail bars in the D.C. area. My passion is mixology. In other words, I’m a creative chef for drinkers.

I started mixing drinks around 2001 when I landed my first bartending gig. I am self taught and built a broad base of mixology knowledge by reading everything I could get my hands on and experimenting…a LOT. After you wake up on the kitchen floor at the crack of noon, you begin to realize what a “genius” you are at drink creation.

We are at the beginning of a cocktail resurgence that is gaining momentum across the country.

Drinking is a significant part of our culture, yet it is surprising how many people know very little about it. This blog provides a snob-free opportunity to learn about the art of mixology in a fun and digestible format.

Why Gin?

Gin is my drink of choice and is definitely a mixologist’s preference over vodka. Why? Vodka, a.k.a “little water”, is made to disappear and taste like nothing…whereas GIN can be magical when mixed appropriately in a drink.

The botanicals and flavorings it consists of “pop” and liven the drink to make it way more interesting. Many people are scared of gin because they either are not huge juniper fans (a key ingredient that smells like XMAS trees) or they have had cheap stuff. Many of the new small batch Gins produced today are much lighter on the juniper and therefore more acceptable to today’s average consumer. I always encourage my customers to give it a try.

My mission in life is to convert vodka drinkers to gin drinkers, even though it is still an uphill battle.


The Gintender’s Bars


Wisdom is D.C.’s premier cocktail parlour, specializing in masterfully crafted cocktails, the finest imported brews, & largest selection of authentic absinthe on Capitol Hill. We are located a half block from the Potomac Avenue Metro.

Wisdom was my first bar and my baby…

Check out Wisdom photos

6pm – close

Atlas Arcade

Atlas Arcade is D.C.’s only Retro arcade bar. Warp into the past with your favoirte games and music from the 80s and early 90s. It’s like being a kid again…one that is allowed to drink beer!

6pm – 12:30am



Church & State

Welcome to Church & State. We are Americans: inventors of juleps, sours, rickeys, fizzes, and martinis. Innovation is our heritage and our calling.

Thurs 7pm-close
Fri/Sat 7pm- 2am

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