In the hall of Two Truths

Written by on July 21, 2017 in Bars, Liquor, Short North - No comments

Adam Singh is the driving force behind Short North cocktail bar Two Truths, though before running into the building’s leaseholder — who needed someone to operate the space in order to keep its liquor license active — Singh had never considered opening a bar. He had never even bartended.

You wouldn’t know that from the quality cocktails he is now slinging in the Short North.

“I didn’t know much about making up drinks,” said Singh, who previously worked at bar inventory management company bevinco and held various service industry positions, but had never been behind the bar. “I knew how to make a drink, but I had never created one myself. You can play a song that someone else has produced, but writing your own sheet music is completely different.”

To learn the craft of cocktailing, Singh, along with head bartender Mike Schaaf, tapped industry expertise from Garry White (Denmark on High), hired Annie Williams (The Sycamore) to develop a few recipes, and read — a lot. Among the books studied was The Curious Bartender by Tristan Stephenson, in which Stephenson recommends stirring cocktails for 60 seconds, except for Old Fashioneds, for which he recommends 120 seconds as the optimal stir time for dilution and chilling. The bar is now stocked with 60 second sand timers, which help the bartenders interact with guests while they work.

“The more important part of bartending for me is the social aspect,” said Schaaf. “I like to have a conversation and get [customers] talking, especially when I’m making something like an Old Fashioned where I have to stand there for 120 seconds and stir. Without the conversation piece, there’s no special interaction.”

The bar’s final cocktail list features eight custom creations and nine classics — among them, a thoroughly stirred and truly impressive Old Fashioned. A limited selection of bottled and canner beer is also available.

Two Truths takes its name from Egyptian mythos, in which you are judged worthy (or not) of the afterlife in the hall of Double Ma’at, AKA the hall of Two Truths.

“Anubis will weigh your heart against the feather of truth, and when your heart was weighed it was a test of righteousness,” explained Singh, who happens to have the story tattooed on his forearm. “If your heart was found heavy with wrongdoing, you weren’t granted access to eternal bliss with the gods and you were cast off to be eaten by his giant part crocodile, part hippo, part lion beast. If your heart was lighter than the feather, then you were granted access to the afterlife.”

The bar — which began operation as a popup earlier this year and opened for good on St. Patrick’s Day — is intimate, with a commendable lack of TVs, a tiny library of books, colorful local art on the walls and a small dance floor in the back that is often filled on Friday and Saturday nights when local DJs spin house and hip hop. The bar is also experimenting with jazz nights on Thursdays and laid back DJ mixes on Wednesdays.

Two Truths will begin serving food next month, with small plates, appetizers, charcuterie and late night breakfast on the menu. Once food is added, the bar’s hours will expand to include brunch.

Two Truths is located at 1205 N High St

About the Author

Cheryl Harrison. Editor of Drink Up Columbus. Co-Founder of the Columbus Ale Trail.

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