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Kitchen + Kocktails’ snazzy eggnog features RumChata cream liqueur.
Kitchen + Kocktails

12 Winter-Ready Cocktails to Try Right Now in D.C.

Get into the holiday spirit with spiked eggnog, cinnamon-spiced drinks, and other festive flavors

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Kitchen + Kocktails’ snazzy eggnog features RumChata cream liqueur.
| Kitchen + Kocktails

When temperatures drop, the obvious thing to do is to trade in summery and fruity beverages for something more reflective of the season. Across the District, bartenders are doing their part to come up with something warm to clutch all night and elixirs with wintertime tasting notes.

Brave the cold, recruit some pals, and dash to these spots to try one (or all) of these December refreshers. And for a running list of D.C.’s top holiday pop-up bars, go here.

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Wren Tysons

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The newest addition to Tysons’ growing restaurant offerings is the izakaya-influenced Wren. For the holiday season, choose from the “Cindy Lou Who,” which combines brandy with homemade eggnog, the “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out” is a buttered rum concoction with apple and butterscotch foam, and the “Naughty or Nice” mixes tequila with cranberry cordial and allspice. 

Lulu’s Wine Garden

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Starting December 1, Lulu’s is transforming its space into a “Holidays in the Desert” setup to pay homage to its Southwest roots. Spirited sips include cider and toddies spiked with bourbon and the “Chimayo,” reminiscent of an apple cider margarita. Themed holiday dishes consist of ancho-lime tomato soup, brisket grilled cheese, and vegan black bean tostadas.

Jane Jane

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While taking in the retro holiday installation that Jane Jane likens to “A Christmas Story meets your favorite decorations at your grandparents house,” sip on hot cocktails like mulled cider, an orchard toddy made with blackcurrant liqueur, spiced pear, and apple-cider vermouth, and their variation of the Manhattan made with herbal Bénédictine liqueur instead of vermouth.

Side Door

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The Krampus pop-up is back at Pub & the People’s resident speakeasy, and the naughty-themed takeover has 18 festive cocktails to choose from. Standouts include “Elf Around and Find Out” (white rum, raspberry brandy, spiced raspberry anise, Topo Chico) and “Krampus Baby” (mezcal, Amaro Nonino, coconut milk beverage, dark chocolate, cacao, orange zest). The subterranean space is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays until 1 a.m. 

Side Door’s Krampus pop-up returns this week.
Side Door

Lutèce

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The French bistro’s seasonal cocktails feature the “Ciel Clair” — a clarified coconut milk punch made with cognac, salted honey, its tart cherry-blackberry shrub, and chocolate mole bitters. The Georgetown staple also recently introduced its “Our Gaviota” featuring kombu and brown butter-washed mezcal, lime, grapefruit, soda water, and nori salt. 

Morris American Bar

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From December 4-30, head to the pastel-laced hotspot near the Convention Center for “A Morris Christmas Story” menu. Priced at $35 a person or $60 per couple, tickets include two holiday cocktails, with one served in a Santa-shaped mug and another in a clear ornament.

Marcel's by Robert Wiedmaier

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Construct an upscale gingerbread house at Marcel’s thanks to pastry chef Zarmina Khan. The gingerbread is already baked and comes with instructions how to assemble and decorate the merry huts. While there, sip on cocktails like holiday punch, champagne, and hot chocolate for the kids. The “Sip n’ Build” soiree is Saturday, December 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and $90 per person includes the gingerbread house and beverages. Children under 6 are free.

The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer-themed cocktail at Marcel’s.
Marcel’s

Immigrant Food at the Planet Word Museum

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Diners will find a selection of seasonal cocktails at the Planet Word location of the gastro-advocacy restaurant group including the “New York State of Mind” — a play on the Manhattan made with Calvados brandy, sweet vermouth, cinnamon apple cranberry syrup, and fernet. There’s also an iteration on the hot toddy called the “Bobbing for Apples” — rye bourbon is paired with their homemade cinnamon apple honey, lemon juice, and hot lemongrass tea. Try one or do a flight of three for $24. 

Kitchen + Kocktails by Kevin Kelley DC

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Eggnog fans will appreciate this on-brand beverage at Kitchen + Kocktails, which features the creaminess of eggnog, RumChata, and Bailey’s Irish Crème, with help from spiced syrup and a pinch of a cinnamon and nutmeg mix. Another tasty option is the crème brûlée martini, a coupe combining vanilla vodka and Liquor 43 with heavy cream, spiced brown sugar Monin, and frothy egg whites.

Spiked eggnog service at Kitchen + Kocktails.
Kitchen + Kocktails

Bar Pendry

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The Pendry Hotel’s classic lobby bar boasts a new seasonal drinks menu. Enjoy unique takes on classic cocktails like the “Waking Up in Oaxaca” (tequila, coffee liquor, espresso, salted pumpkin foam), the “Umami Bloody Mary” (vodka, tomato juice, sesame, fish sauce, horseradish), and the “Harvest Moon Bramble” (gin, lemon juice, blackberry syrup). Drinks on the warmer side include the spiced apple cider with whiskey or the hot honey hot toddy.

Bar Pendry’s gold-framed setup.
Christian Horan

All-Purpose Riverfront

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The cozy wintertime cocktail program at All-Purpose Riverfront offers something for everyone. “Sweater Weather” features local apple cider, prosecco, and orange-rosemary oleo while the whipped cream-topped “Pumpkin Spice Dominicana” boasts flavors of Mr. Black coffee liqueur, Caffo Amaro, spiced rum, and pumpkin.

All-Purpose’s latest lineup of cocktails.
All-Purpose

Surreal

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Opening Friday, December 1 near Amazon HQ2, the first Virginia restaurant from Michelin-starred chef Enrique Limardo and Seven Reasons Group has several innovative cocktails to enjoy this winter. A notable one from beverage director Carlos Boada is the “Time Traveler’s Tipple,” which is a take on an Old Fashioned made with bourbon infused with cornflakes and homemade granola with quinoa, oats, and apricots.

Surreal opens with a mojito made with pink peppercorns and South American fruit guanabana. 
Jenn Chase

Wren Tysons

The newest addition to Tysons’ growing restaurant offerings is the izakaya-influenced Wren. For the holiday season, choose from the “Cindy Lou Who,” which combines brandy with homemade eggnog, the “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out” is a buttered rum concoction with apple and butterscotch foam, and the “Naughty or Nice” mixes tequila with cranberry cordial and allspice. 

Lulu’s Wine Garden

Starting December 1, Lulu’s is transforming its space into a “Holidays in the Desert” setup to pay homage to its Southwest roots. Spirited sips include cider and toddies spiked with bourbon and the “Chimayo,” reminiscent of an apple cider margarita. Themed holiday dishes consist of ancho-lime tomato soup, brisket grilled cheese, and vegan black bean tostadas.

Jane Jane

While taking in the retro holiday installation that Jane Jane likens to “A Christmas Story meets your favorite decorations at your grandparents house,” sip on hot cocktails like mulled cider, an orchard toddy made with blackcurrant liqueur, spiced pear, and apple-cider vermouth, and their variation of the Manhattan made with herbal Bénédictine liqueur instead of vermouth.

Side Door

The Krampus pop-up is back at Pub & the People’s resident speakeasy, and the naughty-themed takeover has 18 festive cocktails to choose from. Standouts include “Elf Around and Find Out” (white rum, raspberry brandy, spiced raspberry anise, Topo Chico) and “Krampus Baby” (mezcal, Amaro Nonino, coconut milk beverage, dark chocolate, cacao, orange zest). The subterranean space is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays until 1 a.m. 

Side Door’s Krampus pop-up returns this week.
Side Door

Lutèce

The French bistro’s seasonal cocktails feature the “Ciel Clair” — a clarified coconut milk punch made with cognac, salted honey, its tart cherry-blackberry shrub, and chocolate mole bitters. The Georgetown staple also recently introduced its “Our Gaviota” featuring kombu and brown butter-washed mezcal, lime, grapefruit, soda water, and nori salt. 

Morris American Bar

From December 4-30, head to the pastel-laced hotspot near the Convention Center for “A Morris Christmas Story” menu. Priced at $35 a person or $60 per couple, tickets include two holiday cocktails, with one served in a Santa-shaped mug and another in a clear ornament.

Marcel's by Robert Wiedmaier

Construct an upscale gingerbread house at Marcel’s thanks to pastry chef Zarmina Khan. The gingerbread is already baked and comes with instructions how to assemble and decorate the merry huts. While there, sip on cocktails like holiday punch, champagne, and hot chocolate for the kids. The “Sip n’ Build” soiree is Saturday, December 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and $90 per person includes the gingerbread house and beverages. Children under 6 are free.

The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer-themed cocktail at Marcel’s.
Marcel’s

Immigrant Food at the Planet Word Museum

Diners will find a selection of seasonal cocktails at the Planet Word location of the gastro-advocacy restaurant group including the “New York State of Mind” — a play on the Manhattan made with Calvados brandy, sweet vermouth, cinnamon apple cranberry syrup, and fernet. There’s also an iteration on the hot toddy called the “Bobbing for Apples” — rye bourbon is paired with their homemade cinnamon apple honey, lemon juice, and hot lemongrass tea. Try one or do a flight of three for $24. 

Kitchen + Kocktails by Kevin Kelley DC

Eggnog fans will appreciate this on-brand beverage at Kitchen + Kocktails, which features the creaminess of eggnog, RumChata, and Bailey’s Irish Crème, with help from spiced syrup and a pinch of a cinnamon and nutmeg mix. Another tasty option is the crème brûlée martini, a coupe combining vanilla vodka and Liquor 43 with heavy cream, spiced brown sugar Monin, and frothy egg whites.

Spiked eggnog service at Kitchen + Kocktails.
Kitchen + Kocktails

Bar Pendry

The Pendry Hotel’s classic lobby bar boasts a new seasonal drinks menu. Enjoy unique takes on classic cocktails like the “Waking Up in Oaxaca” (tequila, coffee liquor, espresso, salted pumpkin foam), the “Umami Bloody Mary” (vodka, tomato juice, sesame, fish sauce, horseradish), and the “Harvest Moon Bramble” (gin, lemon juice, blackberry syrup). Drinks on the warmer side include the spiced apple cider with whiskey or the hot honey hot toddy.

Bar Pendry’s gold-framed setup.
Christian Horan

All-Purpose Riverfront

The cozy wintertime cocktail program at All-Purpose Riverfront offers something for everyone. “Sweater Weather” features local apple cider, prosecco, and orange-rosemary oleo while the whipped cream-topped “Pumpkin Spice Dominicana” boasts flavors of Mr. Black coffee liqueur, Caffo Amaro, spiced rum, and pumpkin.

All-Purpose’s latest lineup of cocktails.
All-Purpose

Surreal

Opening Friday, December 1 near Amazon HQ2, the first Virginia restaurant from Michelin-starred chef Enrique Limardo and Seven Reasons Group has several innovative cocktails to enjoy this winter. A notable one from beverage director Carlos Boada is the “Time Traveler’s Tipple,” which is a take on an Old Fashioned made with bourbon infused with cornflakes and homemade granola with quinoa, oats, and apricots.

Surreal opens with a mojito made with pink peppercorns and South American fruit guanabana. 
Jenn Chase

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