clock menu more-arrow no yes
The La Manzana cocktail from Mi Vida
Darlin Kulla/official photo

15 Fall Cocktails to Sip Right Now

Mulling spices, beets, and bacon fat are all in the mix

View as Map
The La Manzana cocktail from Mi Vida
| Darlin Kulla/official photo

A flurry of D.C. bars have recently unveiled a range of comforting cocktails engineered to warm up guests during colder months.

The drinks below are worth a taste, because they’re brand new, they have a creative presentation, or they celebrate fall flavors by packing in dehydrated fruits and cinnamon. Some bars have gone the opposite direction, running away from seasonal themes with bright concoctions and tiki-inspired designs.

For our guide to D.C.’s hottest new bars, check out this list. For a broader view of the drinking landscape, check out this list of essential bars.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Turn The Sage at Jack Rose Dining Saloon

Copy Link
2007 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 588-7388
Visit Website

Designed to be sipped on the heated, glass-enclosed roof at Jack Rose, this drink features George Dickel rye, Del Maguey Vida mezcal, Orchard Peach liqueur, Averna Amaro, lemon, maple, and sage. It gets garnished with a sage leaf and dehydrated citrus wheel ($10).

Turn The Sage at Jack Rose Dining Saloon
Jack Rose/official photo

2. Cider House Rules at The Fainting Goat

Copy Link
1330 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 735-0344
Visit Website

This super-spiked cider ($13)  mixes unfiltered apple juice with Hamilton 151 Rum and Bitter Truth Golden Falernum. It’s mulled with clove, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange and lemon peel. The “bow” wrapping up the drink is an orange peel, and another dash of cinnamon is added on top.

Cider House Rules at The Fainting Goat
The Fainting Goat/official photo

3. Mambo Diablo at The Royal

Copy Link
501 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 332-7777
Visit Website

This new fall-inspired tiki cocktail ($13), served in a clay “cantarito” cup, is made with Colombia’s national spirit, aguardiente. That gives the drink warming anise notes to go with cachaca, pineapple, guanabana, panela (unrefined sugar), and warming spices. Garnishes include pineapple fronds and a skewer of brandied cherries.

Mambo Diablo at The Royal
The Royal/official photo

4. Ivy City Old Fashioned at City Winery DC

Copy Link
1350 Okie St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 250-2531
Visit Website

The new winery’s first taste of fall names an Old Fashioned after its neighborhood in Northeast. The cocktail features cinnamon-infused Old Forrester bourbon, orange and aromatic bitters, and a Luxardo cherry. It’s ideal for sipping in the cozy Barrel Room restaurant or the ivy-covered Wine Garden.

Ivy City Old Fashioned at City Winery DC
City Winery/official photo

5. Rye Beet-ween the Lines at Buffalo & Bergen

Copy Link
1309 5th St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 543-2549
Visit Website

Mixtress Gina Chersevani relies on root vegetables for this complex elixir ($12). She combines Redemption Rye, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, roasted beets, and bitters. Some of Chersevani’s other savory concoctions for the fall contain pickled shiitake mushrooms, sassafras, and fennel. 

Rye Beet-ween the Lines at Buffalo & Bergen
Buffalo & Bergen/official photo

6. Yellow Brick Road at Espita Mezcaleria

Copy Link
1250 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 621-9695
Visit Website

Beverage director Megan Barnes named this spicy and smoky blend ($13) after Elton John’s seventh studio album. The drink combines Espadín mezcal, Mexican fernet, velvet falernum, pineapple-and-chile syrup, and corazón bitters. Other musically-inspired drinks this season at Shaw’s Oaxacan-influenced restaurant honor Drake and Leon Bridges.

Yellow Brick Road at Espita Mezcaleria
Espita Mezcaleria/official photo

7. The Seasonal Buck at High Street Cafe

Copy Link
1303 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-0256

The new restaurant in Georgetown aims to create a lively bar scene with this Alabama-style whiskey drink, filled with fall spices, apple cider, and ginger beer ($12).

The Seasonal Buck at High Street Cafe
Carl Townsend/official photo

8. Tiki in the Mountains at Bourbon Steak

Copy Link
2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 944-2026
Visit Website

For Sarah Rosner’s first season as lead bartender at Bourbon Steak, she’s introducing a color-soaked cocktail ($18) to brighten up dark nights. The impeccably dressed drink features cinnamon-honey syrup, lime yellow chartreuse, grapefruit, and Virginia Highlands Cuvee Cask Whisky, garnished with a cinnamon stick, mint sprig, and cherry.

Tiki in the Mountains at Bourbon Steak
Four Seasons/official photo

9. Best Thing About The Holidays at Fancy Radish

Copy Link
600 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 675-8341
Visit Website

This smoky, strong, and spicy cocktail brings the holiday spirit at H Street’s critically acclaimed vegan restaurant. It features Ardbeg 10-year Islay Scotch, El Dorado 12-year demerara rum, Pail Beau VS brandy, and spiced cranberry ginger cordial ($15). The zero-waste cocktail repurposes the cranberries used to make the cordial as garnishes.

Best Thing About the Holidays at Fancy Radish
Fancy Radish/official photo

10. Medicinal Cocktails at Stable DC

Copy Link
1324 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 733-4604
Visit Website

This quad of cocktails ($11-$12) at the Atlas District restaurant takes note of Swiss ski culture, relying on spirits to combat everything from stress to pesky coughs. The Mountain Xanax features chamomile-infused gin, Genepy Herbal Alpine Liquor, and dry vermouth. The Flu Fighter stirs Bonal Quinine with Fernet Branca, Lyon aged rum, orange, and honey.

Medicinal cocktails at Stable DC.
Stable DC/official photo

11. Scarlett Sunset at Succotash

Copy Link
915 F St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 849-6933
Visit Website

With a hue reminiscent of changing leaves, this new cocktail at celebrity chef Ed Lee’s Penn Quarter restaurant trades typical fall flavors like cinnamon or apple for yellow chartreuse, orange, and honey to make cooler months more comforting ($14).

 

Scarlett Sunset at Succotash
Darlin Kulla/official photo

12. On Horseback at Dirty Habit DC

Copy Link
555 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 449-7095
Visit Website

Bacon fat-washed Basil Hayden bourbon, mission figs, maple, and mint make this hotel bar cocktail ($14) fitting for guests craving savory over sweet.

On Horseback at Dirty Habit
Dirty Habit/official photo

13. Gypsy Wedding at Baba

Copy Link
2901 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 312-7978
Visit Website

Clarendon’s cozy subterranean cocktail bar conjured up this festive-looking drink for the fall. It features a deep pear flavor and smoky finish thanks to Hubert 1924 pear rakia, Del Maguey Vida Miguel mezcal, lime juice, cinnamon syrup and pear purée. The $17 order comes with a sweet perk: a pineapple dessert.

Gypsy Wedding at Baba
Baba/official photo

14. La Manzana at Mi Vida Restaurante

Copy Link
98 District Square SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 516-4656
Visit Website

At the Wharf’s resident Mexican restaurant, apples are roasted with piloncillo brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and clove. Brown butter serves as a base. Tequila is infused with those same ingredients to play up its warm spices.

 

La Manzana at Mi Vida Restaurante
Darlin Kulla/official photo

15. Beet’s Knees at the The Salt Line

Copy Link
79 Potomac Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 506-2368
Visit Website

This pink drink at the Navy Yard seafood spot is a throwback to warmer days, combining Barr Hill gin, Bitter Truth Elderflower liqueur, caraway-beet cordial, lime, celery bitters, and Port City Optimal Wit. That all gets topped off with a dragon fruit garnish ($12).

Beet’s Knees at the The Salt Line
The Salt Line/official photo

1. Turn The Sage at Jack Rose Dining Saloon

2007 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Turn The Sage at Jack Rose Dining Saloon
Jack Rose/official photo

Designed to be sipped on the heated, glass-enclosed roof at Jack Rose, this drink features George Dickel rye, Del Maguey Vida mezcal, Orchard Peach liqueur, Averna Amaro, lemon, maple, and sage. It gets garnished with a sage leaf and dehydrated citrus wheel ($10).

2007 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

2. Cider House Rules at The Fainting Goat

1330 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Cider House Rules at The Fainting Goat
The Fainting Goat/official photo

This super-spiked cider ($13)  mixes unfiltered apple juice with Hamilton 151 Rum and Bitter Truth Golden Falernum. It’s mulled with clove, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange and lemon peel. The “bow” wrapping up the drink is an orange peel, and another dash of cinnamon is added on top.

1330 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009

3. Mambo Diablo at The Royal

501 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
Mambo Diablo at The Royal
The Royal/official photo

This new fall-inspired tiki cocktail ($13), served in a clay “cantarito” cup, is made with Colombia’s national spirit, aguardiente. That gives the drink warming anise notes to go with cachaca, pineapple, guanabana, panela (unrefined sugar), and warming spices. Garnishes include pineapple fronds and a skewer of brandied cherries.

501 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

4. Ivy City Old Fashioned at City Winery DC

1350 Okie St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Ivy City Old Fashioned at City Winery DC
City Winery/official photo

The new winery’s first taste of fall names an Old Fashioned after its neighborhood in Northeast. The cocktail features cinnamon-infused Old Forrester bourbon, orange and aromatic bitters, and a Luxardo cherry. It’s ideal for sipping in the cozy Barrel Room restaurant or the ivy-covered Wine Garden.

1350 Okie St NE
Washington, DC 20002

5. Rye Beet-ween the Lines at Buffalo & Bergen

1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Rye Beet-ween the Lines at Buffalo & Bergen
Buffalo & Bergen/official photo

Mixtress Gina Chersevani relies on root vegetables for this complex elixir ($12). She combines Redemption Rye, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, roasted beets, and bitters. Some of Chersevani’s other savory concoctions for the fall contain pickled shiitake mushrooms, sassafras, and fennel. 

1309 5th St NE
Washington, DC 20002

6. Yellow Brick Road at Espita Mezcaleria

1250 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Yellow Brick Road at Espita Mezcaleria
Espita Mezcaleria/official photo

Beverage director Megan Barnes named this spicy and smoky blend ($13) after Elton John’s seventh studio album. The drink combines Espadín mezcal, Mexican fernet, velvet falernum, pineapple-and-chile syrup, and corazón bitters. Other musically-inspired drinks this season at Shaw’s Oaxacan-influenced restaurant honor Drake and Leon Bridges.

1250 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

7. The Seasonal Buck at High Street Cafe

1303 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
The Seasonal Buck at High Street Cafe
Carl Townsend/official photo

The new restaurant in Georgetown aims to create a lively bar scene with this Alabama-style whiskey drink, filled with fall spices, apple cider, and ginger beer ($12).

1303 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

8. Tiki in the Mountains at Bourbon Steak

2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
Tiki in the Mountains at Bourbon Steak
Four Seasons/official photo

For Sarah Rosner’s first season as lead bartender at Bourbon Steak, she’s introducing a color-soaked cocktail ($18) to brighten up dark nights. The impeccably dressed drink features cinnamon-honey syrup, lime yellow chartreuse, grapefruit, and Virginia Highlands Cuvee Cask Whisky, garnished with a cinnamon stick, mint sprig, and cherry.

2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

9. Best Thing About The Holidays at Fancy Radish

600 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Best Thing About the Holidays at Fancy Radish
Fancy Radish/official photo

This smoky, strong, and spicy cocktail brings the holiday spirit at H Street’s critically acclaimed vegan restaurant. It features Ardbeg 10-year Islay Scotch, El Dorado 12-year demerara rum, Pail Beau VS brandy, and spiced cranberry ginger cordial ($15). The zero-waste cocktail repurposes the cranberries used to make the cordial as garnishes.

600 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

10. Medicinal Cocktails at Stable DC

1324 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Medicinal cocktails at Stable DC.
Stable DC/official photo

This quad of cocktails ($11-$12) at the Atlas District restaurant takes note of Swiss ski culture, relying on spirits to combat everything from stress to pesky coughs. The Mountain Xanax features chamomile-infused gin, Genepy Herbal Alpine Liquor, and dry vermouth. The Flu Fighter stirs Bonal Quinine with Fernet Branca, Lyon aged rum, orange, and honey.

1324 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

11. Scarlett Sunset at Succotash

915 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Scarlett Sunset at Succotash
Darlin Kulla/official photo

With a hue reminiscent of changing leaves, this new cocktail at celebrity chef Ed Lee’s Penn Quarter restaurant trades typical fall flavors like cinnamon or apple for yellow chartreuse, orange, and honey to make cooler months more comforting ($14).

 

915 F St NW
Washington, DC 20004

12. On Horseback at Dirty Habit DC

555 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
On Horseback at Dirty Habit
Dirty Habit/official photo

Bacon fat-washed Basil Hayden bourbon, mission figs, maple, and mint make this hotel bar cocktail ($14) fitting for guests craving savory over sweet.

555 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

13. Gypsy Wedding at Baba

2901 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201
Gypsy Wedding at Baba
Baba/official photo

Clarendon’s cozy subterranean cocktail bar conjured up this festive-looking drink for the fall. It features a deep pear flavor and smoky finish thanks to Hubert 1924 pear rakia, Del Maguey Vida Miguel mezcal, lime juice, cinnamon syrup and pear purée. The $17 order comes with a sweet perk: a pineapple dessert.

2901 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

14. La Manzana at Mi Vida Restaurante

98 District Square SW, Washington, DC 20024
La Manzana at Mi Vida Restaurante
Darlin Kulla/official photo

At the Wharf’s resident Mexican restaurant, apples are roasted with piloncillo brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and clove. Brown butter serves as a base. Tequila is infused with those same ingredients to play up its warm spices.

 

98 District Square SW
Washington, DC 20024

15. Beet’s Knees at the The Salt Line

79 Potomac Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003
Beet’s Knees at the The Salt Line
The Salt Line/official photo

This pink drink at the Navy Yard seafood spot is a throwback to warmer days, combining Barr Hill gin, Bitter Truth Elderflower liqueur, caraway-beet cordial, lime, celery bitters, and Port City Optimal Wit. That all gets topped off with a dragon fruit garnish ($12).

79 Potomac Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003

Related Maps