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The Hotel Nacional cocktail at D.C.’s Colada Shop.
Colada Shop [Official photo]

D.C.’s Top Cocktails, Spring 2018

The best beverages to drink right now

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The Hotel Nacional cocktail at D.C.’s Colada Shop.
| Colada Shop [Official photo]

D.C.’s cocktail scene is always changing. From bold new spirits to enticing mixers, local bartenders are constantly mixing things up.

The beverages listed here stand out of the pack because they are either brand new, have a funky presentation (think: collectible bar ware), or the starring ingredients may just be the new trend to taste before anyone else.

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.

Note: The featured bars and restaurants are not ranked. The map is arranged geographically from north to south.

Don’t see a personal favorite on the list? Sound off in the comments or shoot us an email (dc@eater.com).

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Chapulin Colorado at Taqueria del Barrio

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This Petworth eatery just turned one, and its list of $9 margaritas includes the Chapulin Colorado with Don Julio silver, triple sec and lime, mixed with an ancho chile cherry syrup.

Chapulin Colorado (left) is one of several new spring margaritas at Taqueria del Barrio.
Taqueria del Barrio [Official photo]

Ti’ Punch at A Rake's Bar

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The hot new bar inside Adams Morgan’s Line hotel makes drinks using only locally grown ingredients (so, no citrus), but searches the globe for inspiration. One of its latest creations is a twist on a popular Caribbean punch featuring pressed sorghum cane (sweetener), fresh verjus (acidic fruit juice), and choice of rum (the base).

Ti’ Punch at A Rake’s Bar.
A Rake’s Progress/Facebook

Smithed at Bin 1301 Wine Bar

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This U Street bar’s newly revamped cocktail menu includes a seasonal drink made with bourbon, drambuie, lemon, and cranberry.

The Smithed cocktail at Bin 1301.
Bin 1301 [Official photo]

Hotel Nacional at Colada Shop

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This seasonal cocktail channels the tropics via white rum, dark rum, apricot liqueur, pineapple juice, lime apricot puree.

The Hotel Nacional cocktail at D.C.’s Colada Shop.
Colada Shop [Official photo]

Millefiori at Iron Gate

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Translating to a “thousand flowers” in Italian, Iron Gate bar manager Nick Farrell makes this cocktail with local producer Don Ciccio’s newly released Cerasum cherry blossom liqueur, elderflower liqueur, hibiscus soda, and an orchid garnish ($14).

The Millefiori cocktail at Iron Gate.
Iron Gate [Official photo]

Hip to It at Supra

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This new Georgian restaurant’s debut cocktail menu includes a martini with chacha, Georgian rosehip juice, lemon, and a dusting of rose powder ($12).

The Hip to It cocktail at Supra.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

Smoke on the Horizon at Momofuku CCDC

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This spicy cocktail combines tequila, blood orange, campari, and mezcal ($12).

The Smoke on the Horizon cocktail at Momofuku.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

Rice N Roses at Dirty Habit

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This Penn Quarter bar is serving a floral and nutty concoction ($13) made with Nigori sake, vodka, lychee-rose syrup, lemon, and Crème de Noyoux. Head bartender Sarah Ruiz prepares the syrup by simmering dried roses into a tea, and then adding sugar and lychee. Rose petals act as the final garnish. 

The Rice N Roses cocktail at Dirty Habit.
Dirty Habit [Official photo]

2901 Cup at Ambar - Clarendon

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The expanding brand from Balkan restaurateur Ivan Iricanin has a new cocktail on the menu made with an aperitif blend, lime juice, ginger ale, and seasonal fruit. The name is an ode to Ambar’s street address.

The 2901 Cup at Ambar in Clarendon.
Ambar [Official photo]

The Mez-skull at Mi Vida

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In addition to serving frozen margaritas and pouring aged tequilas, the Wharf’s new Mexican restaurant also makes a handful of specialty cocktails. The striking Mez-skull combines smoky mezcal, tangy raspberry juice, and chewy tapioca pearls.

The Mez-skull cocktail at Mi Vida.
Mi Vida/Facebook

The Continuing Resolution at Chloe

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First-time restaurateur Haidar Karoum’s new Navy Yard restaurant boasts a solid cocktail menu; this rum-based drink is made with Blackwell Jamaican Rum, kumquat, grapefruit and Xocolatl mole bitters ($12).

The Continuing Resolution cocktail at Chloe.
Chloe [Official photo]

Dirty Dirty Chai Chai at Vermilion

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This Old Town Alexandria mainstay mixes together Kopper Kettle chai-spiced rum, coffee-infused zucca, and chai-spiced almond milk into its foamy new creation ($12).

The Dirty Dirty Chai Chai cocktail at Vermilion.
Vermilion [Official photo]

Chapulin Colorado at Taqueria del Barrio

This Petworth eatery just turned one, and its list of $9 margaritas includes the Chapulin Colorado with Don Julio silver, triple sec and lime, mixed with an ancho chile cherry syrup.

Chapulin Colorado (left) is one of several new spring margaritas at Taqueria del Barrio.
Taqueria del Barrio [Official photo]

Ti’ Punch at A Rake's Bar

The hot new bar inside Adams Morgan’s Line hotel makes drinks using only locally grown ingredients (so, no citrus), but searches the globe for inspiration. One of its latest creations is a twist on a popular Caribbean punch featuring pressed sorghum cane (sweetener), fresh verjus (acidic fruit juice), and choice of rum (the base).

Ti’ Punch at A Rake’s Bar.
A Rake’s Progress/Facebook

Smithed at Bin 1301 Wine Bar

This U Street bar’s newly revamped cocktail menu includes a seasonal drink made with bourbon, drambuie, lemon, and cranberry.

The Smithed cocktail at Bin 1301.
Bin 1301 [Official photo]

Hotel Nacional at Colada Shop

This seasonal cocktail channels the tropics via white rum, dark rum, apricot liqueur, pineapple juice, lime apricot puree.

The Hotel Nacional cocktail at D.C.’s Colada Shop.
Colada Shop [Official photo]

Millefiori at Iron Gate

Translating to a “thousand flowers” in Italian, Iron Gate bar manager Nick Farrell makes this cocktail with local producer Don Ciccio’s newly released Cerasum cherry blossom liqueur, elderflower liqueur, hibiscus soda, and an orchid garnish ($14).

The Millefiori cocktail at Iron Gate.
Iron Gate [Official photo]

Hip to It at Supra

This new Georgian restaurant’s debut cocktail menu includes a martini with chacha, Georgian rosehip juice, lemon, and a dusting of rose powder ($12).

The Hip to It cocktail at Supra.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

Smoke on the Horizon at Momofuku CCDC

This spicy cocktail combines tequila, blood orange, campari, and mezcal ($12).

The Smoke on the Horizon cocktail at Momofuku.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

Rice N Roses at Dirty Habit

This Penn Quarter bar is serving a floral and nutty concoction ($13) made with Nigori sake, vodka, lychee-rose syrup, lemon, and Crème de Noyoux. Head bartender Sarah Ruiz prepares the syrup by simmering dried roses into a tea, and then adding sugar and lychee. Rose petals act as the final garnish. 

The Rice N Roses cocktail at Dirty Habit.
Dirty Habit [Official photo]

2901 Cup at Ambar - Clarendon

The expanding brand from Balkan restaurateur Ivan Iricanin has a new cocktail on the menu made with an aperitif blend, lime juice, ginger ale, and seasonal fruit. The name is an ode to Ambar’s street address.

The 2901 Cup at Ambar in Clarendon.
Ambar [Official photo]

The Mez-skull at Mi Vida

In addition to serving frozen margaritas and pouring aged tequilas, the Wharf’s new Mexican restaurant also makes a handful of specialty cocktails. The striking Mez-skull combines smoky mezcal, tangy raspberry juice, and chewy tapioca pearls.

The Mez-skull cocktail at Mi Vida.
Mi Vida/Facebook

The Continuing Resolution at Chloe

First-time restaurateur Haidar Karoum’s new Navy Yard restaurant boasts a solid cocktail menu; this rum-based drink is made with Blackwell Jamaican Rum, kumquat, grapefruit and Xocolatl mole bitters ($12).

The Continuing Resolution cocktail at Chloe.
Chloe [Official photo]

Dirty Dirty Chai Chai at Vermilion

This Old Town Alexandria mainstay mixes together Kopper Kettle chai-spiced rum, coffee-infused zucca, and chai-spiced almond milk into its foamy new creation ($12).

The Dirty Dirty Chai Chai cocktail at Vermilion.
Vermilion [Official photo]

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