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A shiny green mug filled with frothy spiked chai, placed on a marble table.
A spiked chai cocktail at Residents.
Hawkeye Johnson/Residents

18 Warming Winter Cocktails To Sip in D.C. Right Now

Where to grab a delicious hot toddy, spiked coffee, mulled wine, and more

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A spiked chai cocktail at Residents.
| Hawkeye Johnson/Residents

There’s something satisfying about sipping a hot cocktail during the depths of winter. This season, local bartenders turn to comforting ingredients like spiced rums, teas, cloves, coffee, and honey to help customers combat the cold.

The traditional hot toddy takes many forms around D.C., made with mezcal at Espita or homemade baklava syrup at RĀKO. Find spiked warm cider at Pub & the People and Le Diplomate. And hot chocolate gets a boozy upgrade with peppermint schnapps at Stable or Bruno Mars’s brand of rum at Palette 22.

Here are 18 spots around the District to imbibe while staying warm.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Té con té at Roy Boys

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2108 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 558-9382
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The Shaw bar is all about Bolivia’s beloved hot cocktail this winter, made with chamomile tea, Rujero Singani, honey, cinnamon, and lime ($13). Roy Boys bartender Luis Aliaga also whipped up a new lineup of $10 hot cocktails for Salvadoran restaurant El Tamarindo in Adams Morgan. Try the Cafe Con Piquete (Bulleit Bourbon, orange liqueur, Mexican spiced coffee, and heavy cream).

A glass mug filled with chamomile tea, Rujero Singani, honey, cinnamon, and lime sitting on a bar.
Roy Boys fills glass mugs with warming chamomile tea, Rujero Singani, honey, cinnamon, and lime.
Carla Sanchez/official photo

2. Hot Bourbon Cider at The Pub & The People

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1648 North Capitol St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 234-1800
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There’s plenty to keep guests warm at the the Pub & the People, like wood-burning fire pits outside and a welcoming, neighborhood bar atmosphere. Keep the cozy vibes coming with a cup of hot bourbon cider ($10), made with St. Elizabeth’s allspice dram, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

3. Cidre Épicé at Le Diplomate

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1601 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 332-3333
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This Biden-approved French cafe in Logan Circle whips up a delightful drink for the season ($12) starring spiced rum and warm cider.

4. Tiny Dancer at Cotton & Reed

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1330 5th St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 544-2805
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Union Market district’s rum distillery sends out its best-selling slushy Cocomotion all year, but the extensive cocktail menu also features five unique hot beverages worth a shot when it’s cold. Try the bright orange Tiny Dancer ($12) — a coconut cardamon Thai tea spiked with white rum.

Rum cocktails in clear mugs sitting in snow
Cotton & Reed hot cocktails this year include Rumpleswissminze (left) and Tiny Dancer.
Cotton & Reed/official photo

5. Chai at Residents Cafe & Bar

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1306 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 733-7143
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The popular Dupont bar is known for its signature espresso martinis, but its current cast of hot cocktails also deserve a moment in the spotlight. Its take on a hot buttered rum ($16) loops in chai, spiced pineapple, lime, yellow chartreuse, and of course, butter and rum.

A green mug filled with a spiked chai cocktail
The buttery Chai cocktail at Residents.
Hawkeye Johnson/Residents

6. Ponche de Invierno at Espita

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1250 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 621-9695
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The stylish cantina in Shaw serves Mexico’s hot holiday punch all winter long. Its version comes with red wine, guava, tejocote apples, and mezcal. Warming cocktails also include a mulled rosé wine with rosemary, ginger, and juniper and a mezcal hot toddy that features French aperitif Pineau des Charentes alongside ginger, honey, lemon, black tea, and Mexican spices.

Three clear glass mugs filled with spirits and fruit garnishes.
Espita’s crop of winter cocktails.
Espita/official photo

7. Calico Irish Coffee at Calico

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50 Blagden Alley NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 791-0134
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Warm up with the Blagden Alley bar’s namesake Irish coffee ($11), engineered with Jameson whiskey, cocoa cream, and sugar. Saddle up to its heat lamp-lined outdoor seating area and BYOB (bring your own blanket).

8. Spiked Hot Chocolates at Red Bear Brewing Co.

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209 M St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 849-6130
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In addition to a robust selection of beer and cider, the Noma brewery offers six hot cocktails to choose from, including three variations of spiked hot chocolate (Rumchata, Rumple Minze, and spiced rum). Prices run $10 to $11.

9. Hot Toddy at Equinox

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818 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 331-8118
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The classic hot toddy gets a tropical twist ($18) at Equinox, where it’s made with Glenmorangie scotch, classic warming spices like cloves and star anise, and a blend of orange, pineapple, and lime juices.

10. Schoggi Twist at Stable DC

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1324 H St NE
Washinton, DC 20002
(202) 733-4604
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Take hot chocolate to new heights at H Street’s resident Swiss restaurant that specializes in traditional cheese fondue and regional dishes. The warm Schoggi Twist ($10) is a cup of rich hot chocolate with Godiva chocolate liquor, peppermint schnapps, and a generous dollop of whipped cream.

A boozy hot chocolate topped with a huge dollop of whipped cream
The Schoggi Twist at Stable DC is a boozy hot chocolate.
Stable DC/official photo

11. Hot Toddy at DBGB Kitchen & Bar

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931 H St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 695-7660
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At Daniel Boulud’s recently reopened restaurant in CityCenter, this warming winter staple ($16) is made with Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, St. George spice pear liqueur, mint syrup, lemon juice, fresh nutmeg, star anise, and a lemon peel garnish.

DBGB’s hot toddy
DBGB’s seasonal hot toddy.
DBGB/official photo

12. Pfanner Hot Apple Cider at Immigrant Food

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1701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 888-0760
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The “gastroadvocacy” restaurant from acclaimed chef Enrique Limardo sends out mugs of Austrian hard apple cider made with mulling spices. Find the fruity and crisp drink ($6) on the beer list at its original location near the White House and its dressier Immigrant Food + offshoot inside Planet Word museum.

An aerial shot of hard apple cider in a mug with a floating cinnamon sprig and lemon.
Immigrant Food’s Austrian hard apple cider.
Immigrant Food/official photo

13. Red Eye-Rish at Buffalo & Bergen

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240 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 525-3350
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Need a wake-up call? The bagel counter offers a perky cocktail ($12) complete with Jameson nitro and Irish cream. For those who like iced coffee all year-round, bartenders are happy to make the cocktail cold as well.

14. To Stay or To Go Toddy at RĀKO

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2016 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(571) 312-4817
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The new day-to-night cafe from Virginia’s women-owned RĀKO Coffee Roasters warms up Clarendon customers with a glass of rye, homemade baklava syrup, lemon, and hot water ($12).

A clear glass filled with rye and cinnamon.
RĀKO celebrates its first winter in Clarendon with a hot toddy.
RĀKO/official photo

15. Coquito at La Famosa

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1300 4th St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 921-9882
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The traditional Puerto Rican holiday cocktail, coquito, is available at Navy Yard’s La Famosa all season long. Made with its spiced rum, cream of coconut, condensed milk, allspice, and raisins, the festive drink is available to sip both by the glass ($10) or by the bottle ($45).

16. Jamaican Coffee at Bammy's

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301 Water St SE Suite 115
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 599-4400
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For a weekend escape to the Caribbean without leaving Navy Yard, perk up with this waterfront special by Bammy’s bar director Saied Haddad. The caffeinated drink, made with Blue Mountain Coffee, Hamilton Pot Still rum, and whipped cream ($12), is served only during its DJ brunch on Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m.

17. The Berry White at Basic Burger

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1101 S Joyce St
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 248-9333
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With front-row views of an ice rink, the trendy burger bar at Pentagon City’s Westpost complex gets into the winter spirit with a trio of hot cocktails. The Berry White is made with white chocolate, raspberry, and Tito’s vodka.

18. Sippin’ on S’mores at Palette 22

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4053 Campbell Ave
Arlington, VA 22206
(703) 746-9007
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This Shirlington mainstay offers a next-level twist on hot chocolate, starring Bruno Mars’s SelvaRey chocolate rum and Ghirardelli cocoa poured into a glass with a graham cracker rim and torched marshmallow topping ($13).

Sippin’ on S’mores at Palete 22
Sippin’ on S’mores gets a torched marshmallow topping at Palette 22.
Palette 22/Emily Hoang

1. Té con té at Roy Boys

2108 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
A glass mug filled with chamomile tea, Rujero Singani, honey, cinnamon, and lime sitting on a bar.
Roy Boys fills glass mugs with warming chamomile tea, Rujero Singani, honey, cinnamon, and lime.
Carla Sanchez/official photo

The Shaw bar is all about Bolivia’s beloved hot cocktail this winter, made with chamomile tea, Rujero Singani, honey, cinnamon, and lime ($13). Roy Boys bartender Luis Aliaga also whipped up a new lineup of $10 hot cocktails for Salvadoran restaurant El Tamarindo in Adams Morgan. Try the Cafe Con Piquete (Bulleit Bourbon, orange liqueur, Mexican spiced coffee, and heavy cream).

2108 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

2. Hot Bourbon Cider at The Pub & The People

1648 North Capitol St NW, Washington, DC 20001

There’s plenty to keep guests warm at the the Pub & the People, like wood-burning fire pits outside and a welcoming, neighborhood bar atmosphere. Keep the cozy vibes coming with a cup of hot bourbon cider ($10), made with St. Elizabeth’s allspice dram, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

1648 North Capitol St NW
Washington, DC 20001

3. Cidre Épicé at Le Diplomate

1601 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

This Biden-approved French cafe in Logan Circle whips up a delightful drink for the season ($12) starring spiced rum and warm cider.

1601 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

4. Tiny Dancer at Cotton & Reed

1330 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Rum cocktails in clear mugs sitting in snow
Cotton & Reed hot cocktails this year include Rumpleswissminze (left) and Tiny Dancer.
Cotton & Reed/official photo

Union Market district’s rum distillery sends out its best-selling slushy Cocomotion all year, but the extensive cocktail menu also features five unique hot beverages worth a shot when it’s cold. Try the bright orange Tiny Dancer ($12) — a coconut cardamon Thai tea spiked with white rum.

1330 5th St NE
Washington, DC 20002

5. Chai at Residents Cafe & Bar

1306 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20036
A green mug filled with a spiked chai cocktail
The buttery Chai cocktail at Residents.
Hawkeye Johnson/Residents

The popular Dupont bar is known for its signature espresso martinis, but its current cast of hot cocktails also deserve a moment in the spotlight. Its take on a hot buttered rum ($16) loops in chai, spiced pineapple, lime, yellow chartreuse, and of course, butter and rum.

1306 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20036

6. Ponche de Invierno at Espita

1250 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Three clear glass mugs filled with spirits and fruit garnishes.
Espita’s crop of winter cocktails.
Espita/official photo

The stylish cantina in Shaw serves Mexico’s hot holiday punch all winter long. Its version comes with red wine, guava, tejocote apples, and mezcal. Warming cocktails also include a mulled rosé wine with rosemary, ginger, and juniper and a mezcal hot toddy that features French aperitif Pineau des Charentes alongside ginger, honey, lemon, black tea, and Mexican spices.

1250 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

7. Calico Irish Coffee at Calico

50 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001

Warm up with the Blagden Alley bar’s namesake Irish coffee ($11), engineered with Jameson whiskey, cocoa cream, and sugar. Saddle up to its heat lamp-lined outdoor seating area and BYOB (bring your own blanket).

50 Blagden Alley NW
Washington, DC 20001

8. Spiked Hot Chocolates at Red Bear Brewing Co.

209 M St NE, Washington, DC 20002

In addition to a robust selection of beer and cider, the Noma brewery offers six hot cocktails to choose from, including three variations of spiked hot chocolate (Rumchata, Rumple Minze, and spiced rum). Prices run $10 to $11.

209 M St NE
Washington, DC 20002

9. Hot Toddy at Equinox

818 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006

The classic hot toddy gets a tropical twist ($18) at Equinox, where it’s made with Glenmorangie scotch, classic warming spices like cloves and star anise, and a blend of orange, pineapple, and lime juices.

818 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20006

10. Schoggi Twist at Stable DC

1324 H St NE, Washinton, DC 20002
A boozy hot chocolate topped with a huge dollop of whipped cream
The Schoggi Twist at Stable DC is a boozy hot chocolate.
Stable DC/official photo

Take hot chocolate to new heights at H Street’s resident Swiss restaurant that specializes in traditional cheese fondue and regional dishes. The warm Schoggi Twist ($10) is a cup of rich hot chocolate with Godiva chocolate liquor, peppermint schnapps, and a generous dollop of whipped cream.

1324 H St NE
Washinton, DC 20002

11. Hot Toddy at DBGB Kitchen & Bar

931 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001
DBGB’s hot toddy
DBGB’s seasonal hot toddy.
DBGB/official photo

At Daniel Boulud’s recently reopened restaurant in CityCenter, this warming winter staple ($16) is made with Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, St. George spice pear liqueur, mint syrup, lemon juice, fresh nutmeg, star anise, and a lemon peel garnish.

931 H St NW
Washington, DC 20001

12. Pfanner Hot Apple Cider at Immigrant Food

1701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006
An aerial shot of hard apple cider in a mug with a floating cinnamon sprig and lemon.
Immigrant Food’s Austrian hard apple cider.
Immigrant Food/official photo

The “gastroadvocacy” restaurant from acclaimed chef Enrique Limardo sends out mugs of Austrian hard apple cider made with mulling spices. Find the fruity and crisp drink ($6) on the beer list at its original location near the White House and its dressier Immigrant Food + offshoot inside Planet Word museum.

1701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20006

13. Red Eye-Rish at Buffalo & Bergen

240 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

Need a wake-up call? The bagel counter offers a perky cocktail ($12) complete with Jameson nitro and Irish cream. For those who like iced coffee all year-round, bartenders are happy to make the cocktail cold as well.

240 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

14. To Stay or To Go Toddy at RĀKO

2016 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201
A clear glass filled with rye and cinnamon.
RĀKO celebrates its first winter in Clarendon with a hot toddy.
RĀKO/official photo

The new day-to-night cafe from Virginia’s women-owned RĀKO Coffee Roasters warms up Clarendon customers with a glass of rye, homemade baklava syrup, lemon, and hot water ($12).

2016 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

15. Coquito at La Famosa

1300 4th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

The traditional Puerto Rican holiday cocktail, coquito, is available at Navy Yard’s La Famosa all season long. Made with its spiced rum, cream of coconut, condensed milk, allspice, and raisins, the festive drink is available to sip both by the glass ($10) or by the bottle ($45).

1300 4th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

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16. Jamaican Coffee at Bammy's

301 Water St SE Suite 115, Washington, DC 20003

For a weekend escape to the Caribbean without leaving Navy Yard, perk up with this waterfront special by Bammy’s bar director Saied Haddad. The caffeinated drink, made with Blue Mountain Coffee, Hamilton Pot Still rum, and whipped cream ($12), is served only during its DJ brunch on Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m.

301 Water St SE Suite 115
Washington, DC 20003

17. The Berry White at Basic Burger

1101 S Joyce St, Arlington, VA 22202

With front-row views of an ice rink, the trendy burger bar at Pentagon City’s Westpost complex gets into the winter spirit with a trio of hot cocktails. The Berry White is made with white chocolate, raspberry, and Tito’s vodka.

1101 S Joyce St
Arlington, VA 22202

18. Sippin’ on S’mores at Palette 22

4053 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206
Sippin’ on S’mores at Palete 22
Sippin’ on S’mores gets a torched marshmallow topping at Palette 22.
Palette 22/Emily Hoang

This Shirlington mainstay offers a next-level twist on hot chocolate, starring Bruno Mars’s SelvaRey chocolate rum and Ghirardelli cocoa poured into a glass with a graham cracker rim and torched marshmallow topping ($13).

4053 Campbell Ave
Arlington, VA 22206

Related Maps