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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.

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Té con té at Roy Boys

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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

Hot Bourbon Cider at The Pub & The People

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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.

Cidre Épicé at Le Diplomate

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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.

Tiny Dancer at Cotton & Reed

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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

Chai at Residents Cafe & Bar

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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

Ponche de Invierno at Espita

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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

Calico Irish Coffee at Calico

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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).

Spiked Hot Chocolates at Red Bear Brewing Co.

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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.

Hot Toddy at Equinox

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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.

Schoggi Twist at Stable DC

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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

Hot Toddy at DBGB Kitchen & Bar

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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

Pfanner Hot Apple Cider at Immigrant Food

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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

Red Eye-Rish at Buffalo & Bergen

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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.

To Stay or To Go Toddy at RĀKO

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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

Coquito at La Famosa

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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).

Jamaican Coffee at Bammy's

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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.

The Berry White at Basic Burger

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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.

Sippin’ on S’mores at Palette 22

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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

Té con té at Roy Boys

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).

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

Hot Bourbon Cider at The Pub & The People

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.

Cidre Épicé at Le Diplomate

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

Tiny Dancer at Cotton & Reed

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.

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

Chai at Residents Cafe & Bar

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.

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

Ponche de Invierno at Espita

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.

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

Calico Irish Coffee at Calico

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).

Spiked Hot Chocolates at Red Bear Brewing Co.

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.

Hot Toddy at Equinox

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.

Schoggi Twist at Stable DC

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.

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

Hot Toddy at DBGB Kitchen & Bar

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.

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

Pfanner Hot Apple Cider at Immigrant Food

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.

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

Red Eye-Rish at Buffalo & Bergen

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.

To Stay or To Go Toddy at RĀKO

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).

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

Coquito at La Famosa

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).

Related Maps

Jamaican Coffee at Bammy's

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.

The Berry White at Basic Burger

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.

Sippin’ on S’mores at Palette 22

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).

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

Related Maps