How To Make Cherry Blossoms More Grown-Up? Just Add Booze

Think the Tidal Basin is the only place you can experience the Cherry Blossom Festival this spring? Try grabbing a bar stool instead. As part of the fest's Cherry Picks program, bartenders and mixologists all over town are offering cherry-tinged cocktails that will make your happy hour that much sweeter — or a little bit tart, if sour is more your speed. Here are a few of our favorite must-try concoctions that use everything from smoked cherries to cherry blossom tea syrup. Consider this the perfect cheers to blossom season and spring in Washington — minus the epic crowds headed our way.
cherry1
The gin rickey, a.k.a. the official cocktail of D.C., is getting a spring makeover at Passion Food Hospitality’s downtown restaurants. Acadiana, Ceiba, DC Coast, and District Commons are all serving a cherry gin rickey ($12), featuring a mix of Small’s Gin, Leopold’s Tart Cherry Liqueur, lime juice, soda, and Fee Brothers’ Cherry Bitters, served with a cherry garnish.
Acadiana, 901 New York Avenue NW, 202-408-8848; Ceiba, 701 14th Street NW, 202-393-3983; DC Coast, 1401 K Street NW, 202-216-5988; District Commons, 2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, 202-587-8277.
Advertisement
Try a taste of la vita bella at cozy date spot Room 11 in Columbia Heights, where you’ll find the Italian-accented Angelina cocktail ($11). The complex drink combines cherry shrub — a reduction of fruit, vinegar, and sugar — with cognac, fresh lemon, Peychaud’s Bitters, and Finocchietto fennel liqueur from local company Don Ciccio & Figli.
Room 11, 3234 11th St NW; 202-332-3234.
Head to Mari Vanna to experience the Russian hot spot's signature cherry cocktail ($9), a potent, bright red concoction that should satisfy even the most discerning sweet tooth.
Mari Vanna, 1141 Connecticut Avenue NW; 202-783-7777.
Adams Morgan’s hip and inviting French bistro Mintwood Place is mixing up a decadent-sounding brandy roasted cherry caipirinha ($12).
Mintwood Place, 1813 Columbia Road NW; 202-234-6732.
Photos: Courtesy of Scott Suchman; Mari Vanna/Travis Vaughn
cherry2
Advertisement
A cocktail with "honey drinking vinegar" as an ingredient sounds a little intense, but we’re on board when it’s from the mixologists at Park Hyatt Washington. The Blossom cocktail ($14) features acclaimed New York restaurant Pok Pok’s Som honey drinking vinegar, Cherry Heering liqueur, cherry blossom syrup, lime zest, a splash of soda, and both Maraschino and dark Amarena cherries.
Park Hyatt Washington, 1201 24th Street NW; 202-789-1234.
Cherry cola gets sophisticated at Epic Smokehouse in Pentagon City. The grown-up version ($10) cuts the sweetness of Coca-Cola with bourbon-infused black cherries.
Epic Smokehouse, 1330 South Fern Street, Arlington; 571-319-4001.
Order the Sparkling Sakura ($15) at Quill at The Jefferson hotel for a very zen combination of cherry blossom tea-infused syrup, sake, cherry puree, and prosecco.
Quill at The Jefferson, 1200 16th Street NW; 202-448-2300.
At Elisir, an intriguing smoked-cherry reduction is mixed with Sambuca and spice dram for the Crush Velvet cocktail ($12).
Elisir, 427 11th Street NW; 202-546-0088.
Three words: cherry bourbon slushies. Pizzeria Orso’s seasonal concoction is an icy and boozy mix of cherries, bourbon, fresh orange juice, and lemonade ($9).
Pizzeria Orso, 400 South Maple Avenue, Falls Church; 703-226-3460.
Advertisement
Photos: Courtesy of The Jefferson Hotel; Pizzeria Orso
Advertisement

More from Washington, D.C.

Folks, it might be time to consider relocating. The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released a report measuring price disparities across different ...
From the east to the west, the U.S. is sprinkled with various “Old Towns," from Old Town San Diego to Old Town Albuquerque. But Virginia's Old Town ...
Rihanna took her reign south after receiving her tens at the Miyake-Mugler "Porcelain: A Sanctuary of Ostentatious Extravagance" vogue ball in Astoria, ...
What does our Washington, D.C. editor Holly Thomas have in common with Ellie Goulding? A love of running, obviously. Both of them hit the Nike Women Half ...
You can't always get what you want. But, if you try sometimes, you just might find — wait, we got off track. You can't always get what you want, and on ...
On one special night of the year, the men and women in D.C. trade in their pocket protectors and ID lanyards for pocket squares and custom gowns to attend ...
In D.C., the White House has issued a list of recommendations to colleges about how they should handle and prevent sexual assault on campus. (The ...
How do you like to start your day? What news show do you like to kick it off with? We don’t play favorites. Instead we feature anchors we love, one being ...
While buttery leather bags, luxe facial serums, and glitzy baubles are certainly splurge-worthy, we're making the case that original artwork is the ...
Thanks for joining us for this month's final book club discussion, where we're hashing over the last three chapters of Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch and ...
Welcome back to the R29 Book Club! If this is your first time with us, we've just gotten through the middle portion of The Goldfinch. So, let's dive ...
We’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to getting in shape, we've used all sorts of excuses to try to get out of a tough workout. One that really ...
Normally, when someone asks us what we're wearing to brunch, the answer is "Something stretchy, duh." After all, this is only the most perfect meal of the ...
The best way to describe how you'll feel after watching Anita, a new documentary on Anita Hill? Flattened — whether simply by the film itself, or by all ...