Celebrate spooky season with these 10 unique cocktails available around the D.C. area.
Looking for more cocktail content? Check out our article on other spots in the city.
There’s nothing scarier than a hangover, but sometimes the cocktail makes it worth it. As we celebrate all things spooky this season, we like to pair our scary movies or costume parties with a nice drink. So put away your witch’s brew (or whatever concoction gets served to you at your friend’s Halloween party) and pick up one of these craft cocktails available around D.C. And because the thrill of Halloween candy never gets old, we’ve paired each local libation with a classic candy for the ultimate grown-up treat.
Autumn Leaves at House Bar
As the leaves begin to change and fall to the ground, what better way to cherish one of nature’s many wonders than with a drink? You may be asking yourself, “What is so scary about the leaves changing?” To that I say, “4 p.m. sunsets.” Throughout October, sample House Bar’s latest drink in store. If it tastes like something you’d want to hide in your water bottle as you take your kids trick-or-treating, the ingredients are available to purchase till December. The cocktail plays with fruitier flavors with ingredients like aperol, apple-rosemary syrup and lemon juice. To compliment the fruity nature of this drink, I’d enjoy it with Skittles.1299 1st St. SE, Suite 101, DC; housebar.com // @livehousebar
Autumnal Inspirations at Smoke and Mirrors
Smoke and Mirrors currently offers three unique autumnal-inspired cocktails that will get you in the spooky mood. First is their Not So Hot Chocolate, featuring a chocolate-infused mezcal. Naturally, I’d pair this drink with a classic Hershey’s bar for a double chocolate hit. If chocolate isn’t your cup of tea, try out the Harvest Moon. This rum-based drink could go well with caramel, so dig into the corners of your kid’s candy-filled pillowcase and pull out that one caramel candy you got from the old person in your neighborhood. Last, not to be missed is their Spice Up the Capital. This rum and brandy-based drink plays off fruity flavors and could best be paired with one of my personal favorite candies: gummy bears. 867 New Jersey Ave. SE, DC; smokeandmirrorsrooftop.com // @smokeandmirrorsrooftop
Ch-EYE-ko Sour at ChiKo
The Ch-EYE-ko Sour is ChiKo’s first menu change since Phil Anova transitioned from bar director at Anju to beverage director of the Fried Rice Collective. The cocktail is just in time for spooky season, and features a float of sangria over a combination of mezcal and lychee sour mix. The drink is garnished with lychee stuffed with cherries to look like eyeballs and reminds me of the PBS show “Oobi,” which scared me as a kid, so it’s perfect for spooky season. Lychee is said to pair well with the ever controversial white chocolate, so try it with a Hershey’s cookies and cream bar. 423 8th St. SE, DC; mychiko.com // @chikofrc
El Coco Be-Witched at Café Unido
When you’re taking your kid trick-or-treating and you’ve already gotten enough steps to get you off the hook for the next three days but there’s still a barrage of houses left, this cocktail is for you. Café Unido is serving up a concoction to help take the edge off, while giving you the little boost to finish the day: a mix of rum and coffee liqueur. The secret blend of coconut and spices add a unique flavor to the cocktail. This drink would go best with the bane of every trick-or-treat haul: a Mounds bar. 908 W St. NW, DC; cafeunido.com // @cafeunidousa
Kuro Tenshi at Zeppelin
Zeppelin presents their take on a Smoked Black Manhattan. When translated, the drink means “black angel” in Japanese. This may sound crazy, and depending on your taste in candy, you’ll either love or resent this pairing, but some argue candy corn works with a Manhattan due to the sugary nature of the candy and the bitter taste of the drink. I personally find Candy Corn similar to sugar wax, but I also find whiskey and bourbon drinkers to have questionable taste. 1544 9th St. NW, DC; zeppelindc.com // @zeppelindc
La Catrina at Serenata
In homage to the art of José Guadalupe Posada and inspired by the history of Día de los Muertos, Serenta created the La Catrina. This cocktail takes a savory approach, pulling from flavors like corn and garbanzo while also incorporating the cult-classic pumpkin spice flavor. Play into the pumpkin spice of it all and pair this drink with your favorite cinnamon candy. 1280 4th St. NE, DC; serenatadc.com // @serenatadc
Mon Sherry Amour Menu at Show of Hands
Show of Hands, located in The Roost food hall, is launching their Mon Sherry Amour cocktail menu, a series of Sherry-based cocktails. Some highlights include the Fall Fruit Cobbler, a cocktail combining a brown butter sherry and pumpkin, and the Frog Autumn, a combination of apple and sherry. I would recommend pairing both cocktails with a Milky Way, as sherry works well with chocolate and caramel. 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, DC; therootssedc.com // @showofhandsdc
Persian Sazerac at Joon
Joon is offering a new perspective on the classic sazerac cocktail by incorporating Aragh Rinse, a Persian moonshine. Nougat works well with VSOP cognac, featured in the Persian Sazerac, so try a Three Musketeers with this cocktail. 8045 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA; eatjoon.com // @eat.joon
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