It’s the most delicious time of the year! DC Cocktail Week is back in action and we have your (mini) guide to some of the best sips and bites in the city. If you don’t know about DC Cocktail Week, think of it as your excuse to branch out and try new things. It’s a celebration of the District’s ability to produce amazing food and killer cocktails at the same time. We’re lucky to live in a place that’s jam-packed with this much talent.
And what makes DC Cocktail Week so special? From November 18 to 24, you can swing by any of the 35+ bars and restaurants participating and grab a curated cocktail that’s been paired with a bite (usually for the price of a single drink). It’s a low cost way to sip on some new bevs and snack your way around the city. If eating and drinking are your two favorite hobbies, this week was tailor-made for you.
THE PAIRING: The fine folks at DBGB are serving up a boozy (and very autumnal) whiskey / beer cocktail featuring an allspice dram, their house-made chai tea syrup, a spritz of lemon and (the piece de resistance) a dose of Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. If that wasn’t enough to win you over, they’re pairing it with an even more autumnal slice of roasted squash crostini with a sprinkle of goat cheese.
RIYL (RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE): Brisk walks through golden hued forests, the lingering vestiges of Halloween, pumpkin spice lattes with booze and a toast way better than anything made with avocado.
THE PAIRING: The District’s favorite cafe / bar hybrid is celebrating DC Cocktail Week with a pairing that will make you long for summer. Take a sip of Kissing a Mortal, a cocktail made with a toasted coconut infused scotch, Colombian rum, sweet vermouth, Don Ciccio’s Ambrosia and angostura bitters that have been infused with urfa chile peppers. Follow that up with a succulent bite of their fried chicken topped with a zippy citrus aioli and slivers of pickled relish. The pairing is $14 an available after 5 p.m.
RIYL (RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE): Boulevardiers, stoic philosophers, Hanky Pankys, abandoned beach towns during the off season, the memories of a family meal and anything bitter.
Try our the pairing at The Royal’s DC Cocktail Week happy hour on November 20 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be complimentary tastings of Catoctin Creek liquor.
THE PAIRING: Make your way over to 14th Street and feast your eyes on one of the most beautiful cocktail pairings you’ve ever seen. Bresca is showing off their Bat & Lion drink, which happens to be bar manager Will Patton’s 2020 Bacardi Legacy Finalist cocktail. Made with Bacardi superior rum, honeydew juice, coconut white shoyu syrup, St. Germain and lime, it’s crisp and refreshing with some surprising (in a good way) umami notes. While you’re imbining, enjoy a bite of one of Bresca’s most popular dishes, their Scallop Mi-Cuit with seasonal turnips. Get it all for $26.
RIYL (RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE): Pisco, the smell of salt water clinging to your clothes, Daiquiris, exploring rocky tide pools in the sun, ceviche and the seasonal confusion of Christmas in July.
THE PAIRING: Pretend you’re in Miami with Pisco Y Nazca’s beachy food and drink combo. Featuring a classic and refreshing Pisco Sour (made with Pisco, lime, sugar and egg whites, just in case you’re not familiar) with a side of their traditional ceviche (made with delicious leche de tigre, crunchy cancha, choclo, sweet potato and fish), it’s a Peruvian vacation in your mouth. Enjoy it all for $18.
RIYL (RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE): Bars you can swim up to, buying too many limes at the liquor store, the crisp feeling of a newly printed plane ticket and a freshly pressed white linen shirt.
THE PAIRING: Settle down next to the outdoor fire on the winterized patio and dive headfirst into a steaming cup of Jugo de Volcan. A mixture of red wine, cinnamon, clove and honey, it will keep you warm and toasty no matter the temperature. In between sips, feast your eyes (and your stomach) on their Choripan, a chorizo sausage bathed in chimichurri and topped with pickled onions. It’ll give you the energy to survive a brisk D.C. winter for the price of $22.
RIYL (RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE): In the words of owner Carlie Steiner, “Making sweet love in an alpine range.”
Try out the pairing at Dos Mamis’ DC Cocktail Week happy hour on November 19 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.