After weeks of heat emergencies and 90 degree highs, fall has finally started to settle on the District. Corn mazes are open, it’s seasonally appropriate to carve a pumpkin and I’ve even started to see a few people wearing sweaters. Because D.C. is D.C., it’s still a little warmer than we’d like it (this week started out with some balmy 80 degree weather), so we’ve conjured six (six six) cocktails from some of our favorite D.C. bars that will permanently get you in the fall mood.
From their dark red and golden leaf-esque hues to their rich and complex natures, these drinks will make you feel like you’re living inside of Hocus Pocus. Our forever dream.
If you’d rather be at a bonfire…
THE DRINK: Ticinese
THE BAR: Stable
A mix of Catoctin Creek rye, D.C.’s very own Don Ciccio Nocino, fresh figs and beets, Stable’s Ticinese 12 doesn’t just look like fall in a glass, it tastes like it too. There’s a little spice from the rye, a little sweetness from the figs and a little earthiness from the Nocino, which is a liqueur made with green walnuts. It’s crisp but complex, like the first chilly bite of an autumn night. As a fun side note, the name of the cocktail is the Swiss word for the Italian speaking folks from canton Ticino in Switzerland. Knowledge!
If you’d rather be on a hike…
THE DRINK: Live Free Chai Hard
THE BAR: Seven Reasons
This 14th Street up-and-comer might be decked out in summer-y hues (the two story bar and restaurant is filled with greenery that creeps up the walls), but they sure know how to make a cocktail that feels like fall. The delightfully named Live Free Chai Hard packs the spice of a good chai with its combination of tea (duh), Glenlivet scotch, vanilla, chocolate bitters and a house made salted white chocolate foam (say that three times fast). It’s the kind of bev we could pound down before a hiking Sugarloaf Mountain or the drink we’d like to sip on while walking through Rock Creek. I wonder if they’ll fill my flask…
If you’d rather be watching a scary movie…
THE DRINK: The Birds
THE BAR: Truxton Inn
The Truxton Inn may only be a few years old, but it’s old time-y lounge atmosphere makes every corner of the bar look like it could be haunted. And that’s why we love it! In honor of the changing seasons, Truxton Inn has released an Alfred Hitchcock themed cocktail menu that’s filled with autumnal gems, but our personal favorite is The Birds. Made with bourbon, Cotton & Reed’s allspice, lime, maple, egg white and bitters, it’s pairs perfectly with a black and white old timey horror movie. The spice, the smoke and the luxurious creamy texture from the egg whites makes this the ultimate night cap.
If you’d rather be walking through a corn maze…
THE DRINK: A Perfect “Pear”
THE BAR: Art and Soul
With its dark fall hue and delicate sliver of a pear garnish, A Perfect “Pear” embodies those transitional days between summer and fall. Featuring brandy, green chartreuse, a pear wine reduction and lemon, the drink is bright and refreshing, like taking that last bite of a ripe summer fruit, but there’s an underlying complexity that makes the cocktail feel richer. It would be a delightful drink anytime of day, but it especially reminds us of a crisp fall morning. It’s the kind of cocktail we’d like to imbibe before getting lost in a corn maze.
If you’d rather be carving a pumpkin…
THE DRINK: Slumber Party
THE BAR: Bar Deco
Our coffee consumption definitely spikes during the fall, so it’s no wonder we keep dreaming about Bar Deco’s aptly named Slumber Party cocktail. Made with coffee infused mezcal, Campari and Cocchi vermouth, the drink is a play off our favorite summer drink, the bitter and refreshing Negroni. Subbing the gin for a coffee infused mezcal transforms the drink, making it into the type of cocktail we can see ourselves drinking all fall long. Grab a glass and let it fuel your all night pumpkin carving / horror movie slumber party. We’re waiting for our invite.
If you’d rather be wearing a sweater…
THE DRINK: Cocktail Without a Country
THE BAR: Bresca
If this cocktail was a college student, it would be the rich kid that studied abroad for five semesters. A mixture of Earl Grey and pear infused brandy, mint, plum wine, dry white port and a reduced Malbec paint, this drink is a heady mix of flavors that shift as you drink it. There’s a bit of sweetness from the pear brandy, but it also has a lot of earthy flavors and a strong shock of mint. This is the kind of drink you want to mull over in your candlelit study, while you wear a thick cable knit sweater and smoke a strong cigar.