As the leaves start to turn and the hot, humid DC summers turn to the crisp cool fall, Washingtonians start thinking about what seasonal cocktails they’ll be drinking. From beers to the virgin apple cider, these places are where to drink this fall.
Art & Soul
415 New Jersey Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Chefs Art Smith and Wes Morton combine their love for Southern cooking and the area’s best seasonal ingredients. Their cocktails are no different. Serving up the best of the seasonal ingredients in their perfectly balanced craft cocktails makes for delicious fall drinks. This fall, the traditional Italian Campari cocktail, the Negroni, takes a fall twist as the Blanc Negroni made with Damrak gin is mixed with Galliano and Perucchi vermouth that is spiced with orange bitters and garnished with an orange peel. Enjoy the seasonal drinks with the delicious Southern meals or snacks at the bar.
405 8th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
The upscale, rustic, cozy European seafood restaurant Azur serves up local, sustainable and seasonal fare. It’s no wonder that it would feature seasonal cocktails as well. This fall in particular, Azur is celebrating seasonal and local with a series of monthly cocktail classes designed for the Washingtonian to make craft cocktails at home. The series kicks off on September 28 with local DC distillery Green Hat Gin. It’ll feature talks with the distillery, learning how to create bottled cocktails at home, three or four cocktails to drink while you’re there and passed hors d’oeuvres for $35. October’s event will feature Italian cocktails and November’s will shake up Thanksgiving cocktails.
2427 18th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
Nothing says fall more than pumpkins and cider. Adding pumpkin to your beer is just a great idea and no one carries more pumpkin ales than Black Squirrel. Poised in Adams Morgan, the Black Squirrel is a cozy restaurant in an old row house that offers three levels of bars and a great draught list. If there’s a certain beer that you’re looking for, be sure to check with the bartender before sitting down as each floor has different lines. If you’re just there to sample the spectrum of pumpkin beers from the subtle hints to those that mimic pumpkin pie, you can order a smaller taster size.
3400 11th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20010
When you’re looking for a cozy place to hang out and have a seasonal drink, head over to Meridian Pint. Situated in Columbia Heights, the decor alone with its plethora of modern lodge wood with rustic accents instantly makes you feel at ease. The draft list includes nearly two dozen constantly changing taps that feature local, regional and national brews. Meridian Pint focuses on the best of the brewers, so you’ll find a delicious selection of seasonal beers from pumpkin to Octoberfest. Served as a pint or taster, the draughts are the main feature. There’s also an impressive cider list for the seasonal fermented apple juice. If the weather is nice, sit out on the patio and enjoy the quiet street with a residential feel.
Twin Springs Fruit Farm
Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market
1735 20th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
If you’re looking for the most delicious apple cider in DC, you can find it at the Sunday Dupont Circle Farmers Market from Twin Springs Fruit Farm. The farm is situated in Orrtanna, Pennsylvania and has been bringing the fruits of its labor to the DC markets for more than 30 years. During the height of the season, the farm will press up to 250 bushels of apples a week to satiate Washington’s craving for a perfectly balanced, robust apple cider. It can be served straight up, mulled with your favorite spices or mixed into a seasonal cocktail. The versatile blend of tart and sweet apples lends itself to anyone’s favorite fall beverage. Sold by the pint, quart, half gallon and gallon, it’s important to get to the market early so you don’t miss out.
Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isn’t enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamie’s traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.