The District’s most festive holiday cocktail offerings this season

Media Credit: Krishna Rajpara I Assistant Photo Editor

The pop-up’s "Elfing Around" cocktail ($16) swiftly emerged after scanning the menu as a stand-out option for the drink’s aromatic and masterful blend of spices.

Rock the night away with a dazzling selection of holiday cocktails from around the District that are sure to welcome in the joyful season.

Take a break from finals to mix and a-mingle at nearby bars, restaurants and pop-ups with a festive drink in hand. From Adams Morgan to 14th Street to Dupont Circle, discover some of the most merry and bright seasonal cocktails, like a festive take on a Cosmopolitan and spiked hot cocoa, to finish the semester on a celebratory – and boozy – note.

Urban Roast’s “White Peppermint Espresso Martini”
For fans of Starbucks’ Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha, this wintery martini ($17) will tastefully hit the spot with an added kick. Crafted with vodka, kahlua and espresso, the cocktail packs decent strength and a bitter coffee taste, both balanced out by the sweet white chocolate and peppermint syrup. The martini doesn’t err on the side of too sweet, and the hint of peppermint won’t overshadow the smooth espresso flavor central to the drink. Before you take your first sip of the thin, frothy lining at the top, stir the contents so the white chocolate doesn’t settle at the bottom.

Urban Roast, a Penn Quarter restaurant and bar specializing in seasonal offerings year-round, boasts an extensive collection of 13 holiday drinks this season. Check out their “Baileys Campfire Hot Cocoa” ($15) served with whipped cream or the “Holly Jolly ‘Rita” ($17) made with tequila, triple sec, white cranberry juice, a homemade sour mix and grenadine for a more fruity option. Sip on this chilly and elegant martini as you admire the restaurant’s extensive holiday decor – complete with colorful lighting, presents hanging from the ceiling at the bar and a snowy wonderland in a dining room.

916 G St. NW. Seasonal cocktails offered for a limited time. Find hours and make a reservation here.

Death Punch’s “Elfing Around”
You’ll find strings of Christmas lights, festive balloons, nutcrackers and a classic Christmas movie playing on the TV at Adams Morgan sushi bar Death Punch’s holiday pop-up, “Miracle.” But most importantly, you’ll discover a list of Christmas cocktails that range from tropical drinks like the “Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r!” ($16) with Barbados rum, rhum agricole, Trinidad overproof rum, ube, coconut and pineapple to the “Hot Buttered Rum” ($16), crafted with aged Jamaican rum and spiced butter.

The pop-up’s “Elfing Around” cocktail ($16) swiftly emerged after scanning the menu as a stand-out option for the drink’s aromatic and masterful blend of spices. Complemented with bitters, the cocktail’s mulled wine reduction elicits the crisp chill of a cold winter’s night and will make you want to snuggle up by the fireplace with a soft blanket. A slight bubble from the prosecco adds an enticing layer to the drink, but the gorgeously spiced and fruity flavor from the reduction masks most of the alcoholic kick from the sparkly wine and gin. Even for those who don’t celebrate Christmas, usher in the merriment and jolliness of the season with this chilly cocktail.

2321 18th St. NW. Pop-up runs through Dec. 31. Open daily from noon to 2 or 3 a.m. Make a reservation here.

Death Punch’s “Christmapolitan”
For those looking for a holiday beverage that is less sweet but plenty festive, Miracle’s “Christmapolitan” ($17) is the way to go. Like the classic Cosmopolitan, this jolly cocktail includes vodka, spiced cranberry sauce and lime as a base. But its notes of elderflower, dry vermouth, rosemary and absinthe mist are what set it apart from its everyday counterpart and add some holiday flare with musky notes.

The elderflower’s subtle notes of fresh pear and lychee compliment the sourness of the cranberry juice wonderfully, while the bitter herbal and floral infusions in the dry vermouth mask the sweetness in the drink. The rosemary adds a muskiness to the drink’s sophisticated flavor profile. A light misting of absinthe spirits, complete with notes of fennel and green anise, elevates the drink beyond your wildest expectations of any holiday-themed cocktail.

2321 18th St. NW. Pop-up runs through Dec. 31. Open daily from noon to 2 or 3 a.m. Make a reservation here.

Residents’ “Pomegranate”
Residents is nestled on a quieter side street in Dupont Circle, set away from surrounding lively bars and restaurants. With an unmatched, boho chic atmosphere and decor updates for all four seasons, the inviting bar specializes in an ever-evolving seasonal drink menu, including everything from the “Pomegranate” ($17) to the “Green Apple” ($17).

Leading up to the winter months, the “Pomegranate” acts as a simple and understated yet satisfying choice to ring in the holidays. The brightly colored crimson drink sits in a tall, clear glass topped with crushed ice cubes and a heaping sprig of mint leaves, mimicking a Christmassy aesthetic. Notes of lime and cinnamon compliment the fresh pomegranate juice, while curacao orange campari and tequila blanco add the necessary buzz and mute the sweeter flavors in the cocktail.

1306 18th St. NW. Seasonal cocktails offered for a limited time. Find hours and make a reservation here.

Garden District’s “Santa’s Little Helper”
Garden District is one of 14th Street’s many beer gardens, but its unassuming-yet-appealing outdoor holiday decorations like light-up Santa statues, candy canes and garlands set it apart from its competitors during the winter season. In addition to beer from local breweries, customers can order a variety of cozy, warm beverages from the limited-time holiday menu in the outdoor patio’s casual seating area.

Garden District’s “Santa’s Little Helper” ($12) is a simple-yet-delicious take on spiked hot cocoa, mixed with peppermint schnapps for a minty and boozy kick. The two heaping marshmallows sitting atop of the drink are roasted to perfection, adding a necessary sweetness when dipped into the strong drink. The peppermint, chocolate and marshmallow flavors come together to create a harmonious blend. If you’re in search of a no-nonsense seasonal beverage to put you in the holiday spirit without all the bells and whistles, this drink is for you.

1801 14th St. NW. Seasonal cocktails offered for a limited time. Get more information here.

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