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Where to Drink During the Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C.

by Lanna Nguyen on Mar 19, 2018 in Roundups

Cherry blossom season is in full effect - for the next four weeks, expect beautiful blooms, flocks of tourists and of course, food and drinks inspired by DC’s greatest springtime celebration.
Check out 701’s specialty springtime cocktail, the Mayim Bialik: Giffard, apricot liqueur, Aperol, Dolin sweet vermouth, grapefruit simple syrup, Peychaud’s bitters, and prosecco, garnished with a brandied cherry and edible pansies. (701 Pennsylvania Ave, NW; 202-393-0701)
In honor of the cherry blossoms, Ambar’s Clarendon location will serve up the Visnja Sour with cherry-infused rakia, lime juice, simple syrup infused with cherries, and absinthe garnished with a cherry. (2901 Wilson Blvd, Arlington; 703-875-9663)
Concocted by Executive Pastry Chef Alex Levin, try Alta Strada’s Cherry Blossom Sgroppino - a boozy float made with two scoops of house-made sorbet (black and sour cherries with a hint of orange blossom water), topped with a Prosecco float. Available at both the City Vista and Mosaic District locations through April 15. (multiple locations).
Chef Ryan Hackney’s cherry blossom-inspired tasting menu includes items such as Shitake Salad (chicken thigh, kombu, mustard greens), Foie Gras (black garlic, miso and sunflower seeds), Jingisaka Crudo (topped with yuzu, tamari, and egg yolk) and two ramen dishes. The special Bird & Blossom five-course menu is available for $50 with the option of $20 cocktail pairings March 21 - April 15. (1337 11th St, NW; 202-518-3609)
The downtown Italian eatery will serve up a Cherry Blossom Cocktail made with dark red cherries, lemon juice, sugar, and rum, topped with prosecco. (1100 New York Ave, NW; 202-216-9550)
The Belgian brasserie is getting into the cherry blossom spirit with cherry-infused menu items including Pan-seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with macerated Bing Cherries and Vanilla Essence served with Brioche - pair it with the Boon Oude Kriek - an aged cherry lambic - for just $6. (1101 K St, NW; 202-408-1717)
Indulge in a three-course, cherry-inspired prix fixe dinner with courses including Baby Spring Greens (cherries, shaved asparagus, ramp leaves, warm goat cheese croutons, cherry vinaigrette), Crispy Skin Duck Breast (sauteed asparagus, parsnip puree, cherry demi glace) and finishing off with a Sour Cherry Pie. Sip on cocktails like the Weeping Cherry (Backroom Rye, Warre’s Fine White port, Corridor cherry cordial and Bittermen’s orange citrate bitters) or try the Rolling Stone Fruit made with WildJune gin, Embassy Row creme de menthe, lime jam and cherry puree. (1414 U St, NW; 202-629-3787)
The local distillery recently launched its new Cerasum - a bitter aperitivo made with an infusion of three different kinds of cherries, sakura blossoms and 10 select roots and herbs - perfect for sprucing up traditional cocktails like a negroni, americano, boulevardier or spritz during cherry blossom season. (6031 Kansas Ave, NW; 202-957-7792)
At the Gaylord, Old Hickory Steakhouse will be highlighting a special cocktail: The Fallen Samurai made with single malt whiskey, benedictine, sweet vermouth, cane syrup and cherry bitters. Or, traipse over to the Belvedere Lobby Bar and sample the Sakura with sake, elderflower liqueur, house-made raspberry and vanilla syrup and fresh lemon juice. Both cocktails available through April 15. (301 Waterfront St, National Harbor; 301-965-4000)
As part of an ongoing wine seminar series, Joselito will host a Cherry Blossom themed seminar on April 9. Lead by Sommelier Gustavo Iniesta, hear all about roses to enjoy this coming spring. 7-8 PM. (660 Pennsylvania Ave, SE; 202-930-6955)
Starting March 22, the laid back wine bar will serve Distillery Lane Ciderworks’ 2018 batch of Spring Blossom - a cider blended with fermented sour cherry juice. (2446 18th St, NW; 202-232-7663)
The whimsical Forest Among the Clouds made with gin, Tahitian vanilla, black pepper and burnt thyme is available through April 6 in honor of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. (1090 I St, NW; 202-602-1832)
The downtown Mexican cocina will serve up two specialty cocktails for cherry blossom season: the Cherry Sour (Glenmorangie, Luxardo cherry liqueur, house-made cherry syrup, yuzu, egg whites and Angostura bitters) and the Strawberry Blossoms (Milagro tequila, yuzu, house-made strawberry syrup, and house-made lychee syrup, garnished with a Tajin rim and edible flowers). (600 14th St, NW; 202-393-1900)
The swanky, subterranean bar will be serving up a Cherry Blossom-Tini made with Bombay Sapphire, apple brandy, cherry liqueur, simple syrup and lemon juice. (16th and H St, NW; 202-942-7599)
Throughout the Festival, enjoy a sweet snack with Pennsylvania 6’s Cherry Blossom Bliss bowl - featuring Dolci Gelati’s Cherry Blossom Gelato made with berry compote, red wine meringue and toasted almonds. (1350 Eye St, NW; 202-796-1600)
The Mediterranean restaurant homage to cherry blossoms comes in the form of it’s cocktail “Blossoms Are For…” made with Glendalough Mountain Strength Poitin, St-Germain, Angry Orchard Rose and topped with edible flowers. (515 15th St, NW; 202-661-2440)
With a nod to Japanese flavors and cherry blossoms, TenPenh will be pouring the Blossoming Boulevardier throughout the season. It’s made with Suntory Toki Japanese whiskey, cherry liqueur, Aperol, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, Regan’s Orange Bitters and a house-preserved cherry garnish. (7900 Westpark Dr, McLean; 703-910-3096)
A springtime libation perfect for cherry blossom season, sip on the Spring Snow - made with Akashi Japanese whiskey, Cocchi Torino vermouth, Luxardo maraschino liqueur and cherry blossom bitters garnished with a maraschino cherry, apple blossom petals and flowers. (800 Connecticut Ave, NW; 202-463-8700)
At the Rosewood Hotel, sip on the Gyoiko (named for the variety of cherry blossom tree planted in the White House) - rye, cherry syrup, benedictine and lime juice garnished with an edible cherry blossom flower. Available throughout the Festival. (1050 31st N St, NW; 202-617-2424)
Photo via Hay-Adams
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