Cherry blossom season is a big deal around here -- so it's hardly a surprise that some brightly colored cocktails are celebrating the start of spring.
Local bars and cocktail artists have created a healthy lineup of cherry blossom-themed cocktails in honor of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Here are some of our top picks to help you survive tourist season:
- Park Hyatt Washington (1201 24th St. NW): Southern Blossom cocktail ($14) made with cherry-infused rye, lemon juice, carpano antica, simple syrup, and cherry bitters with a cherry and flamed orange peel for garnish.
- Daikaya (705 6th St. NW): Black Cherry Old Fashioned ($10), made of modified Bird Dog bourbon, Daikaya old-fashioned bitters and black cherry syrup, garnished with a twist of lemon peel. Bark & Bite Fizz ($11), made with Lento Kokuto brown sugar shochu and Wild Cherry Phosphate soda garnished with a lemon peel. The Gift ($13), made from IICHIKO Barley Shochu, Cocchi di Torino Vermouth Rosso, Kiuchi no Shizuku and Bittercube Orange Bitters served in a cocktail coupe and garnished with a preserved edible cherry blossom.
- Barmini by José Andrés (855 E St. NW): six original cocktails ($12-$20 each) created to celebrate four centuries of friendship between Spain and Japan. Yoshimi Kicks the Bad Guys, made from shōchu, freshly squeezed lime and grapefruit juice, simple syrup and shiso leaves. La Japonesa, created from coconut cream, matcha cream, white rum, simple syrup and sudachi. The Nakamura, made with cucumber vodka, Junmai Ginjo sake, fresh lime juice, cucumber water and Wasanbon sugar. Shima ilo Ōjo, made of shōchu, Nigori sake, yuzu and calpico. Sakura Tori, made with gin, Sakura honey, amontillado Sherry, sudachi and orange bitters. Tokyo Soul, made with pisco infused with jasmine green tea, St. Germain liqueur, fresh grapefruit juice and club soda. Cherry blossom-themed snacks will also be provided, including the Unagi Steam Bun ($10) and the Uni Deviled Egg ($7).
- St. Regis Bar 9 (923 16th St. NW): the Yoshino 1935, created from Japanese single-malt whiskey, cherry liqeur, Dolin sweet vermouth, orange juice, egg white and bitters garnished with branded cherry.
- Masa 14(1825 14th St. NW): Rosy Rickey ($12), made from a combination of bourbon, house-made cherry simple syrup, fresh lime and soda.
- Ambar (523 8th Street, SE, 20003), will be giving their Balkan peninsulan dishes a modern twist for the cherry blossom theme -- case in point: the Cherry Cvet, made with srpska trojka cherry brandy, gin, fresh lime juice, cranberry, simple syrup, egg white and bitters for $12.