Whether it’s a refreshing pilsner based on a 100-year-old recipe, a cider that captures the essence of local strawberries, a nutty chilled espresso treat or an over-the-top cocktail served alongside a mini horse, these four drinks are sure to make you chill out.
Salamander Resort & Spa
Cupcake, a brown and white, 5-year-old miniature horse, has become a photo favorite at the Salamander, which is known for its sprawling barn complex. On Friday and Saturday afternoons during guest check-in, the mini equine is trotted out to the lobby for happy hour featuring the “Cupcake” signature cocktail—made with dark and milk chocolate Godiva liqueurs, vanilla vodka and finished with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles. It’s adorable and sweet, just like its namesake. // 500 N. Pendleton St., Middleburg
Berry Good Friends Strawberry Cider
A 2016 bumper crop of Wegmeyer Farm, strawberries sparked a unique collaboration between Leesburg winemaker Doug Fabbioli and grower Tyler Wegmeyer. The 100 percent strawberry sparkler proved to be so popular it sold out mid-season. Last year, Fabbioli doubled production to 320 cases, which will hopefully get everyone through the stickiest months of 2018. The fruit is fermented like grapes during the wine making process and the brew is then conditioned like cider, with a blast of carbon dioxide for fizz. The result is a bright, not-too-sweet drink, akin to a bottled strawberry mimosa. // 15669 Limestone School Road, Leesburg
The small-production brewhouse in the developing West End area of Alexandria celebrated its first anniversary in March. Its flagship pilsner is based on a pre-Prohibition recipe from owners’ Catherine and Margaret Portner’s great-great grandfather Robert Portner, whose brewery opened in what is now Old Town in 1869 (a Trader Joe’s now stands on the site). The beer—a top seller at Robert Portner’s original brewery—is 5.9 percent ABV and made with six-row malted barley, corn, rice and Cluster hops, which give it clarity and crispness. // 5770 Dow Ave., Alexandria
The Italian Store
In late 2017, The Italian Store’s Westover location purchased a unique machine from Italy, designed specifically for heating and dispensing the country’s famed hazelnut cocoa spread, Nutella. While it is mainly used for filling puffy bomboloni pastries, it can also mix the cult favorite spread into drinks at the store’s tiny coffee bar. The Nutella Caldo combines warm Nutella with espresso, which is then layered with cold milk and topped with unsweetened cocoa. Order it over ice and try not to scrape the thick layers of nutty chocolate off the sides of your glass. // 5837 Washington Blvd., Arlington