When it comes to a great cocktail, the tried-and-true classics are hard to beat. If you’re on the lookout for a bar that can serve up a masterfully crafted margarita, old fashioned, or gin and tonic, try our editor’s picks for the best classic cocktails in NoVA.
Ditch the frozen options and run, don’t walk, straight to the signature margarita, made with Lunazul Blanco Tequila and orange juice. The spicy version, with habanero hot sauce, is a fun kick in the taste buds for the adventurous — or try the ginger or hibiscus versions. We also love the margarita flight, because why choose one? 540 John Carlyle St., Alexandria
A maple old-fashioned can veer sweet, but the one at Salt — made with Knob Creek Rye, aromatic bitters, and maple syrup — is well-balanced, with smokiness and syrup playing off each other in a must-have-another-sip way. It’s the ideal accompaniment to a late-night meetup in this moody Rosslyn bar. 1201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
Gin & Tonic
The sheer array of gins at this British pub in Vienna is admirable: The list includes 20, from Beefeater London Dry to Bombay Bramble, all listed with tonic suggestions. Our preference is the Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla, a gin made with orange essences and other botanicals. Here, it’s served with premium Aromatic Tonic Water and, of course, an orange wedge. 435 Maple Ave. W., Vienna