Believe it or not, there’s more to seasonal drinks than pumpkin spice lattes. Even cocktails can have a seasonal spin, with ingredients that highlight the spicy, warm, and smoky flavors we associate with fall. Check out one of these five cocktail bars in NoVA to try a fall cocktail that’s sure to keep you warm this season.
This Balkan restaurant in Arlington is rolling out four special fall cocktails, crafted by mixologist Radovan Jankovic. Among them is the Harvest Time, a blend of quince rakia (a type of fruit spirit popular in the Balkans), blended scotch, and a ginger and honey syrup. Also try out the Apricot Meets Corn, the Skoplje, and the Pomegranate Kiss. 2901 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, $16
Sense of Thai St. went all out with its fall menu, to go with its seasonal Nightmare on Exchange Street theme. Try the So Appalled for an unexpected mix of Applejack, aquavit, vermouth, apple cider, and celery bitters. It’s all topped off with soda and garnished with mint and lime. 20413 Exchange St., Ashburn, $14
Molasses bitters and clove syrup make this cocktail warm and spicy. They’re shaken up with Cynar (an amaro aperitivo made primarily of artichoke), Appleton Estate rum, and an egg white to give it a smooth, foamy texture. Non-drinkers at the table can enjoy an apple or pear mocktail for $5 each. 24 S. King St., Leesburg, $12.50
The ever-changing pop-up bar in Del Ray has taken on a Halloween theme, and the drinks are no exception. Try the Pumpkin Royale if you’re a pumpkin-spice lover. It’s vanilla vodka mixed with pumpkin spice Rumchata, Bailey’s Irish cream, and cinnamon cayenne syrup. 2312 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, $14.95
Sip on this smoky, complex fall cocktail at WHINO. It’s a blend of Woodford Reserve straight rye whiskey with Amaro Averna — an herbal, bitter aperitivo — with black walnut bitters, a cinnamon vanilla honey syrup for a dash of sweetness, and a smoked cinnamon stick to garnish. To take it over the top, have it flamed tableside with mini marshmallows for an additional $2. 4238 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, $16
Feature image of the Harvest Time by Hawkeye Johnson Photography, courtesy Ambar
For more stories like this, subscribe to Northern Virginia Magazine’s Food newsletter.