35+ Unique DC Cherry Blossom Cocktails and Recipes

Spring means cherry blossom cocktails and seasonal drinks across the Washington, D.C. area.

Although we haven’t seen the Starbucks Cherry Blossom Frappuccino pop up in a while, there are plenty of cherry blossom teas, beers and cocktails to quench your thirst.

Washington DC Cherry Blossom Tips

As soon as March rolls around, locals know that the Washington, D.C. bars will be offering something special, and generally pink. All you have to do to try one is head out to your local bar, restaurant or hotel.

Can’t make that trip to D.C.? Don’t worry! We’ve got a few cherry blossom cocktail recipes from our favorite bartenders to inspire you to start planning.

So, grab your cocktail shaker and let’s go!

cherry blossoms washington dc

Table of Contents

Allegory at the Eaton Hotel

Allegory Bartender Paully Gonzalez is bringing together a few of our favorite flavors in the “Hato.” This season seems to be all about the vermouth, so we are thrilled to see him pair it with gin, grapefruit and a splash of Umami.

Pop into the Eaton Hotel to enjoy their darkly lit D.C. cocktail bar. Order up a few drinks, along with a charcuterie & cheese board to complete your perfect happy hour or night out with friends.

Hato

  • 1.5 oz Roku Gin
  • .5 oz Capitoline Rose Vermouth
  • .5 oz Lemon
  • .5 oz Orange Flower Water Agave
  • 4 dashes Citric Acid
  • 2 dashes Umami
  • 3 oz Galvanina Grapefruit Soda
Cherry Blossom Cocktails
photo via Urbana

Urbana – Washington, D.C.

This recipe is so simple that even your kids will be able to help you make the “Cherry Trip,” Urbana’s latest cherry blossom cocktail to hit the menu.  

Head bartender Lauren Mathews has brought together the best of citrus and cherry blossom, creating a not-too-sweet bubbly spring cocktail.

Make sure you pop into Urbana to check out their seasonal cocktails throughout the year. You can also enjoy great Italian cuisine in this 1920’s-style restaurant in the Hotel Palomar. No pin curls or flapper dresses required!

Cherry Trip

  •  1 ½ oz. Civic Vodka
  • ½ oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. simple sugar
  • ¼ oz. cherry liqueur
  • Topped with sparkling rosé

Combine ingredients in a shaker tin. Add ice and shake. Strain over fresh ice in a small rocks glass. Garnish with trimmed lemon peel.

Cherry Blossom Cocktails
photo via PEDEN+MUNK

Silver Lyan at the Riggs Washington DC

As you stroll through the Penn Quarter, close to many of the city’s free Smithsonian museums and attractions, walk into the Riggs Washington DC to sip on the “Japanese Saddle.”

Anytime you blend something with gin, we will give it a go, even if we have no idea what leather bitters and cereal orgeat will make it taste like.

The story behind the cocktail via Mr. Lane (Ryan Chetiyawardana): “One of the first stories around DC that we encountered, and we did so in Japan! Chatting with a friend there, they described the significance of the cherry blossom to Japan.

Beyond its beauty, the symbolism was paramount, and so much so that when Japan first opened borders to trade with the US, they gifted cherry blossom trees that are now iconic to DC where a mirrored (but distinct from the Japanese traditions) celebration takes place.

The drink also references the ‘Japanese Saddle’ gifted to America in the 19th Century – an ornate piece of leather work.

A bright and savoury sour, it uses Japanese gin, and cognac, alongside some leather bitters and an ‘orgeat’ we make from wheat, barley, and rye.”

Japanese Saddle

  • Ingredients: Sakura sour, Roku gin, Pierre Ferrand cognac, turbo citrus, leather bitters & cereal orgeat
Hibiscus Mule at The Madison Hotel - Cherry Blossom Cocktails in DC

Lady Madison at the Madison Hotel

Hibiscus Mule 

  • 1.5 oz Suntory Haku Japanese Vodka
  • 2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 oz hibiscus ginger beer
  • Lime wheel
  • Mint sprig

Add vodka and lime juice into a shaker and shake well with ice. Strain over ice into a rocks glass. Top off with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig.

Tidal Basin Blossom Cocktail at The Madison Hotel - Cherry Blossom Cocktails in DC

Tidal Basin Blossom

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz dry Japanese sake
  • 3 oz brewed hibiscus tea
  • Sparkling prosecco
  • Edible pansy

Brew hibiscus tea and set aside to chill. Pour sake and tea into a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with edible pansy.

Sakura Sour at Zeppelin in Washington DC - cherry blossom cocktails

Zeppelin

Sakura Sour

  • Cherry blossom gin
  • Cherry blossom foam
  • Yuzu
  • Cherry blossom green tea leaves

Created by Bartender Ashtyn Harris

Mandarin Oriental (now the Salamander)

One of our favorite luxury hotels in Washington, D.C., the Mandarin Oriental (now the Salamander), never disappoints during cherry blossom season in D.C. Embracing their Asian roots, the hotel bar offered up a balanced cocktail infused with rose and peach, and one very cherry cocktail for those who don’t just want to look, but also drink the smell of those sweet blooms.

Sakura Matsuri Sake Cocktail 

  • Ingredients: Sake, Rose Syrup, Peach Liqueur, Lemon Juice

Hanami

  • Ingredients: Suntory Roku Japanese Craft Gin, Maraschino Cherry Liqueur, Cherry Blossom Syrup, Bitters
Cherry Blossom Cocktails
photo via AC Hotel

AC Hotel at the National Harbor

If you are headed to the National Harbor to ride the Capitol Wheel, make sure stop into the AC Hotel. Their “Very Cherry Blossom” cocktail is mixing up many of the ingredients you have at home, creating the perfect punch of cherry you need to launch into spring.

Very Cherry Blossom Cocktail

  • Ingredients: Bordeaux Cherry Juice, Tito’s Vodka, Cherry brandy, Cointreau, lemon juice, grenadine, splash of sierra mist
Hanakumori cocktail at Smoke and Mirrors in the AC Hotel Washington DC Capitol Hill Navy Yard
credit the AC Hotel Washington DC

Smoke & Mirrors at the AC Hotel Washington DC Capitol Hill Navy Yard

Developed by bartender John Sinclair, the Hanakumori brings a little something extra in the form of toasted rice syrup to this cherry blossom- inspired cocktail at the AC Hotel in Washington DC.

Hanakumori

  • 1.25oz Suntory Toki
  • 0.5oz Fino Sherry
  • 0.5oz Carpano Antica
  • 0.5oz toasted rice syrup
  • 1 barspoon amaretto

How to make toasted rice syrup:

Toasted Rice Syrup:

Toast 1 cup rice over medium-high heat until it’s browned and fragrant. Heat 1 cup water with 1/2 cup granulated sugar until the sugar dissolves. Remove the water from heat and add the toasted rice. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes, then strain out rice.

Cherry Blossom Cocktails
photo via Gaylord National Resort

Gaylord National Resort

While at the National Harbor, you can wander down to the Gaylord National Resort to experience their gorgeous cherry blossom cocktail. We don’t know how you pickle cherry blossoms, but this might be the year we give it a try.

Cherry Blossom Cocktail

  • Ingredients: Suntory Roku Gin, Lillet Blanc, Burlesque bitters, Cherry Blossom tea, Sakura blossom & almond in Gaylord honey and garnished with pickled cherry blossoms.

The Willard InterContinental

If you are wandering around the National Mall or walking near the White House, make sure you stop into The Willard InterContinental to sip their seasonal cherry blossom cocktails.

They are combining ingredients like tea, gin, egg white, lychee, sake and citrus (not all at the same time) into two fabulous cocktails at the bar.

Saku Fizz 

  • Ingredients: Roku Gin, Pineapple, Lime, Egg White, Matcha tea

The Garden Rose

  • Ingredients: Sake, Black Cherry Tea, St Germain, Lychee,  Lemon
Petals in the Wind Cherry Blossom Cocktail

The Watergate Hotel

The Watergate Hotel in the D.C. neighborhood of Foggy Bottom has three different cherry blossom cocktails on their menu. We love that they are using Japanese whisky in one and Roku gin (we love gin around here if you couldn’t tell) in another.

These not only highlight the flavors of the spring, but also the country who gave so many of the D.C. cherry blossoms to the city.

Philosopher’s Walk

  • Ingredients: Toki suntory japanese whisky, green tea kit-kat syrup, dolin blanc vermouth, lemon, pink lemon whip, apple blossom 

Tiger Moon

  • Ingredients: Roku gin, high west silver whiskey, yuzu cordial, lemon, blue curacao, japanese bitters

Avant Garde

  • Ingredients: Brenne french whiskey, pear liqueur, plum-honey shrub, lime, sparkling sake, orange blossom mist 

Petal in the Wind

  • 1.5oz strawberry gin
  • 1/2oz cherry brandy
  • 3 dashes cherry bitters
  • 1/4oz yuzu
  • 1/4oz lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup

Created in 2023 by mixologist Masha Yelnikova

Cherry Blossom Cocktails

Kingbird at the Watergate Hotel

Negotiation

  • 1 oz mirabeau gin
  • 1 of subtle smoke basil Hayden whiskey 
  • 0.75 oz akashi umi liqueur 
  • 0.75 oz blood orange aperitif 
  • 0.75 oz Ginger cordial 
  • 0.60 oz lemon juice
  • Dash of rose 🌹 Spice bitters 
Cherry Blossom Cocktails

Blue Duck Tavern at the Park Hyatt DC

The Blue Duck Tavern at the Park Hyatt DC doesn’t take tea or cocktail making lightly. With one of the most impressive tea collections in the world, the Blue Duck Tavern bartenders and tea brewers couldn’t help but whip up a few cherry blossom-inspired drinks, whether you prefer a little happy hour or afternoon tea to wrap up your afternoon.

Cherry Blossom Iced Tea

  • Ingredients: Sakura Kyoto Cherry Blossom tea by Rare Tea Cellar, a blend of sencha with sweet cherry and morning rose.

This tea was created exclusively for Park Hyatt Washington, D.C. for its reopening in 2006.

Cherry Blossom Cocktails
photo via Blue Duck Tavern

Astoria

  • Ingredients: A combination of Rittenhouse rye whiskey, Byrrh vermouth, Sakura Mancino vermouth, and Agostino bitters.

Note: Giancarlo’s Sakura Mancino incorporates twenty different botanicals, including tailored pink, natural Japanese cherry blossom & Italian Violet, feminine nose, wormwood bitter finish. Only 4,000 bottles produced annually, but last we checked, you could still order this specialty vermouth online.

Mancino Vermouth Sakura
photo via Mancino Vermouth Sakura

Sakura Mancino Cherry Blossom Cocktail Recipes

Diamante

  • 1.5 ounces Mancino Vermouth Sakura
  • 3 ounces Rose’ Champagne

Pour cold Vermouth into large flute. Slowly add cold Champagne and stir once. This also works with a brut Champagne or prosecco in a pinch.

Mrs.Gibson

  • 1.5 ounces Mancino Vermouth Sakura
  • 1.5 ounces London dry Gin (or another favorite gin you have on hand)

Stir with ice and strain onto a single large piece of ice (round or square) in a rock glass. Garnish with pickled red pearl onions. This is a vermouth heavy version of the classic Gibson.

Cherry Blossom Cocktails

Brothers And Sisters at The Line Hotel

We love a cherry blossom cocktail that isn’t pink, but includes all of the things we like, including rum, honey and shiso. Pop into Brothers and Sisters at the Line Hotel in Adams Morgan to enjoy a cocktail at the bar.

Just don’t forget to order a few appetizers and nibbles from the dessert menu. We never say no to the burrata or hamachi crudo, and for dessert, “The Early Grey” and “Avocado Berry-Swirl.”

From Harajuku to Everywhere

  • Sochu, rum, rice, shiso, cherry blossom shrub, honey 
Cherry Blossom Cocktails

St. Gregory Hotel

Dupont Circle won’t be left out of the cherry blossom festivities. They have a Cherry blossom swing in their courtyard where you can sip on two seasonal cocktails.

Jinya Sakura Spring Cocktail Cherry Blossom cocktail recipes

Jinya Ramen Bar (DC, MD and VA locations)

Sakura Spring Cocktail

  • Roku gin
  • Hibiscus tea
  • Yuzu
  • Cherry syrup
  • Fee foam

Created by mixologist Jose Diaz

Paraiso Sakura on the Hill- cherry blossom recipe created by Jose Diaz

Paraiso Taqueria

Sakura on the hill

  • Sochu
  • Roku gin
  • cherry juice
  • elderflower syrup
  • lemon
  • egg whites

Created by mixologist Jose Diaz

Tidal Basin Cherry Blossoms Washington DC

More Cherry Blossom Cocktail Recipes

Bloomin’ Cherry Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz gin (like the Japanese Roku Gin or Citadelle Jardin d’Ete)
  • 1/2 oz white or cherry blossom vermouth
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 3/4-1 tbsp cherry jam
  • Cherry blossoms for garnish (cherry blossoms are edible)

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice, pour into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with an edible cherry blossom. Just don’t steal your blooms from the Tidal Basin cherry blossoms, OK?

Sakura Martini

  • 2-2 1/2 oz dry sake
  • 1 oz gin (try Botanist or Roku gin)
  • 1/4 tsp maraschino liqueur (maraschino cherry syrup can work too, but use it sparingly.)
  • 1 salted cherry blossom (buy them here)
  • Ice

Add all liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. strain and pour into a chilled martini glass. Before adding the salted cherry blossom to your cocktail, make sure you soak it in hot water for a few hours and then pop it into cold water to chill down again. This will remove a lot of that more potent salt taste.

Cherry Blossom Gin and Tonic

  • 1oz Akori Cherry Blossom Gin
  • Tonic Water (we usually use Fever Tree)
  • ice

Pour your Cherry Blossom gin into a lowball glass over ice, top with tonic water of choice and enjoy. For extra fun, you can use these cherry blossom ice cube trays and add an edible cherry blossom as garnish.

Cherry Blossom 75

  • 1.5oz Akori Cherry Blossom Gin
  • 3/4 oz Vincenzi Grapefruit Rose
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 3 oz Sparkling Rose (like Ruffino or Olema Sparkling Brut Rose)
  • Grapefruit peel to garnish

Pour all ingredients over ice in a tall wine glass or highball glass (to use a champagne flute, cut the ingredient measurements in half). Garnish with grapefruit peel and/or dried rose buds.

Sugared Up Cherry Blossom (adapted from Mr. Boston)

  • 1 1/2 oz Old Mr. Boston Five Star Brandy
  • 1/2 oz Cherry Flavored Brandy
  • 1 1/2 tsp Triple Sec
  • 1 1/2 tsp Grenadine
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain over a chilled cocktail glass with a sugared rim (dip the rim into cherry liquor and dip again into white crystalized sugar or powdered sugar).

Citrus Sakura Blossom

  • Ice Cubes
  • 1 oz Cognac
  • 1 oz Cherry Brandy
  • 4 Dashes Grenadine
  • 4 Dashes Orange Curacao
  • ⅓ oz Lemon Juice

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain over a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

PIN IT FOR LATER!

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Washington, D.C. Travel Resources

Your Washington, D.C. vacation doesn’t have to be stressful. We’ve got the resources you need to plan your trip and make the most out of your time in the city and surrounding area. If this is your first time to the capital region, check out our Washington, D.C. trip planner and itineraries.

For transportation, check out our D.C. driving guide and our guide on how to ride the metro. For those flying in, you’ll want to read our guides to BWI, DCA and IAD airports.

Dive into our things to do in D.C., which is always being updated and evolving to make sure you have the latest and greatest activities to fill your checklist of things to do. Don’t forget about food, the real reason we all travel, right? Our Washington, D.C. restaurant guide will get you started and lead you into neighborhoods full of delicious treats.

For more resources, check out our pages on Baltimore, Frederick,Richmond, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Shenandoah National Park and beyond.

Where to Stay in Washington, D.C.

Budget: When it comes to Washington, D.C. budget hotels, prices vary depending on the season. In the middle of October, a four-star hotel could be under $150, while in December it may be over $400. At any given time of year, though, Hotel Hive is a safe bet for value when it comes to resting your head. If you are looking for a hostel, Hi Washington D.C. Downtown is well located for exploring all of the D.C. museums, restaurants and bars at the fraction of the price of a hotel. Check rates and availability here.

Mid-range: Every USA hotel chain can be found in Washington, D.C., but stay at the St. Gregory Hotel when you want a local touch. The modern, light-filled rooms will welcome you to the city, whether you are in a studio or suite with wraparound terrace. The hotel is walking distance to Georgetown, the National Mall and Embassy Row, making it easy to explore without a rental car. Check rates and availability here.

Luxury: You are spoiled for choice when it comes to luxury hotels in Washington, D.C. We love cozying up at the Graham Georgetown, a sweet little boutique hotel in one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city. Check rates and availability here. Major hotel brands like The Fairmont, Mandarin Oriental, Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons Hotel Washington D.C. and St. Regis Washington D.C. all have outposts here as well. If you want something a bit more historic, we recommend The Jefferson, Washington D.C. Ninety-nine rooms in this luxury boutique hotel bring together an attentive staff, petite spa, and the Michelin-starred Plume restaurant with all of the history you could hope for when you are in the nation’s capital. Check rates and availability here.

Family-friendly: We always gravitate towards the Kimpton hotels whenever we are traveling with kids. Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington D.C., once the General Post Office building, is located in the Penn Quarter neighborhood just four blocks off the National Mall near the National Gallery of Art. Price point is mid-range, depending on the time of year you visit. Parents will love the nightly wine events and evening nightcap perks as well as complimentary coffee and a tea bar each morning. Kids will love that they can borrow a fish friend for their stay, and that there is always a treat on hand that they can enjoy, and the robes are just their size. Kimpton also has adult and child-size bikes to borrow so you can cruise around town during your stay. Check rates and availability here.

Looking for Washington DC Rentals? Check HERE for the best location, size and rates.

Washington DC Rental Car

If you just flew in , you probably need a rental car. Although you can certainly take the Metro most places, especially if you fly into DCA, you may want a rental car to get out and explore. Find the best priced and availability HERE.

Planning a Trip to Washington, D.C.? Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!

Whether you are traveling domestically or coming from an international destination, travel insurance is a must for anyone coming to Washington, D.C. You will be exploring both inside and outdoors; hiking may even happen if you get adventurous. You could find yourself on a Segway or bike tour. The city is highly populated and accidents and crime do happen. This is not to scare you, but to prepare you for what could occur when you are checking out the free museums, exploring neighborhoods, finding the best food and learning about the local street art. Should something happen, travel insurance has you covered.

We recommend and use Allianz Travel insurance. Our family is covered under a household plan, but their individual plans are just as robust if you are a solo traveler or a couple looking to get away. I’ve been a customer for more than five years and have always been in good hands with the Allianz team.

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