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.
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!
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.
- 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
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!
- 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.
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.”
- Ingredients: Sakura sour, Roku gin, Pierre Ferrand cognac, turbo citrus, leather bitters & cereal orgeat
Lady Madison at the Madison Hotel
- 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
- 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.
- Cherry blossom gin
- Cherry blossom foam
- 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
- Ingredients: Suntory Roku Japanese Craft Gin, Maraschino Cherry Liqueur, Cherry Blossom Syrup, Bitters
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
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.
- 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.
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.
- Ingredients: Roku Gin, Pineapple, Lime, Egg White, Matcha tea
The Garden Rose
- Ingredients: Sake, Black Cherry Tea, St Germain, Lychee, Lemon
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.
- Ingredients: Toki suntory japanese whisky, green tea kit-kat syrup, dolin blanc vermouth, lemon, pink lemon whip, apple blossom
- Ingredients: Roku gin, high west silver whiskey, yuzu cordial, lemon, blue curacao, japanese bitters
- 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
Kingbird at the Watergate Hotel
- 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
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.
- 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.
Sakura Mancino Cherry Blossom Cocktail Recipes
- 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.
- 1.5 ounces Mancino Vermouth Sakura
- 1.5 ounces London dry Gin (or another favorite gin you have on hand)
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
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 Ramen Bar (DC, MD and VA locations)
Sakura Spring Cocktail
- Roku gin
- Hibiscus tea
- Cherry syrup
- Fee foam
Created by mixologist Jose Diaz
Sakura on the hill
- Roku gin
- cherry juice
- elderflower syrup
- egg whites
Created by mixologist Jose Diaz
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?
- 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)
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)
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.
Cherry Blossom Sour
- 2 oz iichiko Saiten
- 1 oz Lemon Juice
- 0.75 oz Cherry Blossom Syrup
- 1 Egg white
- Sprinkle of yuzu salt and matcha powder
Glass: Coupe • Garnish: Yuzu salt, matcha powder, and flowers
Mix all ingredients into a cocktail shaker without ice and “dry” shake for 1 min. Add ice and shake again. Double strain into a sour cocktail glass or coupe. Sprinkle yuzu salt and matcha powder over cocktail. (Optional: Garnish with flowers)
Cherry Blossom White Negroni
- 1oz TYKU TYKU Junmai Sake
- 1oz Cherry Blossom Sake
- 1oz Luxardo bitter Bianco
Glass: Rocks glass • Garnish: Edible flower
Mix all ingredients into mixing glass. Stir with ice and strain into rocks glass. Garnish with edible flower of cherry blossom if available. (Pictured, re-hydrated cherry blossom frozen in ice). Buy edible cherry blossoms HERE.
- 2 oz TYKU Junmai Sake
- 1 oz Lemon Juice
- 0.75 oz Cherry Blossom Syrup *
- Top with Sparkling wine
Glassware: Coupe • Garnish: Edible flower
Mix all ingredients (except the sparkling wine) into a cocktail shaker, shake and strain into your coupe glass. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with edible flower.
*Syrups: 1883, Monin, Floral Elixir, and other brands make delicious syrups
- 2 oz iichiko Saiten
- 0.75 oz Lemon juice
- 0.5 oz Simple syrup
- Top with Fever-Tree Yuzu Soda
Garnish: Muddled basil and raspberry • Glassware: Collins glass
Mix all ingredients into a mixing glass, stir with ice and strain into rocks glass. Top with Fever-Tree Yuzu Soda.
PIN IT FOR LATER!
This post was published by Keryn Means, a Washington DC travel expert, and the editor and publisher of DC Travel Magazine. Our articles may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of those links we will receive a small commission.
Looking for a Washington DC Hotel?
- Hotel Hive – Affordable, trendy, pet-friendly hotel
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