Washington DC’s Enticing Cherry Blossom Cocktails + 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.

SPRING 2020 NOTE: While we have plenty of cocktail recipes you can make at home (we just ordered vermouth on Wine.com), please do not go to any of the restaurants listed at this time. Many are closed and social distancing in Washington DC is in full effect. We are hopeful that many of your favorite cherry blossom cocktails will be available once restrictions are lifted.

cherry blossoms washington dc

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

Mandarin Oriental

One of our favorite luxury hotels in Washington, D.C., the Mandarin Oriental, never disappoints during cherry blossom season in D.C. Embracing their Asian roots, the hotel bar offers up three different Japanese experiences, including a Japanese whisky tasting, 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.

Japanese Whisky Flight:  three 1 ounce pours of:

  • Nikka Taketsura Pure Malt
  • Hibiki 12 Year
  • Yamazaki 12 Year 

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
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

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 
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.

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, Richmond 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.

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. Check rates and availability here.

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.

Get your travel insurance quote for your DC trip here.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of those links we will receive a small commission.

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