Seasonal Spirits: Cocktails and Festive Drinks for the Holidays

When temperatures start to fall, nothing warms you up like a cup of good cheer. Thankfully, Alexandria is practically overflowing with holiday spirit(s)! From special brews to festive cocktails, mulled wine and artisan cider, Alexandria restaurants and pubs are concocting and pouring yummy holiday drinks that will keep you toasty and toasting all the way to New Year’s.

Don’t want to be left out in the cold? Read on for our list of the top seasonal spirits in Alexandria! And of course, please drink responsibly (remember, too much eggnog got Grandma run over by a reindeer!).

Festive Glogg (mulled wine) at Restaurant Eve

alexandria-va-holiday-drinks-gloggImage credit: Flickr user Barina Craft

Glogg—aka spiced mulled wine—is not only delicious but also really fun to say. (Glogg, glogg, glogg…) Alexandria’s bartender extraordinaire Todd Thrasher has put his own twist on the toothsome Nordic classic at Restaurant Eve, combining three fortified wines with Malbec, brandy and plenty of spices. If this is what people in snowy Sweden drink in the winter, then it’s good enough for me!


Port City Tidings Holiday Ale

alexandria-va-holiday-drinks-port-city-beerImage credit: Port City Brewing Co. Facebook

Brewed right here in Alexandria, Port City Brewing Co.’s limited production holiday ale gives you a taste of summer in the bleak midwinter, starring local Maryland wildflower honey and Virginia wheat spiced with coriander, cardamom, fresh ginger and grains of paradise (making a truly heavenly aroma!). Sip on it with friends and family and do your best to share.


BRABO’s The Thought-Fox Punch

alexandria-va-holiday-drinks-punch-mediumImage credit: BRABO

Why not spike your holidays with a little something that packs a punch (get it)?  This festive Madeira wine-based punch from BRABO in Old Town Alexandria features accents of spice, caramel and smoke, plus a sweet oil made using lemon peels and sugar for a richer flavor. Apple and blackberry shine through too. Ready to go a-wassailing now?


Foggy Ridge Serious Cider at Rustico

alexandria-va-holiday-drinks-hard-cider Image credit: Flickr user Pam Aghababian

The Washington Post called this spicy hard cider “the granddaddy of the artisan cider movement.” What more do you need to know? Stop by Rustico in Alexandria to soak up the made-in-Virginia libation and see if you can taste the hints of apricot, peach and lime zest that make this one a classic.


Winter Spice Sangria, Laporta’s Restaurant     

alexandria-va-holiday-drinks-winter-sangriaImage credit: Flickr user Sarvatra

One word: sangria. Actually, three words: winter spice sangria. At Laporta’s, Alexandria’s sparkling holiday season meets sunny Spain in this concoction, with fresh cut mixed fruit marinated in wine, brandy and spices served as a spritzer. Now that is guaranteed to make spirits bright!


Salted Caramel Shake, Ted’s Montana Grill

alexandria-va-holiday-drinks-salted-caramel-shakeImage credit: Ted’s Montana Grill

Head to Ted’s near the Eisenhower Ave. Metro to try their new adults-only Salted Caramel Shake, which balances salty and sweet and tops it off with Jack Daniel’s whiskey. But the best part is that your order helps make a child’s holiday very happy—a portion of all Salted Caramel Shake proceeds go to support No Kid Hungry.


Hot Chocolate Divas, Artfully Chocolate

Artfully ChocolateImage credit: Sarah Hauser for VTC

For a rich alcohol-free take on holiday cheer, head to Artfully Chocolate‘s cafe in Carlyle and choose from 16 different types of hot chocolate, all named after 20th century female film stars. Will you go with the Rita Hayworth, a semi-sweet chocolate infused with clove, orange and caramel? Or maybe the Lena Horne, a blend of milk chocolate with cinnamon, nutmeg and smoked paprika? Whatever you pick, as you indulge you’re sure to feel like you made Santa’s nice list this year (the hot chocolate mixes make great gifts, too!).


For more information about holiday dining in Alexandria, click here.