One of the most unpleasant aspects of summer in D.C. is the heat and humidity, which makes getting around town without looking disheveled a struggle. While summer 2014 has yet to reach the point of unbearable, the possibilities that it will during August and September are likely. In an effort to remain cool, calm and collected, we pulled together a list of the best chilled drinks Washington has to offer.
Located at the Georgetown Waterfront is one of Washington’s top restaurants, Farmers Fishers Bakers (3000 K St., NW; 202-298-TRUE), known for serving American fair with a farmhouse feel. While it’s food menus are expansive and gluttonous, brunch is to die for. So is its drinks menu made with homemade sodas and syrups and the freshest and often times local ingredients. Perfectly suited for the hottest summer day, try the super light and refreshing Organic Cucumber Delight, made with American Harvest Organic Vodka, ginger-flavored liquor Domaine de Canton, a splash of lemon juice and served with a cucumber slice and balled cantaloupe.
Since opening in Georgetown and at its original location on 14th Street, Richard Sandoval’s El Centro D.F. (1218 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-4100) is known as one of the District’s most popular Mexican restaurants with a lively nightlife scene. Whether you’re seated for dinner or there for cocktails, its margaritas are some of the best in town. Served by the glass or in half or full pitchers, go for the Traditional Margarita, made with Sauza Blue Agave Tequila, fresh lime and agave nectar, or add fruit flavor with fresh mango or strawberry purée. Or heat things up while still chilling out with the Spicy Margarita, a mix of Serrano pepper-infused tequila, fresh lime agave nectar and chili-ginger.
New to 14th Street is Tico (1926 14th St., NW; 202-319-1400), at the southwest corner of U Street, impressing Washingtonians with its American fair influenced by Mexican and Spanish cuisines. Pull a seat up to the bar and order the Hibiscus Margarita on draft. Instead of Triple Sec, Tico uses Patron Citronge and pairs it with 100-percent Blue Agave Tequila, lime, lemon and its namesake hibiscus. Served with salt on the rim, the lemon and lime produce a strong tart taste that pairs well with the floral component of the hibiscus.
For hot summer days when you’re looking to grab a cold drink with a colleague during or after work, visit The Hamilton (600 14th St., NW; 202-787-1000) and order its White Peach Sangria. Hint: go for the pitcher if you and your plus one plan to each have at least two. Made with Spanish Cava sparkling wine, OYO Stone Fruit Vodka, white peach purée and tarragon-infused syrup, it’s bright color, fresh aromas and sweet taste will have you ordering it well into the fall.
After a Saturday or Sunday stroll at Eastern Market, visit Ted’s Bulletin (505 8th St., SE, 202.544.8337) and add a kick to your dessert with one of its regionally-famous adult milkshakes. Their selection comes in a variety of flavors and best during summer is the Twisted Coconut that pairs vanilla ice cream with coconut rum and your choice of key lime pie flavored coconut rum or bananas foster flavored banana rum with crunchy shavings of toasted coconut. Not a fan of coconut? Try the Buzzed Berries, made with vanilla ice cream, raspberry schnapps, rum, and fresh blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
For the next time you’re poolside or on the patio looking to enjoy something refreshing, open a bottle of Moët Ice Impérial, champagne meant to be enjoyed over ice. Available at 1 West Dupont Circle Wine & Liquor, Barrel House Liquor Store and Sherry’s Wine and Spirit, its best served over three ice cubes in a large cabernet-style glass. Dress it up with fresh mint leaves, lime zest or red fruits, and you’re set to chill in the summer sun.
Should you want to go the non-alcoholic route, locally hand-crafted Thunder Beast Root Beer is a crowd-pleaser for both the young and old. It boasts maple and butterscotch flavors with notes of honey and botanicals on its finish. Pick up a six pack at Relay Foods in D.C., Virginia or Maryland.