News & Politics

Virgin Drinks and Sweets With a Shot

Is it a cocktail or is it dessert? Sometimes, both.

Over-21 desserts. Chefs traditionally burn off most of the alcohol before adding it to sauces or desserts. No more. These desserts should require ID. José Andrés's experimental Minibar at Café Atlántico (405 Eighth St., NW; 202-393-0812) offers a twist on tres leches by soaking cubes of vanilla cake in milk, condensed milk, and a serious glug of rum; it is served with a milk jam and a trio of pineapple garnishes ($7).

At 1789 (1226 36th St., NW; 202-965-1789), try the potent Grand Marnier granita layered with fresh strawberries and cream ($8). Even Japanese restaurant Sushi-Ko can't resist. It offers a trio of Burgundy aspics–sparkling wine, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir–each topped with a matching wine sorbet ($7.50).

Under-21 cocktails. While desserts pack a punch, drinks go virgin. These light, fruity, nonalcoholic cocktails are summer in a glass. Penn Quarter darling Zola (800 F St., NW; 202-654-0999) offers up ginger-infused lemonade ($3.30) or a mango-passion iced tea ($2.25). Across the river at Oyamel (2250-B Crystal Dr., Arlington; 703-413-2288), you'll find a changing menu of agua frescas including hibiscus, pineapple, and cucumber ($3.25), while Andale (401 Seventh St., NW; 202-783-3133) shakes up a Mexican Horchata–an icy cooler of rice, almonds, cinnamon, lime, and sugar ($2.50).

Colorado Kitchen (5515 Colorado Ave., NW; 202-545-8280), which recently got its liquor license, continues to cater to non-drinkers with favorites like the Fuzzy Apple–ginger ale mixed with green-apple sorbet–or Dorothy's Ruby Slipper, strawberry crush with a scoop of fresh vanilla ice cream ($2.95).