Food

Here’s Where to Find the Best Takeout Cocktails Around DC This Winter

Whether you want a piña colada or a hot toddy.

Service Bar’s apple-and-pear-scented gin and tonic. Photograph by Jeff Elkins

Don’t feel like shaking and stirring your own creations? You’ll find great drinks to go at these ten spots.

Classics

Derek Brown, one of the forefathers of DC’s modern cocktail movement, founded Columbia Room, the bar/tasting room that’s known for turning liquors and ingredients you’ve probably never heard of into stunning drinks. The place also embraces tradition and is now offering DIY cocktail kits for classics such as Pimm’s cups and Japanese whiskey sours. 124 Blagden Alley, NW.

Tiki

It’s been a year. So why not ease out of it with a hollowed pineapple loaded with rum? Or at least a quart of blend-at-home piña coladas? The U Street tiki destination Archipelago has you covered. Expect lots of rum, lots of warming spices, and lots of not-crazy-sweet frozen creations. You can even buy the mugs and glassware. 1201 U St., NW.

Tropical

A trio of bar-scene stars—including the founders of Colada Shop and cocktail consultant Andra “AJ” Johnson—pay homage to the flavors of Cuba and the Caribbean (and beyond) at Serenata in the new La Cosecha market. There are flask-for-three and single-size versions of drinks such as a margarita with togarashi salt and a stir-up of bourbon with coconut-hibiscus shrub. 1280 Fourth St., NE.

For Two

Show of Hands—the cocktail bar inside the Roost, the new Capitol Hill food hall—is still forthcoming*, but the Neighborhood Restaurant Group folks behind it have been pros on the scene for years. There’s a big menu of drinks for two, and bottled cocktails come with serving instructions. They’re available for delivery in DC and parts of Virginia through Neighborhood Provisions, the group’s online ordering service.

For a (Socially Distanced) Group

[Note: The Coconut Club has temporarily closed for the winter]. There’s no shame—at least these days—in a box of wine. Or a box of cocktails, which is what Coconut Club is now serving up. You can go with either a classic piña colada or a fall-inspired sangría with white wine, Granny Smith apples, and brandy. The 1.5-liter vessel serves 10 to 11 drinks and costs $55. 540 Penn St., NE.

Autumnal Flavors

Sweater season is upon us, and happily, bartenders are thinking beyond the PSL. Gina Chersevani of Last Call (1301-A Fourth St., NE) is muddlings fresh cranberries into vodka crushes and scenting daiquiris with vanilla and clove. At Service Bar (926 U St., NW), gin and tonics are infused with the flavors of baked apple and pear.

Three places for Actually Good Cocktails Under Ten Bucks

Patsy’s

8051 Leesburg Pike, Vienna

This still-crowded Tysons dining room sends off easy-drinking mules and mojitos for less than ten bucks.

Cheapest: Margarita, $8.75.

Jackie Lee’s

116 Kennedy St., NW

Negronis, vespers, and other classics are $8 at this laid-back Brightwood Park bar.

Cheapest: Tecate and a shot of tequila, $6.

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

750 15th St., NW

This (usually) sceney steakhouse is known for its great happy hour. Now the deals translate to mix-at-home versions of straightforward drinks like gin and tonics and old fashioneds.

Cheapest: Everything is $7.

*An earlier version of this piece said that Show of Hands had opened in September. It hasn’t yet opened. Washingtonian regrets the error.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.