Where to sip cocktails during the holiday season in the DMV

From a cocktail called “The Christmas Bonus” to a build-your-own hot chocolate bar (with cookies!), here’s where to sip and celebrate this month.

hands toasting with cocktails
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Having drinks during the holiday season doesn’t just have to be a mashup of classic cocktails. Old-fashioneds and martinis are great, but what about having some seasonal cheer mixed into your glass? 

Below, find six places where you can enjoy libations during the cooler months, as well as fun festivities. 

14 Loudoun – Home of Fa La La
The Leesburg-based holiday pop-up bar made its debut in 2018, and after its seasonal success, ended up as a permanent location in Loudoun County. This year, the bar is ready to offer a full menu of food and drinks, including spiked apple cider with a cinnamon stick, a build-your-own hot chocolate bar and a cup of Great Lakes Christmas Ale. The location has planned an array of holiday-inspired events too, which are perfect for sipping the night away. Compete in a gingerbread house-decorating competition, attend the ugly sweater party or count down the days until Christmas at the “Naughty & Nice Party” on Saturday, Dec. 21.  Be sure to check out the bar’s fully decorated holiday rooms, with this year’s themes “winter ski lodge” and “Mrs. Claus’ bakery.” // 14 Loudoun: 14 Loudoun St. SE, Leesburg

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Miracle on 7th Street
It’s the fifth annual year of the Christmas-themed pop-up bar in Washington, DC, and this year’s celebration has even more to offer than Christmases past. Aside from the holiday decor and lengthy list of festive cocktails, the bar will have a section that honors the World Series-winning Washington Nationals. This year’s libation menu includes “Nog Shots” made with homemade eggnog, the “Panda Bei Bei,” named after the panda who recently departed the National Zoo to a new home in China, and “Jack Robert Frost the Snowman,” made with Wild Turkey 101 bourbon, Amontillado Sherry, White Port, clove and orange bitters. Cheers to five years! // Miracle on 7th Street: 1843 Seventh St. NW, Washington, DC

Live Oak Restaurant
You can do just about anything to the foundation of a Moscow mule, so why not make it winter-inspired? Live Oak is offering a Tito’s Cranberry Spiced Mule, made with Tito’s vodka, cranberry shrub, dry Vermouth, orange bitters and ginger beer. Looking for something to warm you up? Live Oak’s take on mulled wine is served hot with apple brandy, mulled wine reduction, lemon and orange bitters. And if you just can’t get enough of the holiday spice, grab a glass of the Owner’s Coffee, a Belle Isle cold brew coffee moonshine with house-made, fall-spiced whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon. // Live Oak Restaurant: 1603 Commonwealth Ave., Alexandria

Blackwall Hitch Alexandria
If you spent a majority of your summer enjoying happy-hour specials and fresh seafood, don’t worry—you can continue that trend right into the cooler months. Blackwall Hitch has a long list of signature cocktails, but to really get you in the spirit (or to accompany your dessert), you’ll want to treat yourself with a tall glass of gourmet hot chocolate. Salted caramel, s’mores, peppermint and hazelnut flavors can all be taken up a notch with an added shot of rum, Baileys Irish cream, peppermint schnapps or Frangelico. With a glass in hand, it will be a happy holiday indeed. // Blackwall Hitch: 5 Cameron St., Alexandria

The Light Horse
Even if you want another round of the Hot Buttered Scotch on the “fun” portion of the menu, made with house-made spiced butter batter, French vanilla ice cream and Glenlivet Founders Reserve (or Captain Morgan spiced rum), you’ll want to get your hands on the bar’s new seasonal favorite: Henry’s Hard Cider. A mix of apple-infused vodka, cinnamon-infused vodka, house-made vanilla syrup and tart cranberry juice. Its bright-red color makes it even more of an ode to the holidays. // The Light Horse: 715 King St., Alexandria


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The Bad Santa Shop at Delirium Cafe Leesburg
Located within a small space of Leesburg-based Delirium Cafe, you’ll find a unique holiday pop-up by the witty name of The Bad Santa Bottle Shop, open through Saturday, Jan. 4. Between the red walls and spirited decor, there’s a full list of holiday-inspired cocktails, Christmas-themed beer and wine, and sometimes even Santa himself. This year’s cocktail list includes the Slick St. Nick made of Tito’s, luxardo cherry and Willie’s rosemary shrub; the Jameson and Baileys-based Therman Murman; the Run Run Rodolph made with tequila, cranberry and mint; and so much more. While the space is open for all, you can also rent it out for a private event this holiday season, ranging from holiday office parties to family gatherings. // Delirium Cafe: 1 Loudoun St., Unit A, Leesburg; free

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