Seasonal Cocktails at POV

Photo: Daniel Swartz for W Washington DC

I need to write this sentence: Warm weather whistle-whetters await at the W. Now, that out of the way, we can talk about some drinks.

The terrace of POV at the W is stunning and the perfect spot for a drink on a warm, pleasant evening. It was on just such a lovely evening this week that I was invited by the hotel to sample their spring and summer seasonal cocktails – and was delighted by several of the offerings as well as the setting.

Easter is big for the W with its proximity to the White House egg roll and other festivities, so the drinks started on an Easter theme. There was the cotton-candy-blue Which Came First (blue curaçao, vanilla, and heavy cream, hot pink sugar rim – and a bright yellow Peep floating in the middle) and the Cotton Tail which featured actual cotton candy (lime cotton candy, specifically, configured to look like the greens sticking out from a champagne-flute “carrot” of a rum and carrot juice combination). The Cotton Tail is a little tricky to drink with the six inches of fluff extending from the glass, but has a more adult, less-cloying taste than the sight might suggest. Which Came First is truly for those with a sweet tooth – and a cream tooth, if such a concept exists. These two are limited to the Easter holiday, so be sure to swing by this weekend if you want to try.

Photo: Daniel Swartz for W Washington DC

The other seasonal offerings hit a variety of tropical, fruity, and spicy notes.

Ginger Dream has house-made ginger beer (the same as in POV’s beloved Dark and Stormy) mixed with ginger-infused vodka and fresh strawberries, topped with a ginger foam and lime zest. It is sweet, pink, and strawberry – but the ginger gives the drink a bit of zip and the balance is there. Similarly, POV’s version of the classic piña colada is a fresh one – served on the rocks, not blended, which tastes like real ingredients and is rather more sophisticated than the average pool-side umbrella drink, while still being iconically summer. The piña colada, like a special white summer sangria made with St. Germaine, a very nice mixed seasonal berry caipirinha, and several of the other drinks are available by the glass – or by the pitcher if you were planning on bringing friends.

Photo: Daniel Swartz for W Washington DC

Taking on the other iconic drink of the summer, the margarita, POV offers the Habanita. This drink made it to the menu by holding a competition amongst the staff where each bartender was allowed to create any drink they wanted, and it was not difficult to see why Habanita won. It was also my favorite of the night and, of all the drinks we sampled, it stands out as the one I will most have to go back to have again. The glass has a spicy, salty rim, fresh citrus taste, and a big clump of aromatic fresh basil leaves floating amongst the ice cubes. I kept setting the drink down, trying other things, and then coming back to this herbal and bright combination. As soon as there are a couple of warm nights in a row, you will find me on the terrace with one in hand.

Brittany has tried to leave DC, it just never lasts. She has lived in Chicago, California, and China – but she always comes back home. Brittany is a drinks, nightlife, and style correspondent for We Love DC. Between columns, you can find her on Twitter, Tumblr, or standing by the bar. Email her at brittany(at)

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