The best way to fully embrace a culture is to sample local food and drinks. Cutting past the eats and straight to the party, here are some unique cocktails and craft beers you need to try in Washington, DC.

Drink: DC Tap Water
Type: Cocktail
Where to Get it: Busboys and Poets

Named after DC’s infamous “dirty and unfiltered” water, this delicious drink is anything but gross. Though this drink, a cloudy bluish green, may not look like the typical tropical cocktail that you’d drink poolside in Aruba, the passion fruit combined with splashes of orange and a cherry on top will make you feel like you’re by the beach, even on a cold fall evening. Unlike DC’s actual tap water, this drink is well worth a sip.

Drink: Golden Ox from the Old Ox Brewing Company
Type: Belgian Craft Beer
Where to Get it: Various DC Bars and Restaurants

Old Ox Brewing Company, from nearby Ashburn, Virginia, just 30 minutes outside of the city, offers drinkers a delightful variety. The Golden Ox is a refreshing and light beer with slight hints of citrus. The bit of fruitiness makes it a great choice for those who don’t normally like the taste of beer. If you can, head out to Ashburn, where you’ll find a huge open brewery with bearded young men and hip ladies taking down flights and fare from a rotating lineup food trucks out front. Otherwise, try the Golden Ox at local bars including City Tap House and The Hamilton.

Drink: Ponzi from Atlas Brew Works
Type: American IPA Craft Beer
Where to Get it: Atlas Brew Works

The Ponzi IPA goes down smooth anytime of the year with just the right amount of hoppiness and a not too overwhelming bitterness. Brewed by Atlas Brew Works, a local urban brewery and D.C.’s only solar powered one at that, the Ponzi is homegrown and contemporary. Atlas distributes to many bars and restaurants in the DC area and it’s not uncommon to find a few of their beers on tap at one place. However, the best spot to try the IPA is at the brewery itself. Nestled inside what was once an old car repair shop, you can check it out and enjoy a flight.

Drink: True Washingtonian
Type: Craft Cocktail
Where to Get it: One Eight Distillery

If you can sample beers brewed in DC, why not try some of some liquor distilled here as well? One Eight, a distillery in Ivy City, DC, lets visitors test out their Gin, Vodka, and White Whiskey. After you’ve had your free tasting and picked out your favorite of the three, try out some of the cocktails they make there with the hard stuff. The True Washingtonian uses their “District Made Vodka” with Embitterment Aromatic Bitters, aperol and a slice of cucumber. The distillery website also lists cocktail recipes for you to make at home.

Drink: Schofferhofer Grapefruit from Schofferhofer
Type: German Hefeweizen
Where to Get it: Dacha Beer Garden

Unlike most German beers, the Schofferhofer is sweet with a distinct grapefruit flavor, which makes it more comparable to a cider. It’s the perfect drink to enjoy sitting on repurposed picnic tables under string lights in the summer, and that’s exactly what you can expect when heading out to Dacha Beer Garden. Enjoy either a pint size or a full stein for the full German beer garden experience.

image via flickr