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The Top Distilleries in Washington DC

In the last 5 years, Washington DC has seen a range of new distilleries open up in the less popular neighborhoods of the district, producing a variety of different spirits and liqueurs while serving innovative craft cocktails and offering tours and tastings to the community.

Distillery in DC
Distillery in DC
In the process, discarded neighborhoods are getting transformed and old industrial warehouses are being converted to artsy, trendy tasting rooms.

Here is the list of some of the top distilleries in the district for those that would like to explore a variety of different spirits and craft cocktails.

New Columbia Distillers

Green Hat Gin is a gin distilled at New Columbia Distiller’s distillery in Ivy City. The gin’s name is a reference to George Cassiday, who was a prominent bootlegger during prohibition and sold liquor to congressmen and senators.

New Columbia Distillers
New Columbia Distillers
The distillery produces a few different types of gin, which are distilled by hand from 100% grain and select botanicals in small batches in a copper pot still.

Tasting and tours are available on Saturdays, besides a few gin based cocktails.

Don Ciccio & Figli

Don Ciccio & Figli is a small batch distillery producing handcrafted amari, aperitivi and Amalfi Coast cordials which include the popular limoncello.

Don Ciccio & Figli cordials
Don Ciccio & Figli cordials
Founder Francesco Amodeo's family began distilling in the small town of Atrani on the Amalfi Coast back in 1883. They operated for nearly 100 years before an earthquake destroyed everything in 1980. Francesco revived the family tradition in 2012, in Washington, DC, and the artisanal liqueurs produced at Don Ciccio & Figli are inspired by the time-tested recipes handed down from generation to generation.

Amaro delle Sirene is their flagship Amaro based on an infusion of 30 selected roots and herbs; the recipe dating back to 1931.

Tasting and tours are available on Saturdays, besides cocktails.

Jos. A. Magnus & Co Distillery

Jos. A. Magnus & Co Distillery is a gin and bourbon distillery in Ivy City which also has an elegant craft cocktail bar. The distillery has set out to recreate the style of the original Magnus Bourbon produced in the late 19th century.

Jos. A. Magnus & Co distillation stills
Jos. A. Magnus & Co distillation stills
Inspired by the bourbon blend that was all the rage at the beginning of the 20th century, the Murray Hill Club, located inside the distillery, captures the glamour and passion of the time.

Their award winning Joseph Magnus Bourbon is aged in white oak and finished in Oloroso sherry, Pedro Ximénez and Cognac casks.

The distillery offers tours and tastings and the cocktail bar is open Wednesday to Sunday.

Republic Restoratives Distillery

Republic Restoratives Distillery is a crowdfunded, small batch, women-owned distillery producing vodka, bourbon and rye whiskey with a nice craft cocktail bar in Ivy City.

Republic Restoratives Distillery cocktail bar
Republic Restoratives Distillery cocktail bar
The distillery is in an old renovated warehouse with a spacious tasting room having a contemporary decor.

Distillery tours and tastings are offered on the weekend. The tour fee of $12 includes a tasting of each of their product.

One Eight Distilling

One Eight Distilling is a small batch spirits distillery in Ivy City which produces gin, vodka and whiskey, with a tasting room having a chill laid back vibe and some nice craft cocktails.

One Eight Distilling cocktail bar
One Eight Distilling cocktail bar
The distillery gets its name from Article One Section Eight of the Constitution, which among other things provided for the establishment of a district to serve as the nation’s capital.

Tours are offered on Saturdays and the tour fee of $15 includes sampling 3 spirits.

Cotton & Reed

Cotton & Reed located in the Union Market district is DC’s first rum distillery. It is set in a refurbished warehouse with a stylish tasting room and cocktail bar serving rum based cocktails.

Cotton & Reed distillery
Cotton & Reed distillery
The distillery produces white rum and a dry spiced rum made from a botanical blend. The rums also feature in a variety of cocktails served in the tasting room.

30 minute tours are conducted every Saturday and Sunday and the tour fee of $22, includes a cocktail and rum flight.

Planning Your Visit

Most of the new distilleries are in the Ivy City neighborhood of DC. Though, you could visit them all in a single day, it is a better experience to plan your visit over a few different weekends. This allows you to do the tastings and also enjoy a cocktail or two without crossing the limits of alcohol.

The Ivy City neighborhood has two nice restaurants, that are a good place to get some food after the drinks. La Puerta Verde is a colorful Mexican restaurant, that serves some delicious tacos and across the street is the Ivy City Smokehouse, which serves seafood and smoked fish. Additionally, you can also explore the food restaurants around the H St, while visiting Ivy City.

Cotton & Reed distillery is near the Union Market, which is a warehouse-like food market with a host of artisans offering charcuterie, barbecue, Indian dosas, Korean tacos, empanadas and other food dishes.

Don Ciccio & Figli is driving distance to the Petworth neighborhood, which has many nice restaurants to choose from.

For tour schedules and addresses of the distilleries, check the Breweries & Distilleries listing in Washington DC, in our Things to Do Project.

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