The perfect seasonal treat? Try s’mores or luxe cocoa

This time of year, few things take the nip out of the air better than hot chocolate – especially when it's spiked with something stiff. Here are two of our favorite new places to grab a cup of cocoa.


Make your own s'mores -- with a choice of Hershey's chocolate bars or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups -- at Irish Whiskey's patio firepit. The $5 s'mores package includes graham crackers, marshmallows, your choice of chocolate and a mug of hot cocoa. (Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

Irish Whiskey
If you miss the days of roasting marshmallows with your scout troop or on family camping trips, Irish Whiskey has the solution: The popular Dupont Circle pub is turning its gas-fueled patio fire pit into an urban campfire, complete with s'mores and hot chocolate.

A s'more made with a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and melted marshmallow on Irish Whiskey's patio. (Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)
A s'more made with a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and melted marshmallow on Irish Whiskey's patio. (Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

Order the $5 DIY s'mores kit at the bar and you'll get baggies filled with graham crackers, marshmallows and a choice of Hershey's chocolate or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, plus a long stick on which to spear the marshmallow. (Yes, the idea of peanut butter cups and marshmallows is unconventional, but it's as delicious as it sounds.)

The s'mores come with a mug of hot chocolate, which is topped with a peak of rich whipped cream. The cocoa is sweet and a little generic, but it can easily be punched up with a shot of whiskey or a liqueur. Bar manager Eric Morris says that "Frangelico and Kahlua are popular, but we made it with [the fruity Italian amaretto] Disaronno and had a lot of fun with that." A mug of cocoa with a shot of Disaronno costs $4.

The bar will give away free s'mores supplies from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight. After that, you'll be able to order the s'mores any weekday beginning at happy hour, or during weekend brunch.

Irish Whiskey, 1207 19th St. NW. 202-463-3010. 

Hank's Oyster Bar
Anyone who appreciates the really good stuff – Cordillera's 65 percent cacao chocolate from Colombia – should make tracks for the original Hank's Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle on Monday nights, where the intimate second-floor bar is turned into a special hot chocolate bar.

Gourmet Colombian hot chocolate at Hank's Oyster Bar, served with an orange peel. The orange oil helps bring out the chocolate's fruit notes. (Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)
Gourmet Colombian hot chocolate at Hank's Oyster Bar, served with an orange peel. The orange oil helps bring out the chocolate's fruit notes. (Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

Chunks of the Cordillera are cooked in a saucepan behind the bar, mixed with milk and a house ginger syrup as they melt. The result is smooth, luxurious and utterly decadent. It's available on its own for $5 – ask the bartender to add some fresh orange oil to bring out the flavors of the chocolate – or you can add spirits for an extra $4. Zucca Amaro plays up the chocolate's bitter notes, while adding a house-made lavender Campari adds a mellow floral note. The fun doesn't end when your glass is empty, as you'll get some rocks of Cordillera to snack on as you leave.

Hank's Oyster Bar, 1624 Q St. NW. 202-462-4265.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
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