Taste the cherry blossoms: Festive menu items for DC’s springtime party

The National Cherry Blossom Festival will be a hybrid event this year, due to ongoing public health precautions.

But even with the pandemic looming again over this local rite of spring, there is a related tradition that persists despite all the social distancing, mask wearing and whatnot.

Because hey, we gotta eat.

For years, local restaurants and bars have celebrated the cherry blossoms with delicious (and, at times, boozy) menu items, and they’re not about to change this year.

Here are some standouts that you should definitely check out when you’re out and about on bloom patrol. (WTOP’s Brett Snyder has already sampled a few of them for you — check out the video below.)

Astro Doughnut’s Cherry Blossom Doughnut: Filled with tart cherry jam and topped with a cream cheese glaze, this square little guy is worth leaving the house for. And even if that’s still not your thing these days, you can always get it delivered. This, my friends, is why the good lord invented elastic waistbands ($4.50).

Check out Astro’s website for more information.

Cherry blossom tarts at Ted’s Bulletin: Ted et al. have transformed the average Pop Tart into an artisanal experience of sorts, so of course they had to feature one of the better flavors this time of year. Each will set you back about $4, and these, too, are available for delivery and carryout. You’ve noshed on the store-bought version all year. Now, treat yourself with Ted’s more-perfect version.

Ice Cream Jubilee cherry blossom cookie sandwich kit: One element of our shared humanity is that deep down, we are all sandwich artists. Ice Cream Jubilee will offer a DIY opportunity that, for once, does not involve bologna.

They’ll provide the sugar cookie dough, a flower cookie cutter, white chocolate for frosting, rainbow sprinkles, and a pint of Sweet Cream & Honey. You and yours provide the value-add and assemble it all. Available March 19.

Compass Coffee’s Cherry Blossom Blend: If this puppy wants some, you know it’s gotta be good. Per Compass, it’s an “assortment of fruity and floral flavors whose intricate aromas precede a crisp, clean finish.” The phrase assigns many intriguing adjectives to a cup of joe. Maybe that is what’s making the pup’s nose go crazy. ($15 for a 12-ounce tin).

Olivia Macaron’s cherry blossom macaron: A cherry-flavored macaron is a no-brainer for this local baker. This one features a “jammy fruit-flavored ganache.” And like the rest of their offerings, it is so pleasing to the eye that you’ll take an extra second or two to savor its beauty before taking a bite.

They’re made fresh daily, and can be delivered locally or shipped nationwide (about $3.50 each).

Immigrant Food’s Pink Dragon Fusion Mylk: Pink drinks are mandatory around town this time of year, and Immigrant Food has put together a winner here. It comprises oat milk, pink dragon fruit, blue agave, yellow raisins and cardamom, and is a perfect way to unwind after enjoying the District in all its springtime glory ($6).


The Mr. Harris at Blue Duck Tavern and Blue Duck Lounge: Named after Bill Murray’s character in “Lost in Translation,” this seasonal cocktail is made with Bluecoat gin, Mancino cherry blossom vermouth, Cocchi Americano and Gran Classico. It’s described as “clean and floral with the faint bitterness of Winter citrus” ($17) and is available at the hotel’s Blue Duck Lounge and Blue Duck Tavern.

Modena‘s Fiore di Kyoto cocktail: This springtime cocktail combines the sublime Suntory Toki whiskey with black cherry miso and nigori junmai sake. And here’s the best part: Delivery is an option ($16).

Sprinkles cherry cupcake: This limited edition treat ain’t messing around: cherry cake, filled with cherry jam and topped with cherry frosting and a maraschino cherry ($5.50). It’s available for delivery or pickup from Sprinkles’ Georgetown location. Probably best to pre-order these, because Yours Truly detects a selling-out-quickly vibe here.

Bombay Club‘s Celestial Garden cocktail: It combines Rosé gin, lemon-rosé cordial, fresh lemon juice, rose water and Peychaud’s bitters, and it, too, is available for both pickup and delivery ($14).

Fairmont Washington D.C. Georgetown’s sakura and peach blossom gelee: The Fairmont Georgetown is offering a cherry blossom-themed afternoon tea on weekends from March 27 to April 25. The menu has a mix of sweet and savory fare for the season, and this cocktail is a standout, combining pickled cherry blossoms with peach blossom sake. Space is limited for the afternoon tea ($52-$85), so now’s the time to score that reservation.

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Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to WTOP.com when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer.

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