Situated just two blocks from the Clarendon Metro station is Ambar— a Balkan restaurant known for its small & large plates and uniquely bold flavors.
This summer, restaurant Mixologist Danilo Simic introduced a collection of cocktails inspired by the season and made with smashed fruit and fresh juices; as well as some unexpected flavors like orgeat, plum jam, and chocolate-infused coconut water.
“I wanted to serve refreshing, citrusy, tropical flavors during this hot weather,” says Simic.
“There is no better way to do that than implementing two things: smashes and tiki cocktails. Smashes have a citrus, herbal and fruity flavor to them. And tiki cocktails are Polynesian libations that taste like you’re on a well-deserved beach vacation.”
“What makes all of these creations unique is adding a touch of the traditional Balkan spirit Rakija (also known as Rakia) which we use in a variety of these cocktails.”
If you’re a cocktail lover, you’ll want to try the Blueberry & Cachaça– an Ambar Smash cocktail made with lime, honey, and smashed blueberry. Or go for the Treasure Chest, a tiki cocktail made with rum, apricot Rakia, pineapple, orgeat, lime and plum jam.
We’re also excited about the Painkiller and Lemon & Grapa. The former is a tiki cocktail made with rum, honey, lemon, cayenne ginger tea, and chocolate-infused coconut water. The latter is another Ambar Smash infused with grape Rakia, lemon, mint, and soda water.
What To Drink At Ambar Clarendon
Ready to feast like a Balkan? Simic suggests pairings each cocktail with specific foods designed to enhance their unique flavor profiles. Here’s what to order:
Cocktail: Blueberry & Cachaca
Ingredients: Cachaca, Lime, Honey, Blueberry
Flavor Profile: Sweet floral citrus with rich honey notes. (Caipirinha, Daiquiri, Rum and Tequila drinkers)
Pairs With: White flat bread, Catfish, Balkan Salad
Cocktail: Lemon & Grappa
Ingredients: Grape Rakia, Lemon, Mint, Soda Water
Flavor Profile: Light and fizzy with citrus and minty elements. (For Mojito and Pisco Drinkers)
Pairs With: Mussels, Ambar Salad, Fried Zucchini
Cocktail: Port Light
Ingredients: Rum, Lime, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Pomegranate Juice, Falernum, Absent
Flavor Profile: Strong tropical notes followed with herbal notes (Mai tai, Rum, and Absent drinkers)
Pairs With: Urnebes, Short Ribs, Calamari
Cocktail: Treasure Chest
Ingredients: Rum, Apricot Rakia, Pineapple, Orgeat, Lime, Plum Jam
Flavor Profile: Rich and aromatic, with an intense plum flavor and apricot aroma (Rum and Mai tai, drinkers)
Pairs With: Mezze Plater, Three pepper, Pork Sausage
Ingredients: Rum, Honey, Lemon, Cayenne Ginger Tea, Chocolate infused Coconut water
Flavor Profile: Complex flavors with spicy and tropical elements followed by pleasantly chocolate finish (Whiskey, Single Malt, and Spicy Margarita Lovers)
Pairs With: Stuffed Sour Cabbage, Almond Crusted Chicken
Ambar Clarendon is located at 2901 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA. Happy Hour is available Monday through Friday, from 4 PM to 7 PM. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday, from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM.
The restaurant is open for dinner Sunday through Thursday, from 4 PM to 10:30 PM; Friday and Saturday, from 4 PM to 11:30 PM.
Call Ambar Clarendon with questions at (703) 875-9663 or visit www.ambarrestaurant.com.