Pop Art

Sodas get a grown-up spin

When it comes to quenching thirst, we've seen craft cocktails, biodynamic wine lists and plenty of fresh-squeezed juices.

A refreshing break from the norm, Alexandria restaurant The Majestic repurposes seasonal produce into house-made sodas ($3) that are anything but a canned effort.

There, mixologist Melissa Horst browses the Old Town farmers' market for seasonal ingredients and raids the restaurant's produce supplies for other inspiration. She blends roasted kabocha squash and toasted cinnamon and nutmeg for the earthy Cinderella's Pumpkin, which tastes like pumpkin pie in a glass.

Recent additions include the Creamsicle-like kumquat-vanilla and a Meyer lemon soda that is sweetened with local honey. Other flavors in rotation through the year might be peach-saffron or strawberry with black pepper.

Horst also creates freshly juiced lemon-lime and spicy ginger sodas to replace their high-sugar commercial cousins. There's no corn syrup, either: She keeps her recipes simple, with macerated fruit and vegetables, simple syrup and sparkling water.

The sodas, served in vintage-style fountain glasses with curly straws, are a charming choice for designated drivers or nights off the sauce. But they also make a high-quality base for cocktails–especially those made with the bar's extensive bourbon collection.

The Majestic, 911 King St., Alexandria; 703-837-9117 or majesticcafe.com