Delicious Cocktail Recipes from Cool Hotel Bars—Taste Vacation at Home!
Hotels have been a haven for delightful beverages for centuries. Ever since the modern hotel evolved out of the tavern inns of yore, the world's greatest places to stay have cultivated bars that are just as popular as their rooms. And many of those bars have made significant contributions to drinking culture. Honolulu's Hawaiian Village Hotel gave the world the Blue Hawaii; the Hotel Ritz in Paris is credited with both the sidecar and the mimosa; and in 1894, Manhattan's Waldorf Astoria created the Rob Roy, a gustatory accomplishment the hotel unfortunately negated by also inventing an eponymous, nasty salad sprinkled with bitter walnuts and coated with mayonnaise.
Not every new cocktail can join the pantheon of eternal tipples—for one, it has to be relatively easy to obtain the ingredients—but new potential classics are being concocted by hotel mixologists every day. Is the next Singapore Sling (born at the Raffles Singapore) already in our midst? We can't say for sure, but get ready, because it's going to be fun finding out.
Pictured: Singapore Sling shaker machine, Long Bar, Raffles Singapore
2 oz. Absolut vodka
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. blueberry agave syrup (see instructions below)
3 oz. ginger beer
1 oz. club soda
4 blueberries for garnish
1 mint sprig for garnish
Add vodka, blueberry agave nectar, fresh lime, and ice to a 16-oz. glass. Stir and chill. Add ginger beer and club soda, and stir again; this time, make sure to bring the bottom of the glass contents up through the carbonated mixers. Garnish with blueberries. Remove the lower mint leaves from stem. Bruise mint sprig to allow the mint oils and aromatics to be expressed. Add as garnish.
To make blueberry agave syrup:
6 oz. fresh blueberries
1 oz. granulated white sugar
Juice of half lemon
2 oz. water
6 oz. agave nectar
In a small sauce pan, combine all ingredients, except agave, and heat on medium low until the blueberries start to soften. Remove from heat and place in blender. Add agave nectar and blend until mixture is thoroughly incorporated in agave nectar.
Hotel's description: "The signature drink of The Connaught in London has to be The Connaught Bar martini—an icon in the bar world. It is made and served from a beautifully designed black lacquer trolley. Ours are only quietly stirred, never shaken, and the trolley features an exquisite engraved Japanese crystal mixing jar which has been cleverly engineered to conserve freezing temperatures. The stirring utensils are made of silver, while the martinis themselves are served in elegant engraved crystal glasses especially designed for The Connaught Bar by leading French designer Jean Jacques. In the surroundings of the bar, the martini (if the guest requires gin) is made with our own Connaught Bar gin—this was originally created to mark the bar’s 10th anniversary."
2.5 oz. vodka or gin
0.5 oz. dry vermouth
3 drops bitters (vanilla, grapefruit, cardamom, licorice, lavender, ginger, or coriander)
Stir vermouth and spirit over ice and strain into martini glass coated with bitters of your choice. Garnish with lemon zest or olives.
Gaby Brasserie Française at Sofitel New York
Hotel's description: "Grapefruit and pomegranate are dense in nutrients while gin, made from juniper berries, offers its own surprising health benefits, aiding kidney and liver function and warding off colds and congestion to keep you 'in the pink.' This is served in our Gaby Brasserie Française bar (pictured)."
2 oz. gin
0.75 oz. grapefruit juice
0.75 oz. pomegranate juice
Splash of club soda
Combine gin, grapefruit juice, and pomegranate juice in a mixing glass filled with ice. Mix and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Top up with club soda.
Hotel's description: "Spoonbar’s 'farm-to-bar' cocktails spotlight locally and domestically produced spirits and organic herbs, fruits, and vegetables grown by Sonoma County purveyors. Each quarter, Spoonbar’s team creates a few featured drinks based on a single spirit that capture the essence of the season."
3 sprigs of thyme
0.75 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. ginger-and-carrot puree
1.5 oz. Hanson ginger vodka (or infuse your own vodka)
Muddle the thyme with a mortar and pestle, then transfer to a cocktail shaker with ice, lime juice, ginger-and-carrot puree, and ginger vodka. Shake well and strain over ice into a collins glass. Top with ginger beer.
1.5 oz. Hendrix gin
2 oz. cucumber juice
0.5 oz. lime juice*
0.5 oz. sugarcane juice
* The resort uses local Fiji limes and organic mint and cucumber.
Combine gin with lime, cucumber, and sugarcane juices. Shake and strain.
1.5 oz. vodka
1.5 oz. strawberry puree (in a pinch, subtitute strawberry jam)
0.75 oz. lemon juice
Measure liquid ingredients, minus the prosecco. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain over ice into a rocks glass and top with prosecco. Optional: Garnish with basil leaf or frozen strawberry pieces.
To make strawberry puree:
1 cup sugar
1 cup strawberries
1 cup boiling water
Mix ingredients. Dissolve sugar and let strawberries simmer for 15 minutes. Once mixture has cooled, use blender to refine to liquid consistency.
Hotel's description: "This drink was created in celebration of the legendary Chicago architectural firm founded by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan. The Adler and Sullivan honors that famous collaboration (which created the Chicago Stock Exchange and Auditorium buildings) by combining cucumber and jalapeno infused vodka with chamomile syrup for a well-balanced and straightforward drink."
2 oz. jalapeno-cucumber vodka (instructions below)
0.5 oz. chamomile syrup (instructions below)
0.5 oz. lime syrup
Serve in a coupe glass garnished with cucumber.
To make jalapeno-cucumber vodka:
Half cucumber, chopped
1 deseeded jalapeno pepper
Combine in sauce pan. Simmer for one hour, then strain into glass bottle using cheesecloth. Let cool.
To make chamomile syrup:
Brew chamomile tea, steep 10 minutes. Add 1:1 ratio of sugar. Stir until dissolved. Let cool.
At White Mountain Hotel & Resort in North Conway, New Hampshire
Hotel's description: "Created by bartender Al DiMartino, The Royal Treatment is exactly what it sounds like—the perfect cocktail for those days when you need to treat yourself."
1.5 oz. of Empress 1908 gin
3 oz. of white cranberry juice
Sparkling wine of your choice
Garnish with kiwi, berries of your choice, and mint.
Hotel's description: "Because much of the 2006 remake of Casino Royale was shot throughout the hotel, the most iconic drink here is the Vesper Martini, taken at Martini Bar & Lounge, which appeared in the movie as a casino. 'A martini’s allure is in its simplicity and a perfect balance of its ingredients,' says bartender Keith Cash (pictured), who also appeared in the 007 film. 'The Vesper is ironically quite delicate and botanical thanks to the Lillet Blanc—though I realize Lillet Blanc may not be a staple in everyone’s home bar.' As a flavor substitute, Cash recommends using sweet vermouth—it will cloud the clear, slightly viscous appearance of a classic Vesper, but it will taste the most similar."
3 oz. Gordon's gin (Tanqueray can be substituted)
1 oz. vodka
0.5 oz. Lillet Blanc (or substitute with sweet vermouth)
Lemon peel or olives for garnish
Large ice cubes
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Combine ingredients in shaker and shake until cold. Strain into Champagne saucer or martini glass (preferably chilled). Garnish.
Rowes Wharf Bar at Boston Harbor Hotel, Boston
Hotel's description: "This is the only signature cocktail (pictured, second from right) that has been on our menu for over 30 years—since the hotel opened."
0.75 oz. Grey Goose La Poire vodka
0.75 oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur
0.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
Combine liquors, add fresh lemon juice. Shake. Pour into a Champagne flute and top with 4 oz of prosecco. Garnish with a lemon twist.
1.5 oz. Conch Republic rum
0.5 oz. KeKe Key Lime Pie Cream Liqueur
0.5 oz. fresh lime juice
0.5 oz. simple syrup
2.5 oz. club soda
8 mint leaves
Half of a lime
1 mint sprig
Combine all ingredients except for the club soda into a shaker. Fill the shaker two-thirds of the way with ice and shake vigorously. Add club soda, shake once, then pour contents into a 12-oz. glass. Garnish with fresh lime juice and mint sprig.
Hotel's description: "It was created by the team of the Lobby Bar at the historic Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Beverage Director Troy Ritchie says he likes it because anyone can make it and that while it is sweet, it is balanced and not too sweet. The name pays tribute to the bison that roamed free in Kentucky when the land was a sacred hunting ground before statehood. Bison are still plentiful in Kentucky."
1.5 oz. bourbon
1.5 oz. Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream
Combine in a shaker. Shake vigorously with ice. Add a dash of nutmeg.
Hotel's description: "Madeira wine is well-known due to its unique flavors that range from sweet to spicy and for its high alcohol content. The wine’s well-balanced acidity makes for outstanding cocktails. Inspired by the Negroni, this signature drink includes Henriques & Henriques Medium Rich 3-year-old Madeira wine. Each ingredient has a purpose: Hazelnut soothes the gin's strength, adding dried fruit notes that mix with the orange flavor of Campari. To top it off, the Madeira wine offers a harmonious blend of acidity and sweetness to help balance the gin and Campari."
1 oz. gin infused with hazelnuts (instructions below)
1 oz. Campari bitter
1 oz. Madeira wine, medium rich, 3 years old
Salted caramel candy (for garnish)
Fill an old fashioned glass with ice cubes to chill and set aside. Add the gin, Campari, and Madeira to a mixing glass, add ice and stir for 30 seconds until well chilled. Remove the ice cubes from the old fashioned glass and add a large ice sphere. Strain the cocktail into the glass, garnish with the orange zest, and serve with the salted caramel candy.
To make hazlelnut-infused gin:
Add 3.5 oz. of dried hazelnuts to 1L/34 oz. of gin. Cover and let sit for five days. Strain out solids and store.
At La Posada de Santa Fe, New Mexico
Hotel's description: "In 1882, a prosperous merchant named Abraham Staab built his mansion on the property that now belongs to La Posada. Abraham and his elegant wife, Julia, entertained Santa Fe society in the grand residence that is now home to the Staab House Bar. Guests can enjoy a taste of Santa Fe history with a Juliarita, the margarita named after her. The ingredients are inspired by (and at the hotel made from) apricots that still grow on a tree planted in the 1880s by Julia and her friend, Archbishop Lamy, founder of the Santa Fe cathedral."
*At the hotel, bartenders harvest apricots from Julia’s tree, originally planted in the 1880s. To make it at home, blend apricot, sugar, and water or purchase a ready-made apricot puree or nectar.
Mix and serve.
At the Sindhorn Midtown Hotel Bangkok, Thailand
Hotel's description: "Inspired by the fragrant coconut soup tom kha gai, this aromatic concoction by bar consultant Francesco Moretti is a tangy and tropical sip. We garnish it with lemongrass and serve it in a bamboo glass."
2 oz. Phraya rum
1 oz. Monin coconut syrup
0.2 oz. coconut cream
0.66 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. fresh pineapple juice
1 little piece of hot chili
1 oz. Boiron passion fruit puree
3 small pieces galangal
2 small pieces lemongrass
3 kaffir lime leaves
Muddle together and shake. Double strain and pour onto cubed ice.
Hotel's description: "The Stinger Cocktail Bar and Kitchen's namesake cocktail, The Stinger, is a house-made craft signature drink. When you order it at the hotel, it features honey collected from a rooftop hive and it's finished with a light house-made demi-sec mead foam. We also serve it in three appropriately named sizes: Beehave (2 oz.), Buzz (6 oz.), and Sting (12 oz.)."
2 oz. Grey Goose Citron vodka
0.5 oz. yellow Chartreuse
0.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz. honey syrup
Shake and serve.
Hotel's description: "At The Bar at The Spectator Hotel, our 1920s-, speakeasy-inspired lounge, master cocktail craftsman Allen Lancaster concocts his The Dude Imbibes, his take on the classic White Russian that The Dude from The Big Lebowski drinks in just about every scene."
3 oz. house-infused chai spice–vanilla Cathead vodka (instructions below)
1.5 oz unsweetened almond milk
1 large espresso coffee liqueur ice cube (instructions below)
Combine vodka and almond milk and pour over the ice cube, stirring with straw or swizzle stick to gradually dissolve the ice cube.
To make chai spice–vanilla vodka, combine:
1 bottle Cathead vodka
4 vanilla beans (split and scraped)
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground allspice
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
3 tsp. ground ginger
To make espresso coffee liqueur ice cubes, combine and freeze:
12 oz. espresso
12 oz. St. George NOLA coffee liqueur
12 oz. water
Official description: "Invented around 1850 in a saloon on Exchange Alley, the Sazerac, known as the world’s first mixed cocktail, is the most famous drink of New Orleans. The Sazerac Bar has existed in only three locations: on Exchange Alley, at 300 Carondelet Street, and at The Roosevelt New Orleans. Nearly 30,000 Sazeracs are sold each year in The Sazerac Bar."
1.5 oz. Sazerac rye whiskey
0.25 oz. simple syrup
3–5 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
0.25 oz. Herbsaint
Start with two rocks glasses. Fill one with ice (or place in freezer) and set aside to chill. In the second glass, add whiskey, Peychaud’s bitters, and simple syrup.
After the first glass gets frosty, dump the ice and rinse the glass with Herbsaint. Add ice to second glass and stir 30 times. Strain the contents of the second glass into the Herbsaint-rinsed glass. Garnish with a lemon twist, rubbing the peel around the rim of the glass.
At Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Hotel's description: "This one, invented by our Héctor Ortiz, is for those hot summer days that call for entertaining your guests with a type of punch that can be served out of a bowl or beverage spout."
Two 750 mL bottles of Absolut vodka
0.5 gal. watermelon juice
0.25 gal. basil syrup (instructions below)
0.25 gal. fresh lemon juice
1L ginger ale
Mix and serve.
To make basil syrup:
All syrups have the same base: sugar and water. Reduce them into a syrup by heating together while introducing your chosen flavor into the concoction—in this case, basil. Let cool before mixing into the cocktail.