A great cocktail tells a story. Hotel bars are elevating their game with tequila goddesses (Fairmont Scottsdale Princess), recovery concierges (Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans), and innovative bartenders that pull in locals and out-of-towners alike. Here, six drinks that outshine their buzz.
1) The Medicine Cabinet – Four Seasons Resort Vail
Served at The Remedy Bar, where you can relax after skiing or hiking in Vail, The Medicine Cabinet is the bar’s take on a Manhattan, with Angostura bitters, sweet vermouth, bourbon, and maraschino cherry liqueur – served on tap.
2) Martini on the Rock – Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
Sure, it’ll run you a cool $10K, but it’s all about the experience, right? At Blu Bar on 36, patrons can order the Martini on the Rock: a martini of ultra-premium vodka or gin, complete with a diamond in the bottom of the glass. The cocktail takes a day to prepare, in order to ensure a safe delivery of the drink and its gemstone. Included with the cocktail is a stay in one of the hotel’s posh rooms.
3) Dirty Old Bob – The Brando
At this famously sustainable resort, the Dirty Old Bob is a refreshing cocktail made with honey collected from beehives on Tetiaroa, Jack Daniel’s, and pineapple and lime juices. It’s served up at Bob’s Bar, which is named after Marlon Brando’s factotum on film sets.
4) The Batini – Four Seasons Hotel Austin
Every night from spring through fall, 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas. The Lobby Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin provides a front-row seat to the action – best enjoyed with a Batini cocktail in honor of the show. Made with local vodka, house-made blueberry syrup, grapefruit juice, lemon, and sparkling wine, it’s garnished with a blueberry and two mint leaves speared to resemble a flying bat.
5) The Sazerac – The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
Often considered America’s first cocktail, the Sazerac was created in New Orleans in the 1830s. The cocktail, served at the bar of the same name, blends rye whiskey, Angostura and Peychaud bitters, a crushed sugar cube, and absinthe, with a lemon peel garnish.
6) The Verbena – The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
It’s not often that a secret menu item is a hotel’s most popular drink. In 2016 alone, the Chandelier bar served more than 100,000 Verbena cocktails. It’s similar to a margarita, but topped with a Sichuan flower. Your bartender will encourage you to chew the flower first, a burst of intense spicy and sour flavor. This triggers your salivary glands to speed up, making you a “super taster,” as the flavors change with every sip.
Top photo: Courtesy of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.