Public House in The Venetian has a vast collection of over 200 premier ales, lagers, IPAs and stouts, and serves them in generous Vegas-size portions. This modern version of a classic tavern has 24 taps a-flowing with hearty lagers, rare pilsners and oak-barrel-housed cask beers. If you want to have a snack, even their food has beer in it: Beer Brined Southern Fried Chicken served with Cheddar-Jalapeno Grits, Ale Brined Chicken Wings and Deschutes Black Butte Porter Braised Short Rib.
Hotels like The Fairmont San Francisco, The Fairmont Olympic in Seattle, The Fairmont Empress in Victoria and The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto have developed distinctive honey beers from their much-applauded onsite beehives. The Fairmont Empress is even doubling their onsite hives in order to provide additional honey to launch their Fairmont Empress Honey Wheat Ale in partnership with local Hoyne Brewery. Could this be the start of a modern-day Mead?
Homemade hooch: As cocktail culture reaches critical mass, mixologists are infusing any kind of spirit they can get their hands on and are getting all mad scientist on us as they experiment with mixes.
In San Diego, THE US GRANT’s award-winning mixologist has taken his cocktail crafting skills to new heights by going to the hotel's basement. After many hours of experimenting with various bottling processes, he's the first mixologist to successfully craft bottled cocktails combining the beer and champagne methods of fermentation, using both hops ansd yeast. What does this mean for you, the drinker? It means that you can try one of the hotel’s complex “Cocktails Sur Lie" like the Mule in a Bottle—made with garden flower-infused vodka, ginger, rock sugar, California hops and Champagne yeast—or the sexy-looking Le Grenade containing Cognac, pomegranate, bay leaves, black pepper and fermented Syrah yeast. We can tell ya one thing: We are intrigued!
Fairmont Hotels comes through with its OAK Long Bar Blend found at The Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston. Working with local craft distiller Angel’s Envy, the exclusive bourbon is only available until it’s gone and has notes of vanilla with a ruby port finish, making a superlative Manhattan.
The Setai, Miami Beach, a Leading Hotels of the World property, has a master mixologist who infuses more than a half-dozen spirits at any given time, selecting fruits and ingredients that are in-season. Case in point: the Rose Petal-infused Sake and Vodka, the Rhubarb-infused Vodka and the Pomegranate-Infused Kappa Pisco—all used to make delish cocktails like their popular Rhubarb Stinger made with the rhubarb vodka, fresh muddled strawberry and ginger, rhubarb puree, citrus and homemade vanilla syrup.
As our selection for the weird taste of the day, the Searsucker San Diego infuses Rancho Alegre tequila with a medium-sized bag of movie theater popcorn with extra butter for their Buttered Popcorn Tequila Cocktail! Okaaaayy….
To combat the weird, we’ll finish with the sure-to-be-wonderful. At ME Cabo they also infuse Mexico’s famous drink: tequila. The Mango Margarita consists of:
2 OZ MANGO AND PINEAPPLE TEQUILA INFUSION
3 OZ MANGO CONCENTRATE
1 OZ ORANGE JUICE
1 OZ SIMPLE SYRUP
Stir and serve. Let the Hotel Cocktail Weekend begin!
[Photos: Sheraton Hotels & Resorts/The Venetian/THE US GRANT/Searsucker San Diego]