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SMAK Bar's Bloody Mary at Hotel Madeline
We've started a series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What’s Out: Drinks Then Dinner
What’s In: Dinner in Your Drinks
These days hotel bars are getting all fancy with their cocktails. Prize mixologists are like rock stars in the bevvie world. It’s a given now that the best hotel bars make their own syrups and infuse their own spirits, so what’s next? Well, some bartenders are thinking that it may be time to bring back the liquid lunch, although some of these drinks aren’t only liquid...
Lantern’s Keep (love the name!) at the Iroquois Hotel New York is an intimate cocktail salon located inside the historic Theater District hotel. Here's the kicker--you can only enter the dimly-lit watering hole if the lantern outside the bar is glowing. If you’re there at night and have one-too-many of the Stay Up Late cocktails, you might just want to show up the next day for the Golden Breakfast, made up of gin, lime, cucumber slices, Worcester sauce, hot sauce and the final ingredient--an egg yolk.
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Not only is it Friday, but apparently it’s National Margarita Day, too! Seriously, we think people just make half these celebrations up, but this one we can get with, even though we think margaritas are best served with sunshine and high temps. But no matter, we're good sports.
To honor this "holiday", hotel bars around the country are rolling out their best margs. Naturally some are getting fancy with the fixins, while others refuse to mess with the original recipe--tequila, triple sec and lime.
Here are a few versions that caught our eye and have us chomping at the bit for quittin' time. Although, didn't someone say it's always 5 o'clock somewhere?
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Mercy it's cold outside and your usual champers does nothing to warm them bones. We'll get into all the Hot Toddy and Chocolate goodness out there soon, but for now, we want to focus on El Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mexico City, Why? Because we need to distract the hell out of ourselves and these frigid temps.
Plus, we like nothing more to amuse y'all. So when you go to your favorite watering hole tonight (that is if you aren't the lucky SOB's already in Mexico) we challenge you to ask them to serve a lil something like this:
It's called "The Grasshopper" and it's barrel aged mezcal, accompanied by fresh orange and a trio of salts: hibiscus (sal de jamaica), grasshopper (sal de chapulines), and worm (sal de gusano). Yeah, two of these have your eyes crinkled, fo sho. But wait, it's actually good for you!
High in protein, vitamins and minerals content, grasshoppers, or chapulines have been used as a Mexican food source for centuries (we love 'em in guacamole!). If you order a mescal at El Bar, your drink will probably be accompanied by grasshopper salt. Buggin' out by this? Ok, perhaps Chef Edgar Kano's worm salt is a better fit. The savory blend is made from worms that live on the maguey plant, from which tequila and mezcal come from. And don't say you don't like your tequila! We know better. You'll find the salt in his tangy guacamole and sauces.
See? We distracted you from the cold for a few minutes. Job done.
[Photo: Four Seasons Hotels]
Time flies – it feels like only yesterday we were at London’s May Fair Hotel talking models, cocktails, and cigars. But, as seasons change and new collections hit the runway, The May Fair is due for yet another turn as the official host hotel of London Fashion Week, with the inevitable fashion windows and cocktails to boot (heh).
The illustrations adorning the hotel windows are by the hand of the master himself: Manolo Blahnik. Having designed the entire LFW campaign, Blahnik chose to feature key fashion industry figures in his drawings that have been influential during his career.
And what goes better with Blahnik than cocktails inspired by shoes? Just like last season’s designer cocktails, a special series has been concocted for the occasion: the Mary Jane, the Peep Toe, the Strappy Sandal, the Red Stiletto, the Velvet Mule and the Classic Court. And since we have an admitted weakness for shoes, we plan on sampling them all.
"If you're blue and you don't know – where to go to, why don't you go – where fashion sits – Puttin' on the Ritz……"
London’s The Ritz certainly had some apropos music when we attended an event here last week, with Ella Fitzgerald’s version of the classic song livening up one of the decked out function spaces in William Kent House that we toured.
There was a lot to see, from the hotel’s top-end Prince of Wales suite, to a private peek inside the Ritz Club’s high-roller Salle Privée we managed to wrangle, but that’s all for another day. First, we need to talk
booze vintage cocktail collection at the Rivoli Bar, which given the price range (£90 - £250, or $130 - $400 USD) falls squarely in the Fantasy Friday bracket.
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It's not too late enjoy the last few weeks of Summer in Australia, especially in the place where, it seems, the season shines. We're going to take you to Palazzo Versace in Gold Coast where they are holding onto every last bit of Summer with a Gin Palace and Open Air Movies for the rest of the season.
In the Aussie state that claims to have 'endless summer' it seems like no better reason to have a party and we're fine with that. The fashionista hotel celebrates the equally fashionable drink with a full menu of gin libations. Hosted in the lobby bar, Le Jardin is transformed into a gin palace featuring live music and summer-y cocktails based with the juniper-berry spirit. Every Saturday night, the lobby turns into a place for everything glam and super trendy—after all, it is Versace.
Few things pair as well as gin cocktails and classic cinema under the stars, so if you prefer a little more a more subdued evening, out in the super posh, Fountain Terrace, movie-buffs can sit back in a bean-bag chair or a private cabana and relax to various films. Guests are offered salted popcorn, chocolate top ice-cream and a signature slurpee for $30 per person. If you prefer a little more sustenance during the movie, you can pre-order a picnic-basket dinner for $45 per person.
[Photo: Palazzo Versace]
The Le Mizz Fizz doesn't look so mizz after all!
It's high season in Los Angeles right now as Hollywood folks spend the next few weeks preparing for the main event, The Oscars, on February 24. Everyone who's anyone is flitting about town "doing lunch", blowing air kisses to "friends", picking up free swag and gushing about this year's nominees, whether they mean it or not.
If you're headed to LA for a visit soon or if you're a
struggling actor/screenwriter local, we've got an easy way for you to get in on the Oscar fun--by drinking at hotels, of course.
We've rounded up a bunch of Oscar-themed cocktails currently being served at a few hotels in Los Angeles as well as outside of Tinseltown. We've even included their recipes so you make your own Academy Award-winning libations. And we especially like how you don't have to book a room at any of these hotels to sip these suckers.
Keep reading for more Oscar drinks from hotels!
We've seen some pretty inventive cocktail concoctions in our time, but this one has us pretty intrigued. The Opus Vancouver has partnered with doTERRA Vancouver to create essential oil-infused cocktails. Yep, we can hear you now. "Huh"? We had the same reaction. Last time we checked essential oils were used in spa treatments or hokey feel-good remedies. But a drink? Nah, man.
Guess we needed to be schooled, and that happened when we asked for more info. Apparently these cocktails are made with dōTERRA's certified therapeutic grade essential oils that can be ingested (not all oils have that quality) by adding them to water or in this case, booze.
So, the hotel's Opus Bar created cocktails like the Opusition, a mix of passionfruit liqueur, fresh grapefruit juice, Brut sparkling wine, poached pineapple and grapefruit essential oil. And in addition to sipping this yummy blend, you're actually boosting your digestive and immune system and uplifting your mood. You can't be mad at a multi-purpose cocktail!
Then there's the Hugo, the bar's version of a gin & tonic made with Bombay gin, mint, soda and lavender and lime essential oils. Now, with this drink apparently relaxation is meant to occur along with natural aphrodisiac, mind calming and restorative feelings. We read this to mean you can drink a few, let your hair down, and maybe not regret it in the morning? We say cheers to that!
[Photo: Opus Vancouver]
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Did you know it was Repeal Day? Sadly, we got through this whole entire Hump Day without being none the wiser. A tragedy, to be sure. Not that we haven't been loving autumn cocktails, we're not completely out the loop, ya know.
But, all is not lost. It's dinner time on the East coast, and the West Coast hasn't hit quitting time yet, so there's still time for everyone to take advantage of today's festivities. But, first, we'll clue you in on what Repeal Day is, just in case you didn't know.
To make it short (obviously time is of the essence) back on this day in 1933 Prohibition was ended in America after 13 years of (supposedly) dry living. Americans celebrated the "Repeal" of Prohibition by basically drinking their behind off. It has been celebrated every December 5th, since.
So in recognition of this "holiday", we guide you to some hotel bars that we think are serving some choice spirits.
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We're getting a pretty big kick out of all the Hostess-related headlines we're seeing right now on Google: "If Twinkie dies, we killed it" (CNN), "The Twinkie Manifesto" (NYTimes), "What the Twinkie's Demise Tells Us" (Washington Post), and our favorite, Gawker's guide on how to make your own twinkies.
Things are still pretty up in the air for the 82-year-old baked goods company, though America breathed a collective sigh of relief yesterday afternoon, when it was announced that Hostess has agreed to sit down with the BCTGM union and talk through their problems.
But that hasn't stopped folks from buying up every last box of Twinkies, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs available in the stores. And it certainly hasn't stopped W Times Square from seizing on the opportunity to put together a special Hostess-themed cocktail pairings menu to honor the occasion.
The menu, which is only available for four days—starting today!—will feature pairings like the TBR (a twinkie with a Pabst Blue Ribbon), the Dinger (Chocolate Manhattan with two Ding Dongs) and the Sno Ho Ho (Chocolat Raspberi Martini with Sno-Balls).
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If you can resist this pumpkin-pie loaded shake--there's something wrong with you. Period.
Yes, some parts of the country have experienced their first bouts of snowfall, it’s still considered autumn per the calendar, and many hotel restaurant bars have a host of seasonal drinks created just for this time of year.
And damn, with all that's happened in the last few weeks (natural disasters, elections, secrets, lies, and...Donald Trump causing a stir) don’t you feel like--well, you could USE a drink? And a good, creative one at that?
We want to pay homage to the mixologists, or whatever the like to call themselves these days that have put in work to present some serious dranks (yep, we said it right, fact checkers) for the fall season. Thanksgiving is next week (AY!), today starts the unofficial weekend...let's toast it up !
Holsteins Shakes and Buns at the Cosmpolitan Las Vegas: This throwback restaurant gets major props for its Pumpkin Pie Bamboozled Shake, an alcohol-infused treat made with Sapling liquor, pumpkin pie filling, graham crumble, cinnamon syrup and pepita brittle. You can handle the Thanksgiving trip sipping a few of these.
This is not so much a bar hop as a bar marathon that runs (get it?) the entire length of Canada. If you have the stamina, so do we.
Well the journey is finally over. You’ve made it across the Canadian Rockies and the prairie plains to the rugged east coast. At the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland's bivver Lounge in St John's, we don't know whether it’s because Halloween’s just past or because of the current chill in the air (political, and the snow we've just witnessed from our window), but bivver makes us shiver (we just couldn’t resist). And dammit, after last night's US Elections, we need a drink. We all do, and our Canadian friends are serving up right!
Clever puns aside, in actual fact "bivver" is an expression that those from Newfoundland, or “The Rock,” use that means to shiver, shake, or tremble with the cold, so if you want to stop bivvering, you only have to step inside the elegant, contemporary bivver Lounge (it is killing us to lowercase bivver, btw) to warm up with a shot of Screech, a rum-based bevvie bottled on the island. (If you’ve never been to a Screech-in, make sure you do when you’re in town. Then you, too, can be an honorary Newfoundlander – number 12 on that bucket list, are we right?)