Having reviewed thousands of hotels, we at Oyster.com have slept in many different beds, swam in hundreds of pools, and sipped quite a few fantastic hotel bar cocktails. (I mean, we have to review everything, right?)
Some of the most delicious hotel bar cocktails we’ve tried go beyond the gin and tonic — way beyond. Check out five of our favorite cocktails from hotel bars around the world. If you can’t make the trip, make them at home — we got the recipes. Either way, these drinks won’t disappoint.
The Cocktail: Lavender Lemondrop
Found at: Clift San Francisco
Arguably the chicest bar in San Francisco, the Redwood Room exudes a hip feel thanks to the eponymous, tree-lined walls, oversized portraits, and thoroughly classic design. Martinis are this spot’s specialty — especially with the business crowd who frequents the Clift — with flavors ranging from blue cheese to sweet lychee. Redwood Room uses all-natural ingredients, so we recommend you do the same when serving up your own crop of these cocktails.
- 2 oz vodka
- 1 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
- lavender sprig
- 1 Tbsp simple syrup
- lavender sprig for garnish
Lightly muddle lavender and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and remaining ingredients. Shake well, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with lavender sprig.
The Cocktail: The Raspberry Rickey
Found at: The Standard New York
Looking out on the Hudson River, New York’s Standard Hotel features modern decor, innovative amenities (there’s an outdoor ice skating rink during the winter), and incredible cocktails, too. Just in time for summer, enjoy a classic Rickey served up Standard-style. Grab a highball glass, some fresh ice, and a straw to sip this cooling cocktail when it gets hot out.
- 2 oz gin
- 2 spoonfuls fresh bramble mix*
- 1 oz club soda
- Juice from one fresh-squeezed lime
- 3 raspberries for garnish
Pour gin and bramble mix into martini shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly, and pour into tall glass with ice. Add soda and stir. Garnish with raspberries.
*The bramble mix is made in-house by cooking berries in sugar in a saucepan until a juice-like substance is formed. Remove from heat before the berries break, so the mix consists of whole berries in their own sweet syrup.
The Cocktail: Vieux Carre
Found at: Hotel Monteleone New Orleans
You can’t get more authentic New Orleans-style cocktail than at Carousel Bar inside the Hotel Monteleone — Walter Bergeron created the Vieux Carre here in the 1930s, naming it after the French meaning “old square,” which refers to today’s French Quarter. While this drink requires some ingredients that may require a bit of a search, it’s well worth the hunt.
- 1 oz rye whiskey
- 1 oz Cognac
- 1 oz sweet vermouth
- dash Peychaud’s bitters
- dash Angostura aromatic bitters
- ½ oz Benedictine
- lemon twist for garnish
Pour whiskey, Cognac and vermouth into an old-fashioned glass filled halfway with ice. Add bitters and Benedictine, then stir four times with a spoon. Squeeze lemon over drink, then drop into glass.
The Cocktail: Mango Martini
Found at: 60 Thompson New York
This sleek, stylish spot attracts celebrities and socialites for a reason — its SoHo location, innovative design, and exclusive rooftop bar access makes it one of New York’s swankiest spots that serves up strong (and expensive) drinks — like their tropical-tasting Mango Martini. Sip it with friends pool- or beachside to feel like you’re on your own A-list.
- 2 oz Absolut Mango
- 2 1/2 oz mango puree*
- Juice squeezed from ½ lime
Combine all ingredients into cocktail shaker. Shake well, and pour through a strainer into a martini glass.
*A blender works best to create the puree.
The Cocktail: Cairpirissima
Found at: Sagamore Hotel Miami
Social Miami, the latest addition to the artsy Sagamore Hotel, has an outright steamy vibe thanks to its incredible, central SoBe location and gorgeous clientele. To cool off, guests rely on this twist on the Brazilian classic caipirínha drink, which is just right for sipping after a day on the beach — or a long day at the office.
- 4 fresh-cut lime wedges
- 1 1/2 oz rum
- Splash of fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 tbsp refined sugar
- Additional lime wedge for garnish
Muddle lime wedges in shaker. Add rum, splash of lime juice, and refined sugar. Shake vigorously with ice. Strain contents into chilled martini glass. Garnish with lime wedge.
Rachel Jacoby is the Senior Editor for Oyster.com, a partner of Travel Channel, that visits, comprehensively photographs, critiques, and rates hotels. Her work has also been featured in publications like InStyle, HGTV Magazine and the HuffingtonPost. If she’s not writing or traveling, she’s out for a run.
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