Whether you’re people watching in the lobby, lounging poolside, or coming in from a long day on the slopes, there’s no pleasure quite like tucking into a hotel bar for a cocktail. Usually helmed by an expert barkeep, more often than not the drinks come with a side of tall tales or sage advice, and a certain je ne sais quoi that’s not found at your average watering hole. So while we’re missing those bright nights in dark bars, we’ve assembled a few of our favorite libations—direct from some of the most revered hotel destinations in the world, to recreate the magic right in your own living room.
LA MAMOUNIA – Marrakech, Morocco
With its ornate Moroccan architecture and sprawling gardens, La Mamounia has been a favorite oasis for the likes of Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, and Kirk Douglas since 1923. This modern recipe cocktail comes courtesy of head bartender Mikael Rodriguez, who devised the “My Sherry D’Amour” as a sure fire way to beat the desert heat.
My Sherry D’Amour
- 1 ½ Oz. Beefeater 24 gin
- ¾ Oz Fino Dry sherry
- ¾ Oz Homemade watermelon cordial
- ½ lime juiced
- 5 mint leaves
Put all the ingredient in a Boston shaker with ice cubes and shake well. Double strain with a fine mesh strainer in a double old fashioned glass with plenty of ice.
Garnish with mint sprig and a lime zest.
Homemade watermelon cordial recipe:
- 3 cups Watermelon cubes (rind removed)
- Juice and zest of 4 limes
- 2 cups Still water
- 3 cups Granulated white sugar
On a non-stick pan, place the watermelon cubes, lime zests, sugar and water. Simmer for 20 minutes but do not boil. Let the cordial cool at room temperature, then fine strain to discard solids. Add mint stems in the pan for a more cooling mint kick.
Pour in a container, then add lime juice and shake well.
Your cordial is ready for use. Refrigerate and consume within 5 weeks.
THE CARLYLE HOTEL – New York, New York
Bemelman’s Bar at The Carlyle Hotel has been an uptown mainstay since it first opened its doors in 1930, playing host to an ever-rotating cast of characters including piano virtuoso Earl Rose who still delights guests with his tunes. Here, the classic Manhattan is always on offer, but in recent years, guests began to give the recipe a twist by switching bourbon for tequila.
The Tequila Manhattan
- 4 oz. Casamigos Anejo tequila
- 1 oz Antica Carpano
- 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
Use a mixing glass filled with ice, add the ingredients and still well. Pour into a martini glass, garnish with a brandied cherry (or two) and enjoy!
CLARIDGE’S HOTEL – London, United Kingdom
A strawberry-infused twist on the Kir Royale, The Flapper cocktail from Claridge’s is an homage to the pioneering style icons of the 1920s and 30s. It was created especially to mark the Art Deco-inflected redesign of the lobby bar in 1998.
- 15ml ( 1⁄2 oz) crème de cassis
- 15ml ( 1⁄2 oz) strawberry purée
- 145ml (4 5⁄6 oz) Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée
Combine the ingredients, stir and pour into a champagne flute. Garnish with strawberry.
BELMOND HOTEL CIPRIANI – Venice, Italy
When visiting The Belmond Hotel Cipriani, there could be no cocktail more apropos than the Bellini. Invented by Giuseppe Cipriani in 1948, the same refreshing recipe has endured at the hotel’s Gabbiano Bar courtesy of beloved bartender Walter Bolzonella, a protégé of Cipriani’s who has been with the hotel for over 40 years. Be sure to consult “Cocktails in Venice: Tales of a Barman,” a treasure trove of additional recipes from Bolzonella.
- 2 oz fresh white peach juice
- 3 oz Prosecco (sparkling wine)
For the peach juice:
- Peel and slice 1 kg. of white peaches.
- Dip them in 16 oz of water and 7 oz of fresh lemon juice (the peaches must be covered with water and lemon)
- Pass the peaches (without the lemon juice and water) in a blender with crushed ice and 3 spoons of sugar.
When at the beginning or end of the peaches season, add a little juice of raspberries or cherries so as to make the distinctly pink color. When in full season, this is not necessary as peaches give their own color.
Please note that the Prosecco and the juice must be very cold before mixing them. Do not mix the Bellini until the last moment before serving otherwise it will separate.
Serve in a flute.
THE PARK HYATT TOKYO – Tokyo, Japan
Perhaps best known as the home base for Bill Murray in the Sofia Coppola-directed cult classic Lost in Translation, The Park Hyatt’s New York Bar serves up a roster of classic cocktails executed to perfection. Here, The “Lost in Translation,” referred to those in-the-know as The LIT, inspired by the film.
The Lost in Translation
- 40 ml of Japanese Sake Junmai-Ginjo
- 20 ml of Cranberry Juice
- 10 ml of Sakura Liqueur
- 10 ml of Peach Tree
- 10 ml of Lime Juice
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake.
Quickly strain to avoid dilution into a chilled Martini glass.
IL PELLICANO – Porto Ercole, Italy
When the runway shows in Milan come to a close, fashionphiles are known to decamp to Il Pellicano, the storied property tucked away in the Port Ercole fishing village, which offers sweeping views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Among them, photographer Juergen Teller, who inspired this reinterpretation of a classic Negroni by adding Chinotto soda. This touch of freshness makes it the perfect summer aperitivo.
- 1/3 “Antica Formula” Carpano Red Vermouth
- 1/3 Bitter Campari
- 1/3 Plymouth Gin
- 1 Splash of original Chinotto
Combine in a rocks glass and stir
Garnish with an orange peel
VILLA D’ESTE – Lake Como, Italy
A visit to Lake Como isn’t complete without a stay, or at the very least a long lunch, at Villa d’Este. Originally a 16th-century villa commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, it has long since been a five-star resort and lakeside retreat for sun seeking starlets like Bette Davis and Elizabeth Taylor. It’s also just a stone’s throw away from unofficial Lake Como ambassador, George Clooney. With all of this glitz in mind, their cocktail of choice is appropriately named “Hollywood on the Lake.”
Hollywood on the Lake
- 5 cl Tequila Patron Silver
- 2.5 cl Bitter Campari
- 5 cl freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice
- Half freshly-squeezed lime juice
- Sugar Syrup
Shake all ingredients
Serve on the rocks and garnish with a lime wedge and mint leaf
GOLDENEYE – Oracabessa, Jamaica
Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond series, was known to hole up at GoldenEye to pen all 14 of his blockbuster novels, and the classic GoldenEye Cocktail is the perfect island indulgence that a hardworking novelist or a jet-setting spy might enjoy at sunset.
- 1/4 cup (2 oz) Blackwell Jamaican Rum
- 1/4 cup (2 oz) pineapple juice
- Fresh lime juice, to taste
- Lime or pineapple wedge, for garnish
Add rum, pineapple juice, and a squeeze of lime juice to cocktail shaker. Shake well; pour into ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with lime or pineapple wedge.