The first cocktail I enjoyed was a Singapore Sling — didn’t know much about the cocktail, except that it looked pretty and tasted refreshing and was more or less a woman’s drink made with gin and cherry brandy. It is said that Raffles Hotel Singapore barman Ngiam Tong Boon invented the Singapore Sling cocktail in 1915, inspiration coming from a tiger that had wandered into the Long Bar in 1902 and was shot in order to save the guests. It all made for an exciting story. Today, Raffles Singapore has a storied history on the Singapore Sling with a gift shop to boot! www.raffles.com www.raffleshotelgifts.com
The Ritz, London. You need not be an overnight guest of The Ritz, London to enjoy cocktails in their art deco bar. The Ritz, London Rivoli Bar is an experience in and of itself. Try it. They are a friendly bunch and serve it shaken or stirred.
Teetotallers need not be left out in the cold at the best hotels. Take afternoon tea with The Ritz London in the gold leaf art deco stylings of the Rivoli Bar or in the grand and opulent open spaces of The Palm Court – known as the Winter Garden in the early days of The Ritz London. traditional afternoon tea is served today in The Palm Courtwith five daily sittings to handle the popularity of the long-standing ritual. Reservations weeks in advance are the order of the day; but, for those arriving to The Ritz London on short notice the Rivoli Bar – with its panelled walls in polished camphor wood veneer and onyx marble cocktail bar counter – entertains the identical tea service and freshly prepared cream cakes and freshly cut finger sandwiches as that of The Palm Court. Afternoon tea in The Palm Court serves as an alternative to lunch and begins at 11:30 a.m., finishing with a champagne tea at 7:30 p.m. For those who must savour their potations with something of a kick…then there is The Ritz 100 cocktail served in The Rivoli Bar to seduce. Don’t forget to eat the real gold shavings glistening at you from the bottom of a most beautiful piece of stemware. Here’s to putting on The Ritz!
Jazz & champagne at The Ritz, London
The Ritz London’s autumn programme of live jazz & swing evenings continue with a sensational all female line-up of red-hot swing and cool jazz. Featuring live music from Verity & Violet, The Vernon Sisters, Julez Hamilton, be on the lookout for a very special guest! Thursday, 8 November. First session starts at 8pm /Sharing Platter and glass of Champagne (based on 2 persons sharing) £50 per person. For reservations, please call Kelly on 0207 468 1353 or Email: Kelly@theritzclub.com
Arizona can see some high temperatures in July and August. A cool cocktail in hand feels good when all you want to do is go barefoot and fancy-free!. The Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa in Carefree, Arizona on 1,300 acres in the Sonoran Desert is known for luxury on all fronts. The resort is 33 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The 33,000-square-foot Golden Door Spa in an adjacent complex of its own serves great non-alcoholic drinks with flourishes from the spa’s private organic herb garden and lime and lemon. The Boulders Resort has recently introduced the Finlandia Cactus Spritzer made with Finlandia mandarin vodka, elderflower liquor, grapefruit juice and prickly pear syrup. Prickly Pear cactus is native to the area and has been important to the Mexican and Central American diet for over one-thousands-years. Enjoy this spritzer in the Discovery Lounge at The Boulders Resort in Carefree, Arizona.
Frankfurt, Germany is one of the world’s financial hot spots and known for more than generous deep pockets and apple wine. You’ll find the Signature Cocktail made with Moet Champagne and fresh raspberries at JFK Bar & Lounge — Frankfurt’s most chic bar/lounge at Villa Kennedy hotel, a twenty-minute cab ride from Frankfurt’s international airport. You’ll find Germany’s largest hotel suite at Villa Kennedy. Not to be out-done by jazz on the ivories in JFK Bar is Villa Kennedy’s adjacent fine dining spot Gusto.
Just in time for Christmas! Get 20% Off a 5-day German Rail Pass for Travel Between Nov 15 – Dec 31, 2012. Details: http://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/german-rail-pass-christmas-market-sale/index.html …
When I visited the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch I fell in love with the night sounds of singing gondoliers. Dinner at Alto ristorante e bar gets you a complimentary gondola boat ride on a seven-acre lagoon. A cocktail enjoyed in the wide open air in the hotel’s Center Stage Bar affords not only southwestern flavour concoctions but mesmerizing views of the McDowell Mountains. Open fire pits keep you warm on cool evenings.
If you want to try what is considered the most expensive cocktail in the world take a trip to Belfast, Ireland and visit the Merchant Hotel’s The Bar for a Mai Tai made with one of the last remaining heritage bottles of Wray & Nephew 17-year-old rum from the 1940s cellars in Kingston, Jamaica at ₤ 750 a swirl last time I checked on the cost. The Merchant is the only hotel with a bottle! Rum-Fest kick-off is held in the fall. Havana Club Cuban Rum. www.themerchanthotel.com
Bar manager Enzo Mirto sublimates the art of mixology into an art form with the Fingerprints Cocktail and the Oyster Martini in Milan, Italy.
The Bull and Bear and Bar steakhouse in midtown New York City serves a sexy Clover Club cocktail at the Waldorf Astoria. The New York Times cites the bar as one of the world’s three greatest classic bars. In the late 1800s the bar was frequented by both astute businessmen, top industrialists and the likes of bigger-than-life movers and shakers of the day Diamond Jim Brady; Buffalo Bill Cody, and Bat Masterson. www.bullandbearsteakhouse.com
If following in the steps of a literary giant rings your bell, then a visit to Pamplona, Spain is in order where the running of the bulls event is held annually in July during the nine-days San Fermin Festival. Ernest Hemingway spent much time at Cafe Iruna, eating, drinking and talking to the locals. Actress Ava Gardner in the 1957 film “The Sun Also Rises” based on the Hemingway novel of the same name mentions Cafe Iruna. If Heather Honey from the hills of Ezcaray in La Rioja, Spain whets your imagination, ask for honey with your spirits at the One Michelin-Star restaurant Echaurren.
Bar 228, Le Meurice, Paris, France, serves seventeen exclusive cocktails. The Starcky — named in honour of Philippe Starck who reinvented the decadent ambiance with his signature opulent style. Bar 228 said to be where the best Club Sandwiches in Paris are to be had. Live jazz: 7 p.m to midnight. Les Nocturnes du 228 event offers wines and canapes with Le Meurice Chef Sommelier Nicolas Rebut. Le Meurice Tonic. 100% Green Cocktail. Just introduced in spring 2010 by William Oliveri, head barman at Bar 228. Energize and detoxify. freshly squeezed pineapple juice and what some believe to be a “whole food” spirulina. www.lemeurice.com
Text and photographs Copyright © by May DeLory