If you want to get a taste of the locale while you’re traveling this season, head to a hotel bar for the best holiday-inspired cocktails to represent the area you’re visiting.
Here’s a round-up of some of the most mouth-watering holiday cocktails from beautiful hotels around the world.
With chocolate, rye and a bit of heat from ancho chili pepper, the Chocolate-Chile Manhattan at the Westin Austin Downtown has a provocative depth of flavor that pairs well with the rich spice of a molasses cookie, spice cake and other holiday dessert. It’s the most-ordered drink on the menu at The Westin’s Stella San Jac, a Southern spot with Texas influences.
Further north, Lead Bartender Colin Silva delivers a unique, modern take on the classic Eggnog Cocktail at SER Steak & Spirits at Dallas’ Hilton Anatole. Silva’s sweet and satisfying version features a layer of house-made eggnog custard and a layer of his signature eggnog, topped with a layer of cognac and a foamy whipped eggnog with cinnamon sprinkles.
And while you’re in Dallas, check out Cook Hall, the Modern American Gastropub located inside the W Dallas—Victory Hotel. They’re offering a CookieChata this holiday season. Made with RumChata, milk, chocolate syrup, nutmeg and cinnamon, and this boozy hot cocoa is warm, rich and tastes just like a hot, fresh batch of cinnamon, oatmeal cookies.
A Scotch-based cocktail, the Blood & Sand at Waldorf Astoria Park City’s Powder Restaurant, has a warming, spicy blend which comes from a combination of Johnny Walker Black, Heering Cherry liqueur, sweet vermouth, a splash of orange juice and topped with an orange rind and Luxardo cherry for garnish. PRO TIP: Order the duck fat tater tots too, for the perfect deeper-level fall cocktail pairing!
At the Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa, guests can enjoy the Spiced White Hot Chocolate from Bourbon Bar, located directly off the hotel lobby. Made with bourbon (natch), Kahlua, white-chocolate-infused steamed milk and dusted with a fine layer of cinnamon, this holiday-inspired cocktail is sure to warm your heart after a long day of golf.
The KANU Lounge at Lake Placid’s Whiteface Lodge is definitely in full-tilt holiday mode this season. Guests at this Adirondack-themed lounge have lots of holiday-themed cocktails from which choose. From the Rudolph’s Milk (vanilla/white chocolate/mint), Santa’s Night Cap (apple pie/bourbon/nutmeg), Taste of the Holidays (gin/orange/clove/nutmeg/cranberry) or Holiday Pie (liquid apple pie in a glass), you’ll be decking the halls in no time.
The Eclipse Kitchen & Bar at San Francisco’s Hyatt Regency has many fun and festive cocktail offerings this holiday season, including The Grinch Stole My Drink, made with rum, blue curacao, peach schnapps, orange juice, lime-flavored soda and a cherry garnish. While children enjoy the hotel’s breakfast with Santa, adults will delight in this seasonal cocktail, as they gaze out upon the Embarcadero Center Holiday Ice Rink and plan their last-minute shopping lists.
At the QT Sydney’s Gilt Lounge, the Truffle Shuffle cocktail adds a bit of elegance to the holiday season with the use of Woodford Reserve, Pedro Ximénez sherry, white truffle bitters and two spritzes of atomized white truffle oil for the most delicate and luxurious whisper. It’s a cocktail that’s as glamorous as this boutique, four-star hotel in the historic Gowings and State Theatre buildings.
The Redemption cocktail at Avecita in the new Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa is a savory, smoked old fashioned with wisps of thyme and tamarind, which are then smoked with cherry wood, giving the smell and taste of holiday seasons past. The Solera aged rum is aggressively accented and gives a Caribbean twist to this festive classic. Be one of the first to try this amazing cocktail when the resort opens in November.
Sunset at the Palms, an adults-only, all-inclusive resort in Negril, Jamaica, is getting this holiday on with an island feel with Santa’s Smooth Sorrel, made with red wine and ingredients native to Jamaica: sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa), ginger, and lemongrass that’s grown on the resort premises. Kick back, starfruit-garnished cocktail in hand, and relax in the resort’s treehouse-style rooms scattered throughout a very natural setting with trees, birds and butterflies.
At Juniper in Edinburgh’s Hotel Indigo, the bar’s expert mixologists have mastered the secrets behind the city’s most inventive cocktails, inspiring artistic folk with theatrical concoctions. This bar is best known for innovations and inventive twists on classic cocktails, such as the Scottish Breakfast cocktail, which is made with Johnny Walker Gold, Ardbeg and grapefruit juice—served in a tea cup with a piece of toast and marmalade.
Made with dark rum, apricot brandy, handmade lime and jasmine syrup, Voltaire’s Cooler showcases Voltaire bar’s dedication to craft cocktails. Located in London’s Square Mile and built on the foundations of Bridewell Palace, Crowne Plaza London – The City’s Voltaire is a unique city bar. The old stone vaults that once kept prisoners under lock and key, and later housed the treasures of a Bank, now create the perfect setting for a creative tipple.
Located in Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz neighborhood, the The Post bar in the Crowne Plaza is known for its twists on classic cocktails. A must try: The Miracle, which is made from Botucal Reserva, Licor 43, Frangelico, lime juice and Chambord, rounded with lime thyme. The Post’s cocktails are crafted using only the highest of quality spirits. Pro tip: Check out the collection of rare rum selections to really ring in the holiday.
Steps away from one of Madrid’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan avenues, but tucked away on the peaceful street of Calle Silva, Sky Lounge & Bar offers a special Indigo Sangria, which is their take on the traditional Spanish delight made with Spanish oranges, La Barbaridad—a full-bodied young red wine, Tempranillo Madrid rose, Torres 10 Gran Reserva brandy, Madiera and chilled orange juice. Watch the sunset from the rooftop bar, take in Madrid’s skyline, and hope that Santa gets you everything you want this holiday.
Remember, while indulging in a festive holiday cocktail is fine, moderation and good planning is key. To keep your imbibing on the healthier side, don’t drink on an empty stomach, be sure to drink one full glass of water for each alcoholic drink that you consume, or better yet plan your drinks as interval sets: alternate water, cocktail and then sip on a non-alcoholic drink–and always find a designated driver if you’re not staying at the hotel. Cheers!