November 17, 2011
Courtesy Hotel Georgia’s Hawksworth Restaurant.
What’s old is new again! The Hotel Georgia was the toast of Vancouver, BC, when it opened in 1927, and it held that premier position for decades—attracting the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Elvis Presley and British royals. But after nearly a century of stays and celebrations, the hotel’s worn decor began to belie its storied past. That is, until Rosewood Hotels and Resorts stepped in to give the property a multimillion-dollar renovation and reopened it in July as the Rosewood Hotel Georgia.
Today the property is a study in modern elegance. The grand lobby features several striking Czech crystal chandeliers, among 110 on-site. More than 200 pieces of Canadian art are on view throughout the property, as well as three fine displays of British art—two pieces in the lobby by Patrick Hughes and, notably, a limited-edition Damien Hirst print of Big Love with Diamond Dust. The Canadian pride extends to the spa, where treatments such as the Vancouver Signature Sensation employ products sourced from native ingredients like glacial clay. The guest rooms solve every historic property’s small-space riddle through inspired furniture arrangements, hidden outlets and a dual purpose television/computer flatscreen.
Most remarkable of all is David Hawks¬worth’s eponymous restaurant. The native Vancouverite has designed a menu that’s a la minute and elegant, but not at all fussy. The surprising seasonal options include a Bartlett pear salad with extraordinary imported burrata and an outrageous chestnut and black truffle agnolotti. For his dream venture, Hawksworth recruited a crack team of collaborators. Sommelier Terry Threlfall of London’s Chez Bruce guides guests through an extensive and—encased in glass as it is—attractive cellar. If you’re in the mood to drink Canadian, Threlfall may suggest Riesling from Sterling Vineyards and Poplar Grove to bookend Le Vieux Pin’s Roussanne/Viognier blend or a Foxtrot Vineyards’ Pinot Noir. If you’ve never heard of these winemakers, never fear: The sommelier offers a quick primer in Canadian wine.
In a town that often catches flak for its lackluster nightlife (two words: “hockey bars”), bar manager Brad Stanton’s tasty cocktail menu is a welcome revelation. For the hotel’s signature cocktail, Stanton paged through Ted Saucier’s seminal 1951 book, Bottoms Up, and found a recipe for the Hotel Georgia Cocktail. Apparently Saucier had traveled to Vancouver! The barman adjusted the recipe’s proportions and kept the egg white topper to create a smooth, timeless cocktail served in a coupe Champagne glass. Sipping it, then or now, there’s only one place you could be.
The Hotel Georgia Cocktail
1¾ oz. Plymouth gin
¾ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. orgeat
6 drops orange blossom water
1 egg white
Beginning with the egg, combine all ingredients (except nutmeg) and shake. Add ice, shake again. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Dust with nutmeg.
801 W. Georgia St., Vancouver, BC; rosewoodhotelgeorgia.com.
May 07, 2012
© Courtesy Jarlsberg & Wild Hibiscus Flower Company
The fascination with cocktails shows no signs of stopping, and the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, from May 11 to 15—a showcase of memorable libations, mixology talent, drinks lore and good times—aims to keep it that way. Tickets are still available for a host of interesting, and appropriately spirited, events held throughout Manhattan. Head to a rum-fueled celebration of Havana, Cuba, at Mother’s Ruin in Nolita, or embark on the Gentleman’s Cocktail Crawl (ladies are also more than welcome to attend)—a black-tie-optional bar crawl involving some of the borough’s finest hotel cocktail spots, like at Andaz Wall Street’s Bar Seven Five (75 Wall St.).
You can also enjoy getting to know boutique alcohol brands from around the world at the classic’s Indie Spirits Expo at Crimson (915 Broadway), which capitalizes on the popularity of all things artisanal. “Bar owners, mixologists and cocktail fans can taste and learn about these fine spirits and the dedicated and passionate individuals who work so hard to bring them to the marketplace,” says expo producer David Schmier. And if you’re in the mood for a real jolt, enjoy The Darkest Night: an evening of whisky punch and a performance of the surreal interactive play Sleep No More at the McKittrick Hotel (530 W. 27th St.). Bowmore will provide the single malt Scotch; Sleep No More will deliver more than a few chills—and not of the ice-cold-cocktail variety. May 11–15; manhattancocktailclassic.com.
July 27, 2012
Photo by Noah Fecks
Just in time for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, Stone Rose Lounge—one of the Upper West Side’s première cocktail bars—has developed a special drinks menu to celebrate the 2012 Summer Games. The libations are named for the national anthems of Italy, the United Kingdom, Greece, Spain and the United States and feature traditional ingredients from each respective country. The Brothers of Italy (pictured above), for instance, is a subtle blend of gin, Aperol and vermouth, with a splash of orange bitters; the Star Spangled Banner features bourbon, rhubarb bitters and strawberry slices. (The bar’s sister establishments, Whiskey Park and Living Room, will also be serving the drinks.) Sip with pride—the cocktails are available through August 12, when the games come to a close. Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Cir., 4th fl.; 212-823-9770; gerberbars.com.
December 05, 2012
Photo courtesy of Waterford
The Mixology Collection by Waterford is as functional as it is gorgeous, thanks to a collaboration with mixologist Julie Reiner, proprietor of the Brooklyn cocktail bar Clover Club (210 Smith St.; cloverclubny.com). Designed in four distinct styles—Talon (red), Argon (blue), Neon (yellow) and Circon (purple)—the pieces include rocks glasses ($350 for four; $175 a pair) and coups ($350 for four), plus decanters, a water pitcher, shot glasses and an ice bucket. Reiner even formulated a special cocktail, available at Clover Club through autumn, called the Crystal Fall—a perfect way to christen your new glasses. waterford.com.
The Crystal Fall
1½ oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
½ oz Lemon Hart demerara rum
¼ oz Lustau Palo Cortado sherry
¾ oz fresh-pressed apple cider
½ oz lemon juice
¼ oz ginger syrup
One bar spoon demerara syrup
One dash Angostura Bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain over crushed ice into a Waterford Mixology rocks glass. Garnish with an apple fan.
December 13, 2012
Photo courtesy of Tumi
Luggage label Tumi and Ketel One vodka teamed up to create a mixology set ($3,995) of the highest ilk. The case is handmade in Italy of fine leather and poplar wood, and the interior houses the essentials, including stainless-steel utensils and a removable beech-wood cutting board. All will help create a cocktail that is sure to impress. Available at select Tumi stores nationwide; tumi.com.