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Where to Toast 2013 with a Cocktail

  • The Chatwal

    The Chatwal, New York

  • Delano Hotel

    Delano Hotel, Miami

  • Tcherassi Hotel + Spa

    Tcherassi Hotel + Spa, Cartagena

  • The London West Hollywood

    The London, West Hollywood

  • Hôtel Plaza Athénée

    Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris

December, 2012

Our favorite hotel barkeeps know that New Year’s Eve doesn’t have to mean forgoing a proper cocktail for a flimsy little flute of Champagne. After all, it’s your last chance to party in 2012; why not keep it interesting? We rounded up a group of expert stirrers and shakers and asked them what they’ll be mixing up on New Year’s Eve.

The Chatwal, New York
On this night more than any other, a little exclusivity goes a long way. While the rest of humanity crushes into the streets a few blocks away, those in the Chatwal’s elegant Lambs Club Mezzanine Bar will be noshing on hors d’oeuvres like crispy skin duck confit and potato-chestnut mousseline with black truffle and cranberry, sipping handcrafted cocktails from the open bar, and listening to live music from the Avalon Jazz Band. Michael Dudas, the bar’s beverage director, works with head bartender Garry Severin to craft all the new cocktails before celebrity restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian gives them a final taste test. For New Year’s Eve, Dudas suggests the St. Hillaire.

The St. Hillaire:
-Build in a Champagne glass
-3/4 oz. St. Germain
-Fill with cava
-Garnish with a lemon twist

Delano Hotel, Miami
The party never really stops at the Delano, and it only gets better on New Year’s Eve. Bernard Waters, the mixologist at the hotel’s Rose Bar, reminds us that South Beach’s “luxury hotels go all out and over the top to outdo each other” for the occasion. “In Miami,” he says, “it’s the beginning of our season to shine and show the visitors how we have a good time!” But what to drink? Waters says his Last Night in Paris is always a crowd-pleaser.

The Last Night in Paris:
-1 oz. strawberry puree
-3/4 oz. lemon juice
-1/4 oz. simple syrup
-1 1/2 oz. Plymoth gin
-Shake and double strain in a chilled flute
-Top with brut Champagne and garnish with orange oil and orange peel

Tcherassi Hotel, Cartagena
“New Year’s in Cartagena has become huge over the last several years,” says Daniel Castano, the chef-owner of VERA restaurant and maestro of Aquabar at the Tcherassi. At the designer-owned hotel’s New Year’s Eve white-party, which hosts a live band and a fashionable crowd, the most popular drinks are sparkling rye-based cocktails and little bottles of Champagne served, to underscore the night’s hedonistic bent, with a straw. Castano, who worked in some of the finest Italian restaurants in New York before returning to his hometown, recommends their homegrown signature cocktail, the Tcherassi.

The Tcherassi:
-1 1/2 oz. gin
-1/4 oz. aguardiente
-1/2 oz. simple syrup
-1/2 oz. lime
-Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass
-Top with sweet egg-white foam and garnish with mint

The London, West Hollywood
The London’s roots in New York and the UK provide its big-time luxury bona fides, but it’s a West Coast taste for decadence that really sets this West Hollywood hotel apart. The London Bar’s head bartender Zack Albanese reminds us that the scene only becomes more festive and energetic on New Year’s Eve. To get the new year off to a fiery start, he recommends the Gordon’s Fury, named for the infamous temper of the TV chef behind the hotel’s restaurant.

Gordon’s Fury:
-2 oz. Belvedere vodka
-1 oz. cranberry juice
-1 oz. lime juice
-3/4 oz. triple sec
-3/4 oz. simple syrup
-Dash of creme de cassis
-Garnish with a jalapeño slice

Plaza Athénée, Paris
On New Year’s Eve, Le Bar at the Plaza Athénée in Paris is among the more glamorous venues for counting down the seconds. “The New Year’s Eve scene at Le Bar au Plaza Athénée is festive and fun each year,” says barman Thierry Hernandez, “but this year will feature a DJ spinning electro rock and house music, as well as a neon New Year’s sign to light up the night.”

As for the signature cocktail, they’ve collaborated with perfumer Sophie Labbé to create this year’s Elixir de Noel, a perfume/cocktail combination that will appease guests’ palettes and noses at the same time. And should your fellow guests get too close for olfactory comfort, you can always douse them with the complimentary dose of perfume.

Elixir de Noel:
-1 oz. Hendricks gin
-1/2 oz. Galliano liqueur
-1/4 oz. ginger liquor
-1 drop ambretolide extract
-1 drop cedar extract
-1/4 oz. vanilla

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