- Lindsay Stein
11 Destination Cocktail Experiences That Are Worth Traveling For
Looking for cocktails that will feed your wanderlust? From refreshing aloe cocktails in Aruba and Orchard Breeze drinks from the fresh apples of Upstate New York to Champagne bubbles from the founding city of Paris and Puerto Rican cocktails that reflect the micro-organisms in their Bioluminescent Bay, these are the top 11 cocktail experiences around the world worth booking a plane ticket for.
As summer temperatures heat up, enjoy a flight south of the border with refreshing new summer sips at Thompson Playa del Carmen’s CATCH restaurant. The new cocktail menu includes “cocktail flights”, where guests can “taste test” three cocktails before choosing their favorite. The Doña Carmen harvests the perfect pairing of cooked agave and citrus in this combination of grapefruit and espadín with a touch of Aperol topped with tonic. It creates an amazing balance between sweet and smoky with a fresh and crisp finish.
T Beach, is the family-owned, historic, five-star lakeside property, Grand Hotel Tremezzo’s poolside dining experience unlike any other. Sip on the Good Morning Tremezzo martini overlooking “WOW” (water on the water), the property’s crystal clear, floating pool set on Lake Como. Drawing on all the culinary creativity of Gualtiero Marchesi, one of the most innovative names in Italian food, the property’s T Beach serves exquisite fish, meat, vegetables and cheeses, which exemplify the flavours of the region.
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort's signature restaurant, Ka'ana Kitchen, recently debuted a new culinary cocktail experience worth traveling for: Bitters & Bites. This unique custom experience features a curated menu based off the guest's libation of choice and paired accordingly with farm-fresh dishes by the award-winning Executive Chef Isaac Bancaco. Drift off to the sandy beaches of Kauai’s South Shore and enjoy Hawaii’s favorite flavor, the aromatic Lilikoi fruit, while cooling down with the island’s famous Merriman’s Mai Tai. A twist on the tropical cocktail, Merriman’s tops off the classic with home-made Honey and Lilikoi foam.
Located on sprawling oceanfront property, Ponte Vedra Beach Resorts offer guests a specialty ‘100 Mile Cocktail’, which changes seasonally and features ingredients sourced locally within 100 miles of the property. This season’s 100 mile cocktail is the Cane Codka Shrub made with St. Augustine Cane Vodka, strawberry lime shrub, fresh grapefruit juice and honey. For an added bonus, the cocktail can also be served in the resort's branded coconut shells.
Destination: Upstate New York
Known as the second largest apple producing state in the country, Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards takes advantage of the abundance of this red and green fruit for their refreshing Orchard Breeze. A combination of the apple orchard’s sweet apple cider, cranberry juice and the apple-based house made 1911 Vodka, this cocktail provides a sense of place for travelers trekking through the pristine Finger Lakes region.
Cocktail legend has it that the iconic mimosa – equal parts French champagne and orange juice – was created at the historic Ritz Paris Hotel in 1925. To this day, guests can visit the hotel’s Bar Vendôme and order the famous beverage alongside a delicious breakfast or brunch of classic Parisian pastries.
The newly renovated Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino is offering a revitalizing Aqua Aloe cocktail, paying tribute to the island’s native plant. Made with Hendrick’s Gin, fresh aloe Vera juice, lime juice and mint leaves, topped with tonic, the cocktail is served in an edible cup.
In Lexington’s legendary land of bourbon, mint juleps are a classic staple of social Kentucky cocktails. At Middle Fork Kitchen Bar, one of the city’s most buzzworthy restaurants from acclaimed chef and food truck star Mark Jensen, the julep receives a fruity facelift just in time for summer: the orange blossom julep. Made with the local bourbon of one’s choosing, the drink infuses fresh cut strawberries, cane sugar, apple cider vinegar, and orange blossom water to deliver a sweet sip with a Southern punch.
Destination: New Orleans
Located steps from the French Quarter, Hilton New Orleans Riverside’s popular bar and lounge, Public Belt, is inspired by the iconic railroad brought to New Orleans in the 1900s. Guests can sip on America's first cocktail, the Sazerac, which was created in New Orleans and features rye whiskey, bitters, absinthe and a lemon peel for a sweet, spicy and herbal flavor.
In the south end of downtown Fort Worth, in the middle of what was the notorious red-light district Hell’s Half Acre in the 1800s, sits Acre Distilling Co. The Meander Wood Gin Old Fashioned is a cowboy take on a classic old fashioned, that is crafted in the tasting room. It’s made locally with wood-aged dry gin that won silver at last year’s Los Angeles International Spirits Competition. The drink combines Acre Distilling Co. Meander Wood Aged Gin with simple syrup, Angostura bitter and orange bitters, garnished with an orange peel.
Destination: Puerto Rico
The Bioluminescent Bay in Puerto Rico teems with light-producing micro-organisms that sparkle in the dark. Located nearby, guests at Sheraton Puerto Rico can light up the night this summer with a glowing Bio Bay Cocktail fusing Puerto Rican rum, triple sec and blue curaçao.