The Bar, Examined
By Bill Keith
Hotel bars have long been laboratories for the most enduring cocktails, and an around-the-world trip provides drink recipes for every hour and occasion. Just make sure your glassware is up to snuff (we've poured our liquor in this fall's finest).
1. Singapore Sling
(Rock-cut highball by Tiffany & Co., $30)
Raffles Hotel, Singapore
This drink was created at the Raffles in the early 1900s for British ladies looking to discreetly sip on something stronger than lemonade. Today the hotel slings about 2,000 of them daily.
1 ounce gin, 1/2 ounce Heering cherry liqueur, 4 ounces pineapple juice, 1/2 ounce lime juice, 1/4 ounce Cointreau, 1/4 ounce Dom Benedictine, 1/3 ounce grenadine, dash Angostura bitters
Shake and garnish with pineapple and cherry. Serve in a highball.
(Birch rocks glass by Roost, $7.50)
The Sazerac Bar, Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans
The Sazerac's history is as convoluted as politics in the Big Easy, but the Sazerac is largely acknowledged as the world's very first cocktail, created around 1850.
1 sugar cube, 1' ounces rye whiskey, 1/4 ounces absinthe (or Herbsaint), 3 dashes Peychaud's bitters, lemon peel for garnish
Pack an old-fashioned glass with ice. In a second old-fashioned glass, place the sugar cube and add the bitters, then crush the sugar cube. Add the rye whiskey to the second glass. Empty the ice from the first glass and coat the glass with the Herbsaint. Empty the whiskey/bitters/sugar mixture from the second glass into the first glass and garnish with lemon peel.
3. Corpse Reviver No. 2
(Mami martini glass by
Alessi, $125 for six)
Bar Hemingway, Ritz Hotel, Paris
In a city not known for cocktail culture, leave it to Ernest Hemingway to inspire and become chief patron of what is now considered Europe's -- if not the world's -- premier mixology mecca. Save 30 Euros and make this hangover cure at home.
3/4 ounce gin, 3/4 ounce Cointreau, 3/4 ounce Lillet Blanc, 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice, 2 dashes absinthe, Herbsaint, or other pastis
Combine in a shaker with cracked ice, shake, and strain. Garnish with a stemless cherry.
(Namb' Contour flute, $75 for two)
Harry's Bar, Cipriani, Venice
More than a million Bellinis have been served at Venice's Harry's Bar since it opened its dock for business in 1931. The drink's rosy hue inspired creator Giuseppe Cipriani to name it after Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini.
1/3 part fresh white peach juice, 2/3 part Prosecco (sparkling wine)
To make peach juice, peel and slice 2' pounds of white peaches. Blend the peaches with crushed ice and two teaspoons of sugar. Add 2 1/4 cups of water and 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice. If necessary, add a little raspberry or cherry juice to make it distinctly pink.
5. Original Red Snapper
(Double old-fashioned glass by Match, $62)
King Cole Bar, the St. Regis, New York City
You probably know her better by her drag name, Bloody Mary, but when this cocktail was created 75 years ago at the King Cole, it was given a more demure moniker.
1 ounce vodka, 2 ounces tomato juice, 1 dash lemon juice, 2 dashes salt, 2 dashes black pepper, 2 dashes cayenne pepper, 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
6. The Martinez
(Martini pitcher by Match, $193, and spoon, $66)
The Dorchester, London
Using their own bespoke gin and bitters based on 17th-century recipes, the Dorchester's signature drink is considered the original martini, dating as far back as 1862.
1 ounce Hayman's Old Tom Gin, 1 1/2 ounces Punt e Mes, 1/2 ounce Maraschino Luxardo, dash Dorchester bitters
Shake and strain into a martini glass. Squeeze an orange twist and drop in.