Cocktail maestros who are the backbone of some of the US best happy hour spots, bars, restaurants, and lounges created new boozy (and non-alcoholic), photo-worthy cocktails for all to enjoy. Bartenders, mixologists, and bar managers share their most iconic drinks at their restaurants or bars.
Klaw – James MacInnes, Liquor Boss
Papaya Piña Colada
The iconic Piña Colada is one of the favorite cocktails of James MacInnes, liquor boss at Klaw, the newest land and sea concept slated to hit Miami this spring. He curated cocktails that paid homage to the golden era of Miami’s history when the city was referred to as the “American Riviera,” and the Piña Colada was the first that came to mind.
Inspired by the classic combination of Coco Lopez, pineapple juice, Caribbean rums, and lime juice, Klaw’s rendition brings complementary ingredients into the classic recipe. Served in the signature “Hurricane Glass” and topped with crushed ice, forgoing the expected blender altogether, the Papaya Piña Colada introduces a tropical undertone by way of Papaya fruit.
Gerber Group – Moses Laboy, Corporate Beverage Manager
Some Like It Hot Cocktail
Gerber Group – owner-operator of 7 innovative cocktail bars and restaurants in New York, Washington D.C., and Atlanta – is known for its unique cocktails infused with unmistacable flavor. A personal favorite of Gerber Group’s Corporate Beverage Manager, Moses Laboy, is his very own Some Like It Hot. This sustainable cocktail is crafted using mezcal, fresh jalapeños and rosemary cooked in simple syrup. The jalapenos are then candied via dehydration for cocktail garnish.
Thompson Playa del Carmen – Argennis Reyes, Bartender
Thompson Main House is an adults-only urban resort Thompson Playa del Carmen that features exceptional cuisine led by trendsetting CATCH NYC and modern amenities. The property is recognized for hosting exciting parties at their spacious rooftop and serving up tasty cocktails including the guest-favorite Moscow Mule. Made with vodka, lime juice, homemade natural ginger beer, and a few drops of essential oil from a grapefruit peel, bartender Argennis Reyes puts a unique spin on a classic cocktail perfect for a poolside afternoon.
Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa – Jonathan Egged, Beverage Manager
Jonathan Egged, beverage manager at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa, shares the recipe of Piano Man cocktail. Abounding flavors consist of house-made cinnamon syrup which pairs perfectly with the nutty, dried fruit taste of sherry and the full, hearty flavor of dark rye. Topped off with egg whites for a creamy texture, the Piano Man is a silky, smooth, and unforgettable libation.
Villa La Valencia Beach Resort & Spa – Carlos Valdez Avila
Los Cabos’ newest luxury resort Villa La Valencia Beach Resort & Spa is an ideal spot to unwind in the midst of azure Sea of Cortez views, live music and contemporary décor at La Jolla Lobby Bar. Cocktail enthusiasts can request bartender Carlos Valdez Avila’s signature Piloncillo cocktail, which balances sweet and bitter flavors for a soulful flavor profile. The Piloncillo cocktail captures the essence of this staple Mexican ingredient highlighting tasting notes including caramel, rum and smokiness. The boozy libation features whiskey, Amaretto Disaronno (Italian almond liqueur), piloncillo syrup scented with star anise and lemon juice and topped with refreshing lemon and rosemary.
Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort – Lindsay Nakamura
Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort is known for its Tropical Mojito as a fun twist on the traditional cocktail. As a nod to The Aloha State’s love for pineapple, this destination-inspired drink puts the fruit front and center. Its sweetness, along with the lime’s tartness and the mint’s freshness – pulled together with the rum – immediately transport you to Kauai’s turquoise waters.
Pasea Hotel & Spa – Miguel Sandoval
Just Beet It
Pasea Hotel & Spa‘s specialty Just Beet It cocktail is a refreshing twist on your typical poolside libation. The California living-inspired cocktail features high-in-vitamin beets that give a much-needed energy boost after a long day of lounging in the sunshine. Shaking together the beet gum syrup with bourbon and Blanc Vermouth and hazelnut liqueur reveals a sweet and earthy tone that complements strong notes of vanilla, oak and caramel. For a fresh finish, the lemon is squeezed into the strikingly ruby red drink and is strained with a dehydrated lemon that we make in house, ensuring the highest quality.
Mahina & Sun’s at The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club – Christian Taibi, Executive Bar Manager
Christian Taibi, Executive Bar Manager at Mahina & Sun’s at The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club confesses: “I like to bring liquors, such as a London Dry Gin, out of its comfort zone. This cocktail not only supported the Tiki movement in 1930s, it is a completely unique cocktail when you pair it with Benedictine, cherry liquor and tropical juices. Finish this cocktail with seltzer and lemon oil and it is the ultimate poolside drink with a bright and herbaceous kick.”
Merriman’s Hawaii – Jim Lunchick, Mixologist at Merriman’s Hawaii
Jim Lunchick, Mixologist at Merriman’s Hawaii says: “When guests order a non-alcohol, “bartender’s choice” drink, it shows trust – it also starts conversation. I like to ask the guest a couple of questions before deciding on my mocktail of choice. What is your preferred sweetness level? Do you like carbonation? A Virgin Mojito with muddled up fresh pineapple and basil is always a good choice, or anything that feels like a taste of Hawaii, fresh and yum.”
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