I hate to express any bias when it comes to cocktails because quite frankly I love them all, but I have to admit that with this frigid January weather I’m really beginning to miss those flavorful, tropics-inspired cocktails. Now I love your hot buttered rum’s and spiked egg nog’s just as much as the next lush, but there’s something about a great Mai Tai or margarita that seems to transport the senses. Luckily, for Lushworthy’s first ever guest post, travel writer/expert Kendra Thornton is here with an amazing cocktail recipe that’s sure to transport you to the balmy beaches of Hawaii. This particular cocktail happens to be the famed Mai Tai from the Halekulani Hotel’s The House Without A Key and you can find a few welcomed words from Kendra as well as a recipe for the Mai Tai below.
During these winter months I find myself thinking about my travels to where I was catching sun and enjoying the breeze alongside warm ocean tides. It takes me back to my relaxing trip at the Halekulani Hotel on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii I took a while back with my husband.
This luxurious hotel with beautiful oceanfront views was highly recommended, and I wish I could have shared my experience with all my friends and family. Waking up to the sounds of seagulls and ocean waves on a sunny day in a large, spacious hotel room is something I could get used to easily. Going to their stunning pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean nearby, hearing beautiful performances by talented locals nightly, drinking creative cocktails in the beautiful piano bar we could all get used to.
Unfortunately, no vacation lasts forever and the east coast doesn’t exactly have the perfect weather year round that Hawaii does or the amazing scuba-diving and picturesque beaches. But as the old saying goes, fake it until you make it! I decided we needed to bring a piece of Hawaii back home with us to share with our friends. I’m not talking about normal Hawaiian souvenirs such as a volcanic rock or flower-patterned t-shirts. I’m talking about something our friends will really enjoy, an amazing Hawaiian cocktail!
For all you lucky lushes out there who will be heading down to the tropics to celebrate the holidays this month you’ll likely be surprised to hear that you can still get your holiday cocktail fix while surrounded by powder white sand instead of powder white snow. Quite a number of hotels in the Caribbean including the Cotton Tree in Grand Cayman and the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino offer up a bevy of holiday cocktails that’ll ensure that you remain in the holiday spirit. Here’s just a sampling of the festive cocktails that await at a variety of beachy resorts.
“The Candy Cane” – Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino – For all you frozen drink lovers out there, this one’s for you. Perfect for poolside lounging at H2Oasis, the Aruba Marriott Resort’s adults-only pool, “The Candy Cane” is a festive blend of white rum, Strawberry Oasis mix, Pina Colada Oasis mix, coconut cream, and melon liquor.
“Cranberry Cherry Martini” – Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa – Personally, when the holiday’s come to mind, cranberry is one of the first flavors I think of when it comes to holiday cocktails. It screams seasonal and fortunately you don’t have to venture out of the county to try the “Cranberry Cherry Martini” at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Served at the resort’s 3030 Ocean seafood restaurant, this particular cocktail is handcrafted using fresh, seasonal products.
While the city of Los Angeles may not be the first locale to come to mind when you think of the holidays, the city’s Library Bar is hoping to bring about a little holiday spirit with well, spirits. Specifically, their holiday cocktails. Located in the famed Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Library Bar has garnered quite a name for itself thanks to craft cocktails that are served “Omakase-style,” perfect for those of you who prefer the “surprise me” method when ordering drinks.
Now that we’re heavy into the holiday season, Library Bar’s head bartender Chris Hewes has crafted a few cocktails indicative of “the most wonderful time of the year.” Two of the seasonal sips include the “Library Hot Cocoa” (pictured above) and “Winter Stout.” The latter is a new addition which boasts quite the ingredients list thanks to a combination of Russian Imperial Stout, rye whiskey, almond milk, rice nectar, chocolate-chili bitters, and egg white. See, I told ya it was quite the list. And for all you spiked cocoa lovers out there, the “Library Hot Cocoa” is a decadent blend of warm almond milk, housemade cocoa liqueur, Knot Irish Whiskey, Godiva, nutmeg, and cream. Both cocktails sound amazing, but the housemade cocoa liqueur in the “Library Hot Cocoa” has me sold.
Both the “Library Hot Cocoa” and “Winter Stout” can be purchased at Library Bar for $16. On top of Library Bar, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel also features several other bars including Tropicana Bar and The Spare Room which is both a gaming parlour and cocktail lounge.
A couple of months ago I took a week long trip to Aruba and to be honest with you aside from constantly hitting up the pool bar during Happy Hour, I didn’t have the opportunity to take part in too many Lushworthy activities. Thankfully though, I was able to check out The Sopranos Piano Bar which is part of a chain of bars that’s well-known for featuring pianists that’ll sing just about any tune you can throw at ’em.
“Espresso Martini” at The Sopranos Piano Bar in Aruba.
We were in Aruba during low-season so aside from myself and my two cousins there were only about 10 people in the bar and I’m pretty sure that at least seven of them were completely wasted. We grabbed a cozy, circular booth on the porch area and browsed through the drink menu while listening to pianist Steve Savage play everything from “Gangster’s Paradise” to “Margaritaville.” I do feel like The Sopranos Piano Bar is one of those places where it’s a little more exciting when there’s more people, but Savage and his piano were pretty entertaining.
I have to admit that while I just returned from vacation not even a month ago, the pictures of the Jamaica Inn located in Ocho Rios, Jamaica already have me green with vacation envy. It’s absolutely gorgeous and if you thought “absolutely gorgeous” couldn’t possibly be topped then think again because on top of providing you with a stunning setting, the Jamaica Inn also provides its guests with a complimentary rum cocktail everyday! How heavenly is that? Imagine how much better your day would be if it started off with a rum cocktail.
Served around 11:30 A.M. each day by longtime Jamaica Inn bartender Teddy (pictured above), the cocktails available are the Planter’s Punch and a Blended Fruit Punch. If you’ll be vacationing at the Jamaica Inn over the holidays, enjoy! And if you aren’t then be sure to whip yourself up one of the hotel’s rum cocktails using one of the recipes below and then hop on the Website for your preferred airline and book yourself a direct flight to Ocho Rios ASAP.
1 ½ oz. Myers Rum ½ oz. Sugar Syrup ½ oz. Lime Juice
A dash Angustura Bitters