The vacation season is upon us, and relaxation often begins after we jet off to a warm, sunny destination, check into a hotel, raise a cocktail and feel that sense of “aaah.” Even those who have to work while traveling consider their summer workday a success when it ends with a cocktail by the pool, according to a recent Hilton survey. When it comes to pouring a drink, Hilton's 2022 global trends report found tequila continues to dominate the spirit industry in the U.S. and many other parts of the world, while in Southeast Asia, gin is the drink of choice. Meanwhile, the sober curiosity movement is picking up speed around the world, with low-to-no ABV cocktails and Cocktail Zero menus rising in popularity.
“At Hilton, we’re committed to uplifting the cocktail experience by finding and retaining best-in-class talent as well as utilizing products that are uniquely locally-sourced,” says Adam Crocini, senior vice president and global head, Food and Beverage Brands, Hilton. “This commitment has resulted in the development and introduction of authentic, craft cocktail bars around the world, serving a variety of curated cocktail offerings with refined garnishes and ingredients.”
Straight up, frozen, on the rocks, or virgin, Hilton’s hotel bartenders and mixologists are eager to create concoctions that will have you sipping pretty. Below is just a sampling of some of the most anticipated cocktails available to you at Hilton properties this travel season:
Coco mixologist Rasikta Kamble of Hilton Goa Resort is seeing even the most avid cocktail connoisseurs take a more leveled approach towards drink appreciation – especially as zero-proof spirits offer the same levels of craft production without any compromise on taste. This upcoming season, Kamble anticipates this modern Monday Negroni will be a popular request.
- 60 ml Sakura Fresh Negroni
- 2 dashes Sakura Fresh Better than Bitters
- Garnish: star anise
- Fill a mixing glass with ice and add Sakura Fresh Negroni and Better than Bitters. Stir for 10 seconds.
- Light the star anise with a cigar lighter and capture the smoke into the mixing glass for a few seconds.
- Fill an old fashioned glass with fresh ice and strain the stirred cocktail over.
- Garnish with the torched star anise and serve.
In Thailand, mixologists at The Loft at Waldorf Astoria Bangkok suggest the Illusion for savory sipping. Named for its duality, the Illusion is light in appearance but packs a real punch in flavor and strength, serving as the ideal refresher for the upcoming hotter months.
- 45 ml Hendrick’s Gin
- 5 ml peach liqueur
- 10 ml Silpin Thai lemongrass syrup
- 20 ml clarified lime juice
- 90 ml Perrier Peach and Cherry sparkling juice
- Garnish: lemon twist, edible flower
- Fill a mixing glass with ice and combine all of the ingredients.
- Stir and strain into an oak Chardonnay glass.
- Finish with a block of ice, edible flower and lemon twist.
Enjoy a Caribbean vibe courtesy of Azulinda Lobby Bar mixologist Luis Alberto Jimenez at Hilton Cancun, an All-Inclusive Resort. “It’s the perfect summer cocktail,” said Jimenez. “It’s fresh, simple and offers a touch of Mexican culture.”
- 45 ml lemon juice
- 45 ml tequila
- 14.7 ml natural syrup
- 30 ml Jamaica Liqueur
- 14.7 ml orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Grand Mariner
- Garnish: mint, Tajin and lemon
- In a cocktail shaker, add lemon juice, tequila, natural syrup, Jamaica, orange liqueur and ice.
- Mix everything together.
- Garnish the rim of an old-fashioned glass with Tajin, fill glass with ice, pour in cocktail mix and garnish with mint and a slice of lemon.
Guests of Susona Bodrum, LXR Hotels & Resorts will be taking in the scenery with this season’s Hibiscus Margarita in hand. Here, mixologists share the recipe so you can enjoy it at home. But first, infuse your tequila with hibiscus flowers for three days before preparing (it’s worth the wait!).
- 40 ml Olmeca Altos Tequila 100% Agave
- Hibiscus flowers (dried)
- 40 ml Mikks Sour Lemon
- 10 ml Triple Sec
- Ice cubes
- Garnish: sea salt
- Infuse tequila with hibiscus flowers for three days or until red (flowers do not need to be strained).
- When ready, run a lime wedge around the edge of a chilled glass and salt the rim.
- Add Mikks Sour Lemon, tequila and Triple Sec into a shaker with ice and shake until chilled.
- Strain into glass over fresh ice.
Virgin Coldbrew Mojito
Zero-proof cocktails can be found at most Hilton hotels and resorts, but drink makers at Canopy by Hilton London City think this iced coffee-infused drink will be the hit of the season. Go for decaf if you prefer the drink late in the evening.
- 80 ml cold brew or filter coffee
- 2-3 mint sprigs (10 leaves)
- 25 ml Simple syrup
- 2 dashes Bitter Truth Chocolate Bitters
- 1 lime slice
- Sparkling water
- Lightly muddle two to three mint sprigs with one slice of lime in a highball glass.
- Add cold brew coffee, chocolate bitters and simple syrup.
- Fill glass with ice cubes then top with sparkling water. Stir lightly.
- Garnish with a mint leaf.
Cherry Blossom Cocktail
Guests of Hilton Garden Inn hotels across the U.S. can savor a chilled Cherry Blossom Cocktail made by bartenders at the Garden Grille & Bar. Sipping one poolside, like at the new Hilton Garden Inn St. Pete Beach's palm tree-lined pool overlooking the sugar-white sand hugging the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, is the reason warm-weather destinations are tops.
- 37 ml 1800 Silver Tequila
- 30 ml lime juice
- 30 ml grapefruit juice
- 7.4 ml grenadine
- Grapefruit slice or maraschino cherry for garnish
- Salt as needed
- Pour all ingredients into a shaker and shake well.
- Strain into a salt-rimmed martini glass or serve over ice.
- Garnish with a grapefruit slice or cherry.
Original Piña Colada
If you're looking for a more classic summer refreshment, you can't beat the tried-and-true Piña Colada, which was originally introduced at Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1954. Created by bartender Ramon "Monchito" Marrero, the drink is one of the most requested by guests eager to try the original. Try it at home using the world-famous recipe.
- 60 ml white rum
- 30 ml coconut cream
- 30 ml heavy cream
- 177 ml fresh pineapple juice
- 0.5 cup crushed ice
- Mix rum, coconut cream, heavy cream and pineapple juice in a blender.
- Add ice and blend until smooth for 15 seconds.
- Serve in a 12-ounce glass and garnish with fresh pineapple wedge and cherry.
For cocktail enthusiasts and foodies across the globe, we know you’re likely just as excited about diving into a delicious meal as you are diving into the stunning blue waters found around the world. While nothing beats trying the real thing in your dream destination, these delicious cocktails, as well as these other tasty recipes, offer a small taste of what’s to come on your next vacation.