Drink custom bourbon at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. // © 2016 Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
Feature image (above): At Hamilton Princess & Beach Club in Bermuda, guests can enjoy an exclusive rum called Princess Rum. // © 2016 Nicole Franzen/Hamilton Princess & Beach Club
Forget signature cocktails — how about a signature brand of alcohol you can’t drink anywhere else? Taking “foodcations” to the next level, hotels are offering clients in-house spirits and wine through exclusive partnerships with distilleries and wineries. Their teams have traveled across borders to hand-select custom blends that complement their resort’s style and help create distinctive drink selections.
Belmond El Encanto
Clients don’t need to go wine tasting on Santa Barbara’s Urban Wine Trail to try local wine. Belmond El Encanto gives guests a bottle of exclusively blended Summerland wine as soon as they arrive to the property. Sip chardonnay on a private patio with panoramic views during the summer or pinot noir inside an indulgent bungalow during the winter.
The Connaught and its on-site Connaught Bar teamed up with The Dalmore distillery to produce The Connaught Cask, an exclusive Highland single malt whisky inspired by the iconic London hotel in the district of Mayfair Village. Purchasable at the bar, The Connaught Cask has a finish of 18 percent Cabernet Sauvignon barriques, 15 percent Port pipes and 67 percent that is matured in sherry butts. Connaught’s director of mixology, Agostino Perrone, showcases the unique beverage in his 1815 Whisky Sour.
Four Seasons Hotel New York
The 1920s are back at Four Seasons Hotel New York, which partnered with upstate Prohibition Distillery to create an exclusive batch of gin. Starting May 2016, travelers to Manhattan’s TY Bar in the hotel can try Bootlegger Batch #0057, named for the hotel’s address. Strong flavors of orange citrus contrast with the bold pine taste of juniper berries.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
This Four Seasons property in the Sonoran Desert is home to a watering hole that serves specialty house bourbon. In 2012, its Proof Canteen restaurant handpicked a barrel of bourbon from Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace distillery. This barrel of smooth and oaky bourbon lasted two years. Now in partnership with Wild Turkey’s Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon, Proof Canteen mixes its new custom bourbon into Smoked Old Fashioned and Proof Manhattan cocktails. The supply is set to last through 2016, depending on demand and production.
Hamilton Princess & Beach Club
Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, a Fairmont-managed hotel in Bermuda, offers an exclusive Single Barrel Reserve Gosling Rum called Princess Rum. The smooth, dark and traditional Bermuda rum hints of earth tones and spice. Guests can order it neat or in the traditional Bermuda Dark & Stormy cocktail. Bottled in Bermuda, the rum is available in all the hotel's restaurants and bars as well as available in bottle form to take home.
Chris Blackwell, who is from one of Jamaica’s oldest rum-producing families, created Blackwell Rum for all four locations of Island Outpost, a collection of Jamaican hotels and villas. The luminous dark rum has a deep amber glow and soft finish. At 40 percent alcohol by volume, Blackwell Rum captures the island’s spirit with light tropical flavors of coconut, citrus and honeyed fruits. “The GoldenEye” signature cocktail at GoldenEye is made of one part pineapple juice and one part Blackwell Rum.
Morocco’s La Mamounia celebrated the hotel’s 90th anniversary in 2013 with “Icone,” a vintage wine custom blended at 94 percent Syrah and 6 percent Viognier. The $120 bottles of wine were created by Manuel Schott, head sommelier at La Mamounia, and Jacques Poulain, producer at La Ferme Rouge Winery in Had Brachoua, Rommani, Morocco.
Grand Hotel Kronenhof Pontresina and Kulm Hotel St. Moritz
The two sister hotels in Switzerland's Upper Engadine partnered with Marmete Prevostini, a vineyard near the Swiss and Italian border. Grand Hotel Kronenhof Pontresina and Kulm Hotel St. Moritz designed blends of wine called Strata (Latin for stone-paved road). The exclusive white wine is 80 percent chardonnay and 20 percent sauvignon, while three reds are made from Nebbiolo grapes. The wine is only available at the two hotels, served by master sommelier Benjamin Wolf.
Palmer House Hilton
Not only does Palmer House Hilton serve its own signature Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon, but the hotel also infuses the booze within its barrel-aged maple syrups. Syrups are aged in-house within the historic Chicago rail passage underneath the hotel. In October 2015, six different batches were each infused with spirits, resulting in smoky, floral, fruity and chocolaty flavors. The collection of syrups is used for cooking and cocktails alike — the Old Chicago Passage Maple Manhattan cocktail mixes syrup, bourbon, Angostura bitters and sweet vermouth.
Raffles Hotels & Resorts
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Singapore Sling cocktail, Raffles Hotels & Resorts designed a new bespoke spirit, Raffles 1915 Gin. Last year the hotel began an ongoing partnership with Sipsmith, an independent London distillery, to handcraft the exclusive Malaysian-inspired gin. Its balance of jasmine flowers, pomelo peel, lemongrass, lime leaf, nutmeg and cardamom results in a smooth taste of warm orange spice. Clients can try the liqueur in the popular Raffles Resident Gin & Tonic at multiple Raffles locations.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch offers a luxurious apres-ski experience at the Bachelors Lounge, home of the world’s most expensive cigar. Bartenders make barrel-aged Bachelors Bourbon in-house, exclusive to cocktails at the Vail Valley resort. The bourbon is also infused in the spa’s vanilla scrub for the hydro tub or Vichy shower.
Kathryn and Craig Hall bought Senza hotel in 2006 to expand wine tasting beyond their Hall and Walt wineries, which specialize in cabernet sauvignon and pinot noirs, respectively. Clients can sip the brand’s wines on Senza’s homey outdoor patio with an intimate view of Napa Valley vineyards.
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
Casa Herradura Double Barrel Reposado Tequila was handpicked straight from Mexico’s tequila region of Jalisco. Waltz & Weiser Whiskey Bar & Cantina at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa serves the tequila, which begins as blue agave tequila, is rested for 11 months and then is matured for one more month to achieve perfect smoothness and sweet brown spice notes. Even the Old West saloon atmosphere complements the south-of-the-border-inspired menu at the Scottsdale, Ariz., hotel.