I love a good hotel bar. When traveling for work, it’s nice when I can stroll down to the restaurant or on-site lounge and enjoy a well-crafted cocktail — no need to venture back out after a day on the streets. It’s like getting to unwind in your own home with a little added posh and service. So I’m thrilled to hear about Omni Hotels new drink program, “Homegrown Cocktails.” Keeping on trend with the culinary world’s interest in farm-to-glass craft cocktails, the brand has partnered up with well-versed mixologists to create drink menus specific to the area the hotel is in.
Our rep for most the Southeast region is Freddy Diaz, co-founder of mixology consulting company, AlambiQ. Hailing from South Florida, Freddy is mixing the likes of grapefruit juice, honey, strawberries, and jalapeño to make drinks like the New Age Julep with ABSOLUT, Plymouth Gin, mint, honey syrup, and sweet orange bitter foam. I’m thirsty to try his Southern Basil-Berry Smash (see recipe below), which along with the rest of the Southeastern cocktail menu you can find at Omni Hotels in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia.
If you are staying at a Texan Omni, you’ll be drinking libations from the mind of Texas-native Kim Hassarud, founder of consulting company Liquid Architecture, who believes cocktails, like food, should be a culinary experience. The Dr. Woodford Bell with Bluebell Ice Cream, Graham Crackers, and Dr. Pepper is the perfect nod to Texas’s sweet tooth; while drinks like the Jalapeño Hop and Smokin’ Patron pay homage to the state’s spicier side.
In St. Louis and New Orleans, you’ll be sipping on Breakfasts in the Bluegrass with Woodford, maple syrup, and fresh blueberries; while at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in DC, you’ll warm up with The Belmont — Woodford, Averna, Angostura bitters, and Reagan’s Orange Bitters.
Now off to bed. The comfy hotel bed will feel much cozier after a round or two.
Try Freddy’s Southern Basil-Berry Smash at home:
|2 each||Fresh Strawberries (hulled & sliced)|
|3 each||Basil Leaves|
|1.5 oz||Woodford Reserve|
|0.5 oz||Dry Sack Sherry|
|0.5 oz||Monin Pure Cane Syrup|
|.75 oz||Fresh Lemon Juice|
Muddle strawberries and basil leaves. Shake the rest of the ingredients with ice and fine-strain over fresh ice.
Photos from omnihotels.com