4 Classic Cocktail Recipes from Fancy Hotels—and Pro Tips for Making Them

Road-Trip_Hudson-Valley_NY_Hudson_bartenderold fashioned cocktail
Whitney Tressel

Using fresh ingredients elevates homemade cocktails to pro status.

These playful takes on the old fashioned will have you reaching for your cocktail shaker.

Old-school cocktails are in vogue now, thanks to the comeback of cocktail culture and the glorification of everything retro, TV's Mad Men being a particularly fine example. We can't think of a better place than a chic hotel bar to sip an old fashioned from a heavy-bottomed tumbler while deep in thought. The only problem is, those lobby drinks can be a splurge, depending on what part of the world you're in—and how many you order.

So we're bringing the bar to you, with these clever yet timeless cocktail recipes from swanky Hilton lounges across the country. While you're stirring them up, heed these three cocktail rules, straight from a barkeep at LvL25 at Conrad Miami, a lounge renowned for the Biscayne Bay views from its 25-story vantage point.

Rule #1: Hit the grocery store before you mix up a cocktail. "Our secret is to use fresh ingredients. We marinate the fruit with sugar for a bit so the juice from the fruit comes out in the flavors of the drink."

Rule #2: Use a stainless-steel cocktail shaker and pronged cocktail strainer to make drinks—not one of those built-in perforated strainers. "The pronged strainer allows the cocktail to breathe like a good glass of wine. It also ensures the mixed or muddled ingredients are strained out to ensure the highest drink quality."

Rule #3: When at a hotel bar, go off menu. "Instead of ordering a signature drink, guests should ask the bartender to create a drink based on their liquor preference and sweet or savory tastes. A good bartender usually anticipates a guest’s needs by asking about their drink preferences first."

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