Photo: LeNell Smothers
Hotel bars have the potential to serve as a haven while you are on vacation, but often they are just places to get ripped off for a mediocre drink. When you're lucky enough to happen upon that truly special hotel bar where no detail has been overlooked, the sticker shock on the cocktail menu might just melt away into your highballs.
I had the quintessential hotel bar experience in London's lovely Connaught Hotel. The barmen were as beautiful as the surroundings, but the drinks were the showstoppers. After the most divine martini service ever, the barman suggested I try a margarita.
We've all had a margarita or two, but he intrigued me with the addition of fresh beetroot juice, making the drink a royal purple color. Another noteworthy ingredient that set this drink above the humdrum was Galliano Balsamico liqueur, a new product by the famous golden Italian liqueur company made with, yes, vinegar!
The barman noticed my rapid note taking and discrete photography. With my check he included the pre-printed recipes on Connaught logo'ed cocktail cards. Now that's what I call service!
I am including the recipe as it was written using milliliter measurements, and I have added conversions to ounces. I suggest keeping a jigger on hand with metrics for more accurate pouring of this cocktail.
35 ml (1.18 oz) beetroot juice
45 ml (1.52 oz) tequila blanco
10 ml (.34 oz) orange liqueur
25 ml (.85 oz) fresh lime juice
15 ml (.5 oz) Galliano Balsamico
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and shake. Fine strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with salt.