I know, you’re probably still missing the holidays this month, and finding little bits of tinsel and glitter each time you sweep up isn’t helping. But consider this… it’s never too early to be 2024 planning. How else are you going to create that spirited sense of liquid fun?
So, with about 10 months leeway until the holiday season is upon us again, and with all due respect to the lyrics “oh there’s no place like home for the holidays” (thank you, Robert Allen and Al Stillman for this classic), the beginning of the year is the perfect time to consider that – especially after the holiday obligations guests just undertook – home is not exactly where they want to be.
They will need a little get away. And it might as well be at your bar.
Getting away doesn’t mean you necessarily want to forget where you are. The best getaways are the ones that ground you in the location, facilitate experiences that result in great memories which can be carried back home, merging the best of home and being somewhere else.
There are plenty of bars around the country that provide just the respite, and recipe, needed. They offer up a little taste of their own home, providing the perfect escape for guests who nightly lay their heads elsewhere.
Achieving that responsible escape is easy, with a little forethought and creativity on your menu.
Creativity is the base spirit for artful cocktails served at the 33 Seaport Hotel in downtown Manhattan.
Overnight guests are welcome to add it to any booking as an amenity of their stay if they’re looking for a special hands-on souvenir of their visit.
Locals are welcome into the bar every night, of course, but one night monthly 33 Seaport Hotel offers a paint and sip event that’s surely going to remain on their mind, along with the nearby hotel, each time they gaze on their handiwork hanging on their walls.
It is what’s hanging onto tree branches that’s exciting guests Enthusiast Hotel Collection properties since the partnered with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to offer birders a new home base for their travels, and cocktail needs.
Mary Guthrie, Director of Corporate Partnerships at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, explains the value she sees in this new partnership, “Whether guests are lifelong birders or just getting started, our resources are designed to inspire and spark a deep connection with nature.”
With more and more health and wellness studies showing the great benefits of being out in nature a visit to any one of the hotel group’s six properties, which span from the West Coast to the Caribbean, is surely to be beneficial.
Each hotel is set up to help guests discover the hundreds of local bird species while connecting with fellow bird enthusiasts.
Bird enthusiasts who visit EHC properties will be able to tap into this new partnership and explore birds on their stays in: California – Brewery Gulch Inn; the Bahamas – A Stone’s Throw Away; St. Lucia – Cap Cove; North Carolina – Historic Tapoco Lodge; Maine – Hartstone Inn; and Florida – Casa Morada.
At Maine’s Hartstone Inn, the signature Chickadee cocktail bringing people to the bar is a nod to the state bird, and the source of 99% of America’s blueberry crops which exist thanks to the naturally acidic soil found in mountainous regions that once housed ancient glaciers Travis Nestor, Executive Chef at Hartstone Inn, shares, “ Since our partnership with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology began, we now offer binoculars and destination handbooks in every room, and we have bird watching guides partnered with us for local tours. Our Chickadee cocktail is dedicated to the Maine state bird, in a combination with our passion for fine food and drink at the property and using fresh local ingredients, hence Maine’s famous wild blueberries.”
Things are not as wild as the blueberries in Maine, but it is still very exciting when you sit down for a cocktail at the Historic Tapoco Lodge.
You never know who or what you’ll get up knowing. General Manager Valerie Frapp is excited about the variety of birds outside and what they do to the guests who start with a drink inside.
She concludes, “I love the idea of featuring the Red Headed Woodpecker here to open up more conversations regarding local birds. I have personally served this drink and listened to the conversation between two separate parties discussing other birds they saw during their visit. Later, I saw both couples getting hot chocolate and heading to the fire pits together as new friends, still talking and laughing. All over a conversation started by me serving a Red Headed Woodpecker. If we can do anything to help spark a conversation regarding birding that can create friendships, it creates joy inside.”
That joy can spring from a creatively designed cocktail menu which offers a taste of a place guests only temporarily called home is a little bit of holiday, and every day, magic.
So, get planning! There is no excuse for ignoring what’s special about your locale that brings magic and makes your bar feel like a little taste of home (away from home).
“The Red Headed Woodpecker” at Historic Tapoco Lodge in Robbinsville, NC
- 1oz of Malibu Rum
- .25 oz of Amaretto
- .25 oz of Triple Sec
- 2 oz of Orange Juice
- 2 oz of Pineapple Juice
- A splash of Grenadine
- A splash of Cranberry
- Pineapple slice and maraschino cherries for garnish
- Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice, shake, then strain over ice.
- Garnish with pineapple slice and cherries.