The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, June 2014 … It’s shaken or stirred, dry or dirty, blue with Curacao and green with apples. Garnished with stuffed olives, pickled onions, lemon twists, mint leaves, or jalapeño peppers and served in a frosted glass, it’s a silvery beacon atop the bar. It’s the stuff of film legend. Who could forget James Bond’s suave and specific commands for the perfect concoction, or MadMen Don Draper and Roger Sterling downing three or more at lunch? Mrs. Robinson’s iconic leg shot with her cocktail glass in hand defined The Graduate. It’s the drink of statesmen and literary lions. FDR toasted the end of Prohibition with newly legal gin while Ernest Hemingway celebrated the liberation of Paris by marching into the Ritz Bar and ordering several rounds of the King of Cocktails - The Martini. This week, the legendary libation is celebrated across America on June 19th, National Martini Day.
The Martini has evolved from its 1950s incarnation of gin, vermouth and an olive, as innovative barkeeps create intoxicating new takes on the All American cocktail. Increasingly, high quality vodka takes the place of gin. Bars and restaurants at Benchmark Resorts & Hotels® and Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels® brands, offer both the timeless and traditional version, plus some spirited new drinks that reflect local flavors and serve as the perfect prelude to fabulous fare.
Seattle – Sorrento Hotel -- For 30 years, Seattle’s gracious Sorrento Hotel, has sat atop First Hill, offering traditional European elegance and luxury. The Hunt Club and the cozy Fireside Room draw both guests and savvy Seattle residents for an array of cocktails, including this ruby red Beet Martini.
Just Beet It Martini
- 1.5 oz Citrus Vodka
- .5 oz Fresh Beet Juice
- .25 oz Domaine De Canton Ginger Liquor
- Top with Cucumber Dry Soda
- Garnish with Cucumber Wedge
Washington State Wine Country – Willows Lodge -- Set in Washington State Wine Country, Willows Lodge is a spectacular and scenic retreat, renowned for its award-winning restaurant, The Barking Frog. With soccer fever running high, Willows Lodge offers The World Cup Martini that gives new meaning to the term, “Going for the Gold."
World Cup Martini
- 2 oz. – Tito’s Vodka
- .75 oz. – St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
- 5 leaves of fresh mint
- 1 cucumber wedge
- Dash of gold dust (use sparingly!)
- Martini Glass
Prep: Take a dry (non-chilled) martini glass, and gentle run the rim of the glass through the gold dust. Again, use sparingly.. a little goes a long way. Tap the glass a few times to remove excess gold dust.
Drink: Dry muddle mint and cucumber wedge, add ice, vodka and St. Germaine. Shake and drain into gold dusted martini glass. Mint leaf garnish.
Napa Valley - Bardessono -- It’s so easy being green at Bardessono, one of the only three LEED Platinum Certified hotels in the world. In the heart of California’s Napa Valley, Bardessono’s critically acclaimed Lucy Restaurant & Bar combines vodka, a fine California vintage and locally grown cucumber, basil and lemon.
Green Leed Martini
- 1.5oz Tito’s vodka
- .5oz Cadillac wine
- 1oz Cucumber/basil
- .5oz lemon
Shake & double strain into Martini glass
Garnish: Cucumber wheel on lip of glass
San Antonio – Hotel Contessa – Luxury Suites on the Riverwalk -- Guests will remember more than the Alamo after a stay in this urban resort on San Antonio’s famous Riverwalk. Named one of America’s Top 100 Hotels by Condé Nast Traveler, Hotel Contessa’s Las Ramblas Riverwalk Restaurant will mark National Martini Day with the Cavender Martini made with San Antonio’s own Cinco Vodka.
The Cavender Martini
- 1 oz. St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
- 1 oz. Cinco Vodka
- 1 oz. Cava Brut Rosé
Shake St. Germaine & Cinco Vodka with ice
Strain into chilled Martini Glass
Top off with Cava Brut Rosé
Garnish with an orange twist & orange essence
Blacksburg, Virginia - The Inn at Virginia Tech -- Southern Comforts and a highly original Martini come from The Inn at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Located on the campus of Virginia Tech, the hotel bar welcomes guests and Hokies, loyal fans of the Virginia Tech football team. The Inn at Virginia Tech uses herbs from its own gardens to create this tribute to the team.
The Golden Hokie Martini
Muddle 2 lemon verbena leaves, 3 mint leaves, one sugar cube and juice of half a lime
Add 2 oz. of Wild Turkey 81 and shake
Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a lime wheel and float a mint leaf on top
Orlando – Villas of Grand Cypress -- Floridians like a refreshing drink and at Orlando’s Villas of Grand Cypress, the four-star Nine 18 restaurant offers a sparkling vodka cocktail of fresh raspberries, basil and lemon. A spectacular golf resort in the midst of Orlando’s attractions, The Villas of Grand Cypress offer accommodations in spacious villas, fine dining and limitless recreation.
- 10 Fresh raspberries
- 3 shots Grey Goose Vodka
- 3 fresh Basil Leaves
- ¾ Lemon
- 12 oz. tonic water
Cut basil into strips
Add raspberries and basil into a mortar and pestle
Grind until paste and add to a small pitcher
Add the 3 shots of vodka
Add 12 oz. of tonic water and juice of the lemon
Refrigerate for 2 hours
Pour into a raw sugar rimmed martini glass
Chicago - Eaglewood Resort & Spa -- A bucolic retreat just 35 minutes from Chicago’s Loop, Eaglewood Resort & Spa draws golfers, conference attendees, and vacationers. The Sounds of Summer Marti is perfect for sipping outdoors at the resort’s Prairie River Fire Pit and Patio.
Sounds of Summer Sunset
- Raspberry infused Grey Goose 2 oz.
- Curacao Syrup 1 oz.
- Blood Orange Juice 3 oz.
- Grenadine splash
Garnish with a Raspberry
Fort Lauderdale (Weston) – Bonaventure Resort & Spa -- Set on 55 lush acres on the edge of the Florida Everglades, the newly renovated Bonaventure Resort & Spa serves a Peach Cosmo inspired by the Sunshine State.
Bonaventure Peach Cosmo
- 1.25 oz. Ciroc Peach Vodka
- .25 oz. Orange Liquor
- 1 oz. Pomegranate Juice
- .25 oz. Lemon Juice
Splash of soda to top
Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with Peach wedge.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming - The Snow King -- The deer and antelope play on the spectacular Snow King Resort in the famed Snow King Recreation Area. After day of skiing, hiking, biking and more, guests relax in The Post Restaurant with a Velvet Antler.
The Velvet Antler
- 1 ½ oz. Patron XO Café
- ¾ oz. Dekuyper Buttershots
- ¾ oz. white Crème de Cacao
- 1 oz. Half & Half
- Sugar in the Raw
Combine liquid ingredients in pint glass over ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into chilled martini glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar. Decorate with cinnamon dusting.
If none of these appeal, dry hard Martini traditionalists can take a cue from Winston Churchill. According to legend – and where Sir Winston’s libations are concerned there are many – the great statesman simply poured gin into a pitcher, looked briefly at a bottle of vermouth across the room and poured himself a glass.
About Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels®
Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels® includes unique hand-picked properties in spectacular U.S. destinations coast to coast. Each hotel and resort delivers personal luxury in a spirit true to its own distinctive locale, yet in keeping with the collection’s shared mission. They represent a select portfolio of Benchmark Hospitality International®, which has been a leading US-based hospitality management company for over 30 years. Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels is the preferred choice of guests who yearn for transformation over accommodation, customization over conformity, and inspiration over predictability. With Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels, luxury is always personal. www.personalluxuryresortsandhotels.com. To become a fan on Facebook, visit www.facebook.com/PersonalLuxuryResortsandHotels, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PersLuxResorts.
About Benchmark Resorts & Hotels®
Benchmark Resorts & Hotels® represents the finest in lodging, dining, recreational and meeting accommodations. Many are certified by the International Association of Conference Centers, the leading professional organization governing the multi-billion dollar conference center industry on five continents, and many have also been recognized with the coveted Benchmark Conference Centers® certification of meeting excellence. Benchmark Resorts & Hotels deliver highly specialized service