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Luxury Bars | Drinks & Cocktails

Updated: Jan 25

What does a “Luxury Bar” mean to you? Could it be the size of the drink? Maybe if the bar has complimentary snacks along with the drinks? Or could it be the sole price of the drinks that make it “Luxury” to you? In this two-part series we will be looking at what draws the guest or tourist to the luxury bars. Is it the drink or is it the experience (or perhaps it is both)?

Luxury and high-end bars set the standard high with the quality of the drinks and the overall experience they have created. The best-of-the-best bars know how to take common drinks and even ingredients and make them extraordinary by adding their own twists. The same goes for the service they provide at the bar itself.

We will explain three simple ways a drink can be elevated to create luxury; first, through the elements/components of the drink, two, by elevating something as simple as the ice, and lastly, the shape and/or type of glassware.

The first element is the quality of the drinks. This consists of everything from the type of ice used, the shape the ice is in, the quality of the ingredients, how expensive the liquor is, and the list goes on. A great example of a bar taking their drinks a step further is at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch’s Bachelor Lounge where they have a cocktail called the “Vaportini”. This “avant-garde” cocktail is meant to be more inhaled that sipped. It’s made in an unconventional way by heating up liquor in a bulb glass over a candle where the alcohol vapor then gets built up in the bulb and can immediately be inhaled by the guest. Some guests might enjoy the drink more this way because of the fact that it has been inhaled it will go straight to your bloodstream. This bar takes a liquor that most bars probably already have in stock and elevates it by simply serving it in an unconventional way.

Next, is an example of how a bar takes a common 'problem' such as ice cubes melting and diluting your drink, and makes something extraordinary out of it. At The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota’s Jack Dusty, they have a drink called “The Siren” where the head bartender goes out of his or her way to elevate the guests' drink experience by making their own ice cubes. The ice cubes are made out of grapefruit, cranberry, and flowers. As the ice melts, your drink becomes more flavorful and elegant. A small touch such as this is what excels these drinks and what persuades guests to visit your bar. This is what it means to move from ordinary to extraordinary simply by refining an ice cube, and making it a experience that guests are excited to have (and most importantly, add to their social media).

Lastly, sometimes the key to elevating your drinks is by returning to the basics and consider using a different glass. At The Langham, London’s Artesian they serve a drink called “The Camouflage” that is in a large gold pineapple that could easily be mistaken for a piece of décor. Of course, the drink consists of incredible ingredients, making what is inside the pineapple so worthwhile. However, if that same drink was served in a standard glass, it would probably not be ordered nearly as much or raved about. The fact that the bar chose to pair this drink in with an extravagant glass is what draws in guests and tourists, especially those who want to strength their Social Media with an Instagram-worthy drink photo.

Beverages are more than just a drink, for some it’s an art form. Anyone can buy local liquors and mix their own concoction however, with the right eye for luxury, the best bars take what could be a mediocre drink and turn it into something worth traveling for. This then proposes a question: Do people travel and seek out these bars for their drinks or for the experience/ambiance? In the second part of this blog series, we will be looking at other elements that make a bar luxurious.

See Luxury Bars Part II: The Experience


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