Creative bartenders and beverage managers are crafting unique drinks with local fruits and liquors from nearby distillers, inspired by the remarkable beauty that surrounds each of their Montage destinations.
Crafted with locally procured ingredients, a good cocktail will salute the season. “In Maui, it’s always summer,” says Montage Kapalua Bay Beverage Manager Zoe Benrexi. “And our Chameleon [served at The Hideaway], is a perfect summer concoction—light and refreshing, not too sweet. Maui’s Ocean Organic Vodka is crisp and clean, so adding the aromatic nuances of Nani Moon Mead from Kauai keeps the tropical fruit and lychee in balance.” Montage Kapalua Bay’s Coconut Kisses is a mocktail also made from local flavors: Maui Shrub Farm’s hibiscus-orange shrub, coconut and lime juice topped with ginger beer. “It’s important to remember that sometimes, a person is simply thirsty. As people become more and more health-conscious, there’s a huge demand for great flavors without all the processed sugars found in sodas,” says Benrexi.
Coconut Kisses (Mocktail), Montage Kapalua Bay
1 ounce Maui Shrub Farm Hibiscus & Orange Shrub
1 ounce creme of coconut
1 ounce lime juice
3 ounces Q Mixers ginger beer
In a mixing glass, combine first three ingredients over ice and shake to mix. Transfer to cocktail glass, and top with ginger beer.
Chameleon, Montage Kapalua Bay
1 ½ ounces Ocean vodka
1 ½ ounces Nani Moon pineapple lime Mead
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
3 ounces tropical fruit-lychee nectar
In a mixing glass, combine ingredients over ice and shake to mix. Transfer to cocktail glass.
At Montage Deer Valley, pampering guests of all ages and preferences is a priority. “Mocktails make for a refreshing and fun beverage any guest can enjoy, whether that’s a family spending an afternoon by the Alpine pool or as a change of pace and flavor between cocktails,” says Beverage Manager Dave Wallace. For those wanting a unique pastel pink spin on the classic Margarita, the refreshing Montage Margarita features Herradura Reposado Tequila, Cointreau, organic agave nectar, house-made ginger syrup and fresh grapefruit juice finished with black lava salt and a grapefruit wedge.
Montage Margarita, Montage Deer Valley
1.5 ounces Herradura
1 ounce Cointreau
½ ounce agave
½ ounce ginger syrup
Muddled, strained over ice, garnished with black lava salt and a grapefruit slice.
At Montage Palmetto Bluff, on the banks of the May River, Food and Beverage Manager Ross Hardigan says mocktails are incredibly important for a beverage program in today’s world. “Sometimes the nonalcoholic cocktails are more elaborate than drinks with alcohol. Each member of our beverage team will create a signature mocktail to serve to our guests at Palmetto Bluff this summer.”
Hardigan also likes to tap the season’s best ingredients. “Spring and summer in the Lowcountry is a time of flowers blooming and smells of salt water off the May River. The inspiration for our Garden of Eden cocktail came from a few of my favorite things: I love cooking with basil, and I love the smell of the flowers blooming in my grandmothers garden during the spring.”
Richard Henry, Studio bar manager at Montage Laguna Beach, has created no-proof cocktails that echo the tastes of alcoholic offerings. “These are made with the discerning diner in mind, not just for underage consumers.” Alcoholic offerings include the Pina Colada inspired Pain Killer, with dark rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream, simple syrup and orange juice, and Full Bloom, a concoction with gin, elderflower liquer, Dolin Blanc, lemon and sparkling water.
Pain Killer, Montage Laguna Beach
1 ½ ounces Plantation Original Dark Rum
1 ½ ounces pineapple Juice
1 ounce Kara Coconut Cream
¾ ounces Rich Simple Syrup
½ ounce orange Juice
Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice, shake and pour entire contents of shaker (including ice) into a hurricane glass. Garnish with a dehydrated orange wheel, a fresh orchid, a slice of fresh pineapple and finish with freshly grated nutmeg.
At Montage Los Cabos, fresh pineapple juice and just-picked basil are served chilled and shaken with orange juice and agave syrup for a satisfying refresher between dips in the pool or after a family snorkel experience in the azure waters of Santa Maria Bay. But the refreshing La Choyera is a tequila cocktail with a sense of place.
La Choyera, Montage Los Cabos
2 ounces Don Julio 7
1 ounce cointreau
1 ounce Jugo de limon
1 ounce licor de damiana sal de gusano
½ ounce Miel de Agave
Add all ingredients into a shaker and strain into old fashion glass. Garnish with sun dried lime slice.
Sometimes, a thoughtful no-proof drink can double as a mixer. At Montage Beverly Hills, The Vegan Booster grew out of conversations about a double-duty drink. “The Vegan Booster is local fresh ginger, turmeric and bell pepper juice, served on the rocks with a lime wedge,” says Oscar Chinchilla, sommelier and beverage manager. “Then, I mixed it with Don Julio Blanco tequila, adding a touch [of] cayenne pepper to the mix. This is where real ‘booster’ comes in.
“I believe this is a cocktail that speaks to those looking for something fresh, local, perfect for the pool and, ultimately, a cocktail that makes you feel great about drinking it,” he continues. “Our guests here at Montage Beverly Hills find this cocktail quite unique. Not only it is refreshing, but healthy.”
The Vegan Booster, Montage Beverly Hills
Don Julio Blanco tequila
Fresh turmeric juice
Fresh ginger juice
Fresh bell pepper juice
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Shake, stir and pour into a rocks glass. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and lime wedge.
By Sue G. Collins