One of the greatest rewards of travel is the engagement of all the senses. New sights, sounds, smells and tastes come together to paint the full picture of a destination.
Stroll the night markets in Thailand and you’ll see the vibrant colours of trinkets for sale, hear vendors barter in the sing-song sound of their local tongue and smell local delicacies grilled on the street. Take a walk in Jackson Hole during the winter months and feel delicate snowflakes melt on your face, smell the crisp mountain air and taste hot cocoa after a day on the slopes.
As winter comes to a close, #CocktailQuarterly – the year-long initiative focused on cocktail trends, techniques and ingredients – turns its attention to local ingredients that thrive in the warmer months. Mixologists at Four Seasons have found inspiration in local harvests and gardens – think flowers, lavender and even mushrooms – and created spring cocktails representative of their respective destinations.
Here is a taste of what you can expect to sip at participating Four Seasons hotels and resorts around the world.
Lisbon: LX Purple Bloom
Each spring, Lisbon’s first jacaranda blossom serves as a sign that a new season has arrived; the city streets are lined with beautiful purple, violet and lavender hues. Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon celebrates the occasion with a jacaranda-themed cocktail.
In the months where the city flourishes into violet, it seems only fitting that the cocktails at the Ritz Bar follow suit.
Bar Manager Ricardo Felgueiras loves the colour of the jacaranda flowers. He suggests that guests gaze upon the treetops from the terrace at the Ritz Bar while sipping an LX Purple Bloom, a refreshing mix of Portuguese Gin Nao, St-Germain Liqueur, Pêra Rocha purée, grapefruit juice and a spritz of rose water.
Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon
Scottsdale: Tip of the Cap
April showers bring not only flowers but also mushrooms to the Scottsdale area. In a surprising twist on the change of seasons, chefs at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North delicately infuse this local harvest with citrus and herbs to achieve a fresh, earthy taste.
Fruit and floral notes are predominant in springtime cocktail menus, but the rich umami aspect that mushrooms bring [is often] bypassed.
A variation on the traditional dirty martini, Tip of the Cap is Talavera server Keisha Bergan’s cocktail, in which olive brine is replaced with a porcini “tea” made of the local mushrooms, herbs and lemon. That tea is combined with Stoli Elit vodka in a Sercial Madeira–rinsed rocks glass and garnished with a pickled porcini mushroom, lemon twist and thyme sprig.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
Punta Mita: Petal Sip
A visit to Punta Mita can be characterised by tropical beaches and colourful flowers. Sunny days, warm ocean breezes and the sweet smell of blossoms make it a perfect getaway, be it just for a weekend or an extended escape. And the flowers are good for more than their beauty and aroma – they also complement cuisine and refreshing cocktails.
Organic flowers combine to make a garden in your glass.
Hector Gonzalez, a Puerto Vallarta native who has been behind the bar for more than a decade, uses organic daisies, sunflowers, magnolias and chrysanthemums in the Petal Sip at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, México. Stoli Elit vodka, ginger and pineapple purée, St-Germain, bitters and mint make a fresh, tropical drink.
Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita
Doha: Rose Gold Julab
Vast desert landscapes and a bustling cosmopolitan city greet visitors to Doha. But tradition is not lost here; a thriving coffee house culture makes for a unique opportunity to learn more about Qatar and the Middle East. It’s not uncommon to see locals adding rose water to their caffeinated beverages, lemonade or milk.
Rose water has a very distinctive flavour. It’s aromatic, which makes it refreshing in the hot sun.
At Four Seasons Hotel Doha, rose water is an essential ingredient in the Rose Gold Julab. Mixed with a simple syrup and vodka, served over crushed ice with mint leaves and rose petals, it makes the perfect treat after a day of desert excursions and sight-seeing.
Four Seasons Hotel Doha
Seychelles: Hibiscus Shower
It’s hard to ignore the brightness of blooming hibiscus flowers during a stroll around the grounds at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles. They may make beautiful hair accessories, but they’re also full of fresh, citrusy flavour.
In our tropical environment, we often have rain showers which make these beautiful flowers bloom.
The Resort’s hibiscus flowers sparked Kannel Bar bartender Hansel Cecile’s imagination when he created the Hibiscus Shower – so much so that the flowers in the cocktails are handpicked from the property grounds. It doesn’t get much more local than that. Hibiscus iced tea, Cointreau, local Takamaka coco rum and pineapple juice combine for an unbeatable chilled poolside drink.
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles
Shanghai: Miss Blossom
The elderflower is used all over the world for its natural healing properties, and China is no stranger to this powerful flower. In spring, the small white blossoms signify the turn of the season.
The flavours of cinnamon and elderflowers create a unique and interesting combination that’s perfect for the season.
At Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, Shanghai, Darcy Feng incorporates elderflowers into the Miss Blossom cocktail with the Hotel’s homemade elderflower syrup. The syrup is mixed with cinnamon-infused vodka, gin, egg white, lemon juice and regular syrup for a sweet treat garnished with a Chinese flower and lemon peel.
Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, Shanghai
Austin: Morning Dew
Austin and the surrounding Texas Hill Country may feel worlds away – the hustle and bustle of city life serving as a stark contrast to the landscapes around it. But the lavender that blooms in the countryside during the month of May finds its way into the city, both as a natural way to alleviate stress and as a punch of flavour in a spring cocktail.
The Morning Dew is reminiscent of a Texas Hill Country field after a morning shower.
At Four Seasons Hotel Austin, the Morning Dew cocktail serves a taste of tranquillity in a busy city. Lavender-infused Stoli Elit vodka, Dolin Blanc and Oleo Saccharum – homemade with grapefruit, orange and lemon peel – make for a drink of peaceful harmony.
Four Seasons Hotel Austin
Chiang Mai: Siam Honey Breeze
In Northern Thailand, spring comes with plenty of rainfall. The signs of spring can be seen in the lush, green blankets of vegetation on the surrounding mountains, and tasted in the sweetness of Thai honey.
Thai honey is at its most delicate and delicious in April and May.
Thai honey isn’t the only local ingredient at its peak in spring. Nathi Sanintharit, bartender at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, also finds inspiration in the Mon Jam district’s chamomile flowers, which bloom at this time. He mixes the flavours of the local honey and chamomile-flower tea with Thai rum, lemon and ginger ale in the Siam Honey Breeze, an original cocktail with a fresh perspective.