One of the greatest rewards of travel – or reminiscing about a journey – is the engagement of the senses: New sights, sounds, smells and tastes come together to paint the full picture of a destination.
Wander along the beach in Punta Mita and listen to the waves lapping at the shore as you smell – and taste – the salty breeze blowing through your hair. Take a hike in the crisp mountain air of Jackson Hole and feel delicate snowflakes melt on your face, or savour hot cocoa after a day on the slopes.
These are the flavours, scents and experiences that inspire Four Seasons mixologists. Add in seasonal harvests from local gardens – think flowers, lavender and even mushrooms – and the result is spring cocktails that capture the spirit of global destinations.
Here’s a taste.
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 lavender, it seems only fitting that the cocktails at the Ritz Bar follow suit.
It was the violet view of the city from the terrace at the Ritz Bar that inspired the LX Purple Bloom, a refreshing mix of Portuguese Gin Nao, St-Germain Liqueur, Pêra Rocha purée, grapefruit juice and a spritz of rose water.
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 replaces olive brine 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.
Punta Mita: Petal Sip
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.
Mixologists use 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.
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.
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 be a beautiful addition to the scenery, 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 Kannel Bar makes the most of that citrus flavour – and its abundance of blooms. The flowers in its Hibiscus Shower cocktails are handpicked from the property grounds. Hibiscus iced tea, Cointreau, local Takamaka coco rum and pineapple juice combine for an unbeatable chilled drink.
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.
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. At Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, mixologists pair chamomile-flower tea – brewed using fresh blossoms from the Mon Jam district – with local honey and Thai rum, lemon and ginger ale to create the Siam Honey Breeze, an original cocktail with a fresh perspective.
Editor’s note: While some of these spring cocktails may no longer be listed on the menu, most can be made upon special request.