Mixing Drinks at the Hotel Minibar
You've made it to your hotel room. Chances are you're ready to celebrate with a drink!
Unfortunately, obstacles may arise. Perhaps you can't bear squeezing past that wedding party jammed into the hotel bar to order a drink. Or maybe you're just dumbstruck by minibar sticker shock, wondering why you didn't plan ahead to avoid a 300 percent markup on a very ordinary gin and tonic.
Luckily, compared to making drinks in moving vehicles (particularly airplanes and trains, covered in the previous chapter), making drinks in a hotel room has some distinct advantages: more space; access to an ice machine, with its seemingly infinite supply of (shitty) ice; glassware, even if only a wine glass or water glass; possible an in-room coffee maker; and access to a wider array of ingredients, whether from a vending machine, a breakfast buffet, or a nearby convenience store or liquor store.
As with airline drinks perhaps the biggest impediment to creating good cocktails in a hotel room is the absence of bitters and vermouth. Though it's easy enough to pack your own, I've devised the recipes in this chapter so that neither is needed. Also, a jigger (easy to pack) and cocktail shaker tin (a bit more cumbersome) will help in making the following drinks, though work-around are suggested for those traveling light.
This drink was create by T.J. Siegal at NYC's Milk & Honey in 2001. But the first time I tried it was at the Pearl, a Louisville, Kentucky, bar owned by Larry Rice (who seems to own all of the good new bars in Louisville). What was so neat about the bar was that although it was brand new, it had the feel of a perfectly broken-in dive bar: a long wooden bar, a juke box heavy on tunes from the 1970's and 1980's, and a wheel on the wall to spin for cheap drink specials. I landed on the Gold Rush. The whiskey sour style cocktail may have been devised in an upscale modern speakeasy, but it fit perfectly in a dive bar in the heart of bourbon country.
If your hotel room has honey packets for tea, it's worth finding a couple of lemon wedges to make this drink. If you have a cocktail shaker, the drink is typically shaken with ice, but "throwing" it (pouring the drink between two cups; see below) will do the trick.
2 ounces bourbon
3/4 ounce honey syrup (2 parts honey to 1 part hot water)
3/4 ounce lemon juice
Fill a cocktail shaker or cup with ice, then add the bourbon, honey syrup, and lemon juice. Shake or "throw" the drink until chilled, then strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice."
-from Road Soda: Recipes and techniques for making great drinks anywhere, by Kara Newman
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