Shake up your cocktail repertoire with stirring ideas by some of the best bar staff at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts U.S.A. These eight destinations share their refreshing recipes for Forbes readers to try at home — until you are ready to visit the stellar standouts in person. Cheers!
Four Seasons Hotel Boston, One Dalton Street
Four Seasons Hotel Boston One Dalton Street is Massachusetts’ newest head-turning eye-catcher — a curvy-triangular skyscraper that rises 61 stories in the premiere Back Bay neighborhood within walking distance of fashionable boutiques, cultural meccas, gardens and museums. Showcasing 215 guest rooms, including 41 suites, located on the first 21 floors and 160 private condo-residences that fill upper levels, this dynamic tower is the tallest residential building in New England.
It exemplifies every five-star hotelier’s maxim: overall luxury pampers aplenty, but true dazzle is in the details.
A deliciously engaging way to sparkle those coveted details is via extraordinary cocktails. So Trifecta, this hotel’s swanky lobby lounge, dives confidently into mixology and makes a welcome splash. Its elaborate menu ties signature libations to some of Boston’s most famous art pieces, currently hanging in galleries and museums.
Indeed, art is outstanding within the hotel itself, as a multi-million-dollar collection is curated by respected art consultants Kate Chertavian and Lucy Rosenburgh.
“The creative energy and vibrancy that Trifecta and One Dalton bring to Boston is something this city has never seen before,” says Julia Casale, assistant director of food and beverage. “I’m thrilled to be a part of it.” Bartender Troy Ali, who understands that the success of his thirst-quenching work is boosted by bestowing an inviting vibe, explains: “I like tending to people and catering the experience to them. I want people to feel comfortable and relaxed.” Adds bartender Willmer Avila: “Nobody knows the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory. That’s why I love what I do and the reason the expression carpe diem means so much to me. It reminds me to make the best of the present.”
After pre-dinner spirits, regale at Zuma, its on-trend Japanese restaurant with interactive sushi counter and open robata grill.
The wellness center with Italian mosaic art installations spans the 7th floor, unfolding a holistic health spa that emphasizes mind-soothing care as much as physical-comforting treatments. Plus: Its lap pool sports underwater speakers for swims with musical vim.
Cocktail: One Fifty Two This pretty twist on a gin gimlet carries notes of citrus, elderflower and rose. Its extra effort is an extra treat.
Ingredients: House-made grapefruit-lime cordial — 2 whole grapefruits; 6 limes; 1 cup granulated sugar. Also: 1.75 oz. Botanist Gin; .25 oz. Rose-infused St. Germain liqueur; .5 oz. Lillet Blanc. For garnish: basil oil and edible flower.
Instructions: First, prepare the grapefruit-lime cordial at least the day prior to completing the cocktail. Rinse grapefruit and limes with warm water; pat dry. Peel the rinds. Place rinds into a bowl. (Set aside the peeled citrus fruits, wrapped and refrigerated overnight.) Pour granulated sugar over rinds, then cover bowl for 6 to 8 hours. The oils will be released from rinds and turn the sugar-citrus combo into a paste consistency.
Next day: In separate bowl, juice the peeled grapefruits and limes. Pour juice into a small saucepan over medium heat and add the sugar-citrus paste mixture. Stir with whisk until fully dissolved. Remove pan from heat; let cool to room temperature. Using a strainer or coffee filter, strain the liquid into a heat-proof jar or container. (This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.) When ready to complete cocktail, pour the following into an ice-filled shaker: .5 oz. of the grapefruit-lime cordial (save remainder for other drinks), Botanist Gin, Rose-infused St. Germain liqueur and Lillet Blanc. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds; strain directly into a coupe glass. Garnish with 3 drops of basil oil and an edible flower.
Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, Hawaii
On Oahu’s romantically rugged and nature-wild west coast, Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina is an intoxicatingly tranquil, bit-off-the-beaten-path hideaway, perched for maximum ocean panoramas, awesome whale sightings and sublime sunsets. In the Hawaiian language, ko olina means place of joy.
This less-developed slice of Aloha paradise was once considered a sacred region by Hawaiian chiefs and royals and was frequented by Hawaii’s esteemed King Kamehameha, who united and ruled the islands more than two centuries ago.
Today, it is a land of revered artisans, designers, storytellers and intriguing living legends. Four Seasons’ much-praised weekly Wayfinders program facilitates relationships with local experts in Hawaiian art, culture and history via guests’ workshops, such as resin painting class with artist Christian Bendo, hula dancing with Kumu Hula La’akea Perry, lauhala weaving with Pi’iali’i Lawson and niu coconut hat weaving with Coco Kealohi. Stargaze under a twinkling ink-black sky with an astronomer and learn how to shape leis with a floral artist, too.
With 315 guest rooms and 55 suites, this gorgeous 642-acre resort is rich with kama’aina-style open-air public spaces.
Surf-motif Waterman Bar & Lounge, which serves The Makai cocktail, salutes Hawaii’s legendary sea-farers.
At Mina’s Fish House, a brainchild of celeb chef Michael Mina (a Four Seasons’ preferred partnership), local fisher-people deliver fresh catch daily.
The 35,000-square-foot Naupaka Spa, named after an indigenous bloom, also unveils treatments in open-air cabanas and has been at the forefront of the Four Seasons company-wide Lead With Care program that addresses COVID-19 precautions.
“On Oahu, we are fortunate to have an abundance of sustainable ingredients readily accessible to infuse in our cocktails throughout the year,” explains Martin Knaubert, director of food and beverage. “The Makai, which features seasonal lilikoi, is perfect for a day of lounging poolside at our adult infinity pool or on our white sand beach.”
Cocktail: The Makai Makai means seaward in the Hawaiian language.
Ingredients: 1 oz. agave syrup (such as Tres Agaves); Li Hing Mui powder (a Hawaiian dried plum essence); fresh jalapeño pepper; 1.5 oz. Patrón Silver tequila; 1 oz. Cointreau liqueur; 1 oz. fresh lime juice; juice from a fresh-pressed lilikoi (passionfruit). For garnish: 1 slice jalapeño and 1 slice lime.
Instructions: Prep the serving glass first. Pour a bit of agave syrup on small flat plate. Sprinkle a bit of Li Hing Mui powder on another small flat plate. Turn serving glass upside down, dipping its rim into agave syrup, then into Li Hing Mui powder. Turn glass right side up and set aside. Muddle jalapeño, strain and set aside liquid. In a cocktail shaker, add Patrón Silver tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, jalapeño juice, lilikoi juice and ice. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Add ice to prepped glass, then pour in strained cocktail shaker’s contents. Garnish with a jalapeño slice and lime slice on skewer.
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
In the Windy City’s Gold Coast neighborhood, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago is newly reopened after a multi-million-dollar hotel-wide renovation, most of which took place during Chicago’s pandemic closures. Its re-conceptualized post-modern look is decidedly revitalizing — with 160 guest rooms and 187 suites on the skyscraper’s 30th to 46th floors.
A stimulating stroll from the Magnificent Mile, Lake Michigan, Navy Pier, Millennium Park and major museums (including the Art Institute of Chicago with its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist treasures), this hotel honors Chicago’s diverse cultural highlights and introduces guests to on-site entertainment, as well as culinary and cocktail achievers.
Bold artwork has been keenly chosen by in-house art specialist Shashi Caudill. Enjoy the curated jazz, blues and house-beat programming in collaboration with BELLOSOUND. At its Social Lounge, in the lobby, live music-theatrical performances will be staged on weekends, reopening in October.
Illinois-born Jonathon Sawyer, a James Beard award-winning chef and avid globetrotter who once lived in France and Italy, has returned to Chicago with a worldly purview that is dedicated to embracing and elevating the heartland’s culinary bounty and roots at Adorn Bar & Restaurant. “The hotel is going through a renaissance,” says chef Sawyer. “The restaurant will be a key part of this new era for the hotel. I’m excited to have the opportunity to do something spectacularly surprising with the ultimate food city as my muse.”
“Chicago’s restaurant scene is a tale of two stories,” explains William Mitchell, general manager of Adorn Bar & Restaurant. “We are both discerning and easygoing. We do haute cuisine with a side of fries.”
The hotel is known for its extravagant 50-foot pool with Roman-style columns and a domed-glass ceiling, under which, at night, you can float starry-eyed.
Cocktail: TNT (Tanqueray and Tonic) A bright revise of the classic gin and tonic.
Ingredients: 1 fresh pineapple; Tanqueray gin; 1 fresh grapefruit; 2 fresh basil leaves; 1 6.8 oz. bottle of Fever-Tree Premium Indian tonic.
Instructions: “Jacked” gin refers to an infusion of flavor. In this case, the gin is jacked with pineapple. The fruit is frozen to crystallize into juicy bits, then added to gin. Prepare a pineapple by removing its skin and leaves, then dice fruit into cubes. Place half of the cubes in a freezer-safe container for 24 hours. (Save remaining pineapple for another use.) Remove pineapple container from freezer, add 1/2 of Tanqueray 750ml bottle, letting container sit another 24 hours at room temperature. As the fruit thaws, it infuses the gin with a tropical flavor that reduces the bite of the gin, rounding to a milder finish.
When ready to serve cocktail, wash, dry and peel grapefruit. Slice it into quarters and place one piece into an ice-filled glass. Lightly clasp two basil leaves between your hands, gently rolling to release fragrant oils. Add basil to glass, followed by 2 oz. of the jacked Tanqueray (reserve the remainder for other drinks) and approximately 2/3 of the Fever-Tree Premium Indian tonic bottle.
Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel
Hollywood buzz, royal whispers and in-the-know California chatter dance together at Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel. Within steps of Beverly Hills’ tony Rodeo Drive, where top shops entice, this famed retreat, built in 1928 incorporating Tuscan stone and Carrara marble, satisfies from the moment you enter its glossy marble-floor lobby. Even some of the decor pays homage to distinguished places. For example, the inspiration for its cobblestone porte-cochère and grand gate came from London’s Buckingham Palace. Its gas lamps are imported from Edinburgh, Scotland. The pool is modeled after one at a private Italian villa owned by Sophia Loren.
For movie mavens, Pretty Woman, which starred Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, was filmed here.
The Renaissance Revival-style structure, split into two wings, encompasses 258 guest rooms, plus 137 suites.
“We are all about crafting cocktails and conversations — it’s at the heart of what we do here,” explains Dennis Sheehe, lead bartender at THEBlvd Restaurant & Lounge. “A single cocktail can produce a burst of flavorful memories and connections that might not have otherwise happened.” This California-cuisine restaurant’s front-and-center patio location — on Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive — is being expanded and will reopen on September 21.
Acclaimed chef Wolfgang Puck sources steaks from around the world at his Michelin-starred Cut, the first opened of his eight Cut restaurants. Designed by architect Richard Meier, this restaurant is flocked by taste-makers and taste-seekers — with an adjacent raw seafood bar in the Cut Lounge.
A bi-level fitness center overlooks the Mediterranean-accented pool deck with white-draped cabanas. The spa headlines cosmetic surgeon Yannis Alexandrides’ 111Skin treatments.
Cocktail: Summer on Rodeo Poised to sip while you quip.
Ingredients: 1.5 oz. Belvedere vodka; .5 oz. Grand Marnier; .5 oz. Monin Mango Syrup; Moët & Chandon Brut; club soda; 2 fresh Thai basil leaves; small slice of mango.
Instructions: To a wine goblet, add Belvedere, Grand Marnier and Monin Mango Syrup. Gently stir. Add ice. Top with Moët & Chandon Brut and club soda. Garnish with basil and mango.
Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe
Encantado in Spanish means charmed — and that is certainly what guests often feel in this high desert of New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo foothills just outside Santa Fe, where Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado glimmers like a dreamy oasis. Its 65 guest room casitas, replete with fireplaces, evoke a serene tone and intimacy among 57 rolling acres.
Hike neighboring arroyos, ridges and rocky outposts. Plot an invigorating mountain biking route via the resort’s Adventure Center. Notice the appealing scent of piñon woodsmoke. With a private guide, visit nearby Bandelier National Monument and ancient cliff dwellings of the Pueblo Native Americans. Discover remote footpaths and petroglyphs. Be attuned to the daily rhythm of the desert and an awareness of its life-enhancing gifts.
Feel renewed at the 10,000-square-foot, indoor-outdoor spa with wellness therapies, particularly the indigenous people-inspired ritual of sage-smudging, which intends to help you clear negative patterns and thoughts from your life. Follow it by a massage that alternately utilizes hot and cold river stones to reduce muscle tension and increase deep relaxation.
Indulge your appetite at award-winning Terra, where newly ensconced executive chef Jose Fernandez, originally from Barcelona, imports his 20 years of top-tier European and United States training and accolades to the kitchen, with a passion for sustainable and organic whole foods, as well as goals to work with local farmers and purveyors.
Terra’s fragrant and bountiful Spanish paella excels. Starting in autumn, foodie guest activities will feature chef-led sweet-and-savory cooking classes, as well as immersive opportunities to focus on recipes made with produce grown in the resort’s verdant on-site culinary garden.
Alfredo Sanchez, manager of Terra Restaurant & Bar and a certified tequila master, says, “I believe one of the best ways to experience local cultures is to taste them. That philosophy influences the cocktail scene at the resort’s Terra Bar. A blend of local and seasonal ingredients, creative techniques, house-made infusions and eclectic flavors are used to create our ever-evolving menu of original craft cocktails, which always offers something new and different that surprises guests.”
He continues: “For curious beverage enthusiasts, Terra also offers customized experiences to learn the art of mixology first-hand. Discover the origins of specialty and local ingredients and liquors through tastings, pairings, garden-to-glass mixology and craft cocktail lessons.”
Cocktail: Skinny Sage Margarita Sanchez created the Skinny Sage Margarita.
Ingredients: Agave syrup (such as Tres Agaves) infused with sage, 1 fresh grapefruit rind, 1 fresh pineapple rind, fresh sage leaves; grapefruit salt (such as Twang-a-Rita); 1 fresh lime; 2 oz. Mi Campo Reposado Tequila.
Instructions: First, infuse agave syrup. In small bowl or container, combine 4 oz. Agave syrup with 1 oz. hot water, (washed/dried) grapefruit rind, (washed/dried) pineapple rind and several sage leaves. Gently stir, then cover container and let steep for 8 hours. Strain out the rinds and sage; set infused syrup aside. When ready to make cocktail, use rocks glass. First cut lime in half and rub around glass rim, then turn glass upside down onto small plate dusted with grapefruit salt. Turn glass upright, fill with ice. Juice lime halves and set aside. In cocktail shaker, add ice, tequila, .75 oz. of the infused Agave syrup (set remainder aside for other cocktails) and lime juice. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Use strainer to pour contents into glass. Garnish with sage and edible flowers, if you like.
Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC
In the leafy historic Georgetown neighborhood, Four Seasons Hotel Washington DC is an elegantly contemporary haven for politicos and biz whizzes, as well as luxe leisure seekers who revel in the capital city’s countless diversions, among them magnificent monuments and museums.
This six-story, who’s-who hotel with 164 guest rooms and 58 suites, boasts its own impressive 1,650-piece art collection, including works by Andy Warhol, Andrea Rosenberg, Helen Frankenthaler and Fernando Botero. Another happy hotel-nerd fact: This is the first U.S.A. hotel that opened under the Four Seasons name. Bonus: Its remarkable three-story fitness center with Potomac River views harbors a 60-foot heated salt water lap pool.
Seasons restaurant — with white, natural light-filled decor — is a pleasant day-starter as one of DC’s leading power-breakfast hotspots, where congressmen, senators, diplomats, ambassadors and lobbyists drink joe and think deals. Its popular Sunday Brunch reopens September 12.
Toast at celebrity chef Michael Mina’s restaurant, Bourbon Steak. Its butter-basted dry-aged beef, wood-burning grill and seafood raw bar draw ample applause under the direction of executive chef Robert Curtis. If you prefer outdoor dining, the Bourbon Steak Terrace is a spacious al fresco venue with a sizable fire pit.
Cocktail: Strawberry-Basil Gin & Tonic Lead bartender Engidawork (Engi) Alebachew, who has a bioengineering education background, brings a modern alchemist’s sensibility to cocktails. His house-made strawberry-basil tonic water is a winner, but requires multi-step craft. The cocktail recipe below has been simplified for Forbes readers.
Ingredients: 1 lemon; 1 lime; 1 orange; 1 grapefruit; 3 cinnamon sticks; a pinch each of clove, allspice, salt; 1 Tablespoon black pepper; 14 oz. granulated sugar; pint of fresh strawberries; handful of fresh basil; 5 oz. sparkling water; 2 oz. your choice of gin; 2 thin lime slices. For garnish: a ribbon of cucumber.
Instructions: Zest and juice lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit. Set aside. In pot on stovetop, simmer cinnamon sticks, clove, allspice, salt, black pepper and sugar in one quart of hot water for an hour. This will create a syrup. Remove from heat.
Wash and hull strawberries. Muddle berries in a bowl with basil, then add to syrup mixture and let it rest for another 20 minutes at room temperature. Strain the strawberry-basil mixture together with the zested-and-juiced citrus mixture to create a fruity base.
To a wine glass, add ice, then fruity base, slices of lime, followed by sparkling water and gin. Garnish with a ribbon of cucumber on a skewer.
“I love seeing the interaction between guests at the bar,” enthuses Alebachew.
Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center
In the City of Brotherly Love’s tallest skyscraper (60 stories), Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center defines posh pizzazz. The building’s top 12 floors contain 180 guest rooms and 39 suites. Get set to gaze at Philly like you’ve never seen it before. Also be attuned to the extensive originality within the building and how the quest to be best here is a collaboration of outstanding team ingenuity.
JG SkyHigh is Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s glamorous bar and lounge. Positioned like a jewel in a soaring space with mirrored surfaces, it serves an opulent tasting menu and shareable small-plate treats. “A truly unique experience in Philadelphia,” says Nicolas Suberviller, assistant general manager at JG SkyHigh. “It gives guests the opportunity to see the city transform from day to night from above the clouds.”
Artistic director Jeff Leatham shows off his outsize flower power, lavishing arrangements throughout the hotel. His large-scale permanent living-blooms installation — through a walkway from the onyx wall of the reception area to SkyHigh — visually captivates.
On street level, James Beard award-winning chef Greg Vernick reels in exceptional seafood at Vernick Fish. Pennsylvania-born and widely traveled, Vernick as well as chef de cuisine Drew Parassio offer glistening appetizers of ceviche, crudo, harissa shrimp, oysters and tartare that palate-pleasingly pair with cocktails to jumpstart your meal.
At the spa, crystal therapy is the treatment du jour with a growing following. Its 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center spotlights a media wall.
Cocktail: Lychee-Raspberry Bellini “This is the perfect cocktail to compliment the sky-high views and sunsets,” adds Nicolas Suberviller.
Ingredients: 14 oz. lychee puree (such as Boiron); 3 oz. organic raspberries; 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice; 1 Tablespoon elderflower cordial (such as Belvoir Fruit Farm); 4 oz. Crémant de Bourgogne. Edible flower for garnish.
Instructions: First, make the base of the cocktail by blending lychee puree, raspberries, lime juice and elderflower cordial. Strain this fruity base with a fine mesh strainer; there should be no seeds. Then chill the base for at least an hour. When ready to serve, pour 2 oz. of the base into a wine glass or flute, add the Crémant de Bourgogne. (Save the remaining base for other cocktails.) Top with an edible flower.
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail
Rocky Mountain High! If that John Denver and Mike Taylor song makes you grin just thinking about Colorado’s gasp-worthy vistas, then the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail, surrounded by alpine splendor, will widen your smile even more.
This stately lodge, with 97 hotel guest rooms and 24 suites, is cocooned in a picturesque, convenient locale — within a quick stroll to lively Vail Village’s restaurants and shops, as well as a short ride to Vail Mountain via the hotel’s complimentary use of its Mercedes-Benz SUV car.
Recently completed: A phased three-year, multi-million-dollar renovation that interplays mountain-chic design (using local stonework and wood embellishments) with Four Seasons’ sophisticated contemporary sensibility.
Custom designed, the substantial zinc square bar glows next to floor-to-ceiling windows, which amplifies natural light and arbor sights.
Bar manager Ben Wanner describes the recharged hotel’s ambience as warm and cozy. Its “innovative cocktails are thoughtfully executed,” he points out.
Cocktail: Maui of the Valley This multi-hued cocktail comes from lead bartender Harrison Brown, who has often vacationed with his family in Hawaii. Its name is a combo of Maui, where he dream-stormed this recipe, and Vail Valley, where he now serves the attractive cocktail at the Four Seasons.
Ingredients: vodka (your choice); dried butterfly pea flowers (such as Rishi brand); 1 oz. passionfruit juice; .5 oz simple syrup; .5 oz Aperol; Prosecco; sprig of fresh mint.
Instructions: To make the infused vodka, Harrison pours 1/4 cup of dried butterfly pea flowers into a 750ml vodka bottle, letting it rest for several hours until the vodka turns dark blue. (If you don’t want to infuse an entire bottle, adjust amount accordingly.) Fill rocks glass with ice. Layer fluids: First add passionfruit juice, simple syrup and Aperol; gently stir. Then add 1.5 oz. of the infused vodka. Top with Prosecco. Garnish with mint.