Cocktails Featuring Local Garden Ingredients
Eating locally isn't a trend anymore—it's a lifestyle. The next step is rethinking the way we wash down a garden-fresh meal with beverages brewed halfway across the world. With this in mind, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has challenged mixologists across six continents to create a signature 100 Mile Cocktail using craft spirits within 100 miles (or 160 kilometers) of their property.
“Four Seasons is privileged to have access to top-quality local ingredients, many of which grow literally outside our doors,” says Guy Rigby, vice president of food and beverage for the Americas. “Through the 100 Mile Cocktail program, our mixologists are not just delivering an inventive cocktail experience for our guests; they’re also engaging and supporting their communities."
Here are a few ways they're showing some liquid love in their properties worldwide:
Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok
Made by "clapping" mint leaves to release their flavor, the Benja mojito's name is short for "Benjarong," which translates to "five colors" and is also a type of handmade porcelain in Bangkok. The five colors in this drink are the rum, lemongrass, ginger, chili and kaffir lime, and it's served in a Benjarong cup.
- 2 ounces infused Bangyikhan rum*
- 8 to 10 fresh mint leaves
- 0.5 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 0.5 ounce local sugar cane syrup
- Splash of soda water
- Crushed ice
Combine the infused Bangyikhan rum, lime juice and sugar syrup into a glass. “Clap” the mint leaves and add to the mix. Add crushed ice, stir, and top with soda water.
For the rum:
- 1 liter rum
- 4 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 lemongrass stick
- 2 red chili pepeprs
- 7 ounces fresh ginger
Wash the lemongrass stick, cut it lengthwise and chop it into one-inch pieces. Cut the red chili peppers in half lengthwise, leaving seeds intact. Slice ginger thinly, preferably on a mandolin.
Add the ingredients to the rum and let the mixture sit for at least one week before removing the aromatics.
Four Seasons Hotel Houston
"This is the drink of the 'other' Texas," says Peter Pearce, assistant food and beverage manager at the Four Seasons Hotel Houston. "The one of expansive citrus orchards laden with plump Texas 'Ruby Red' grapefruit. Of rolling green farmlands dotted with hives. Of thriving farmers markets piled with locally grown herbs. This drink is sweet, sour, smooth and invigorating—a lot like Texas, really."
- 1.5 ounces Dash vodka
- .75 ounce rosemary-infused honey syrup*
- 3 ounces fresh Texas grapefruit juice
For the syrup:
Combine ¾ cup local honey and 1/2 cup hot water then steep with 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary for about 4 hours.
Combine vodka, syrup and grapefruit juice in a shaker with ice. Strain and serve up with a sugar rim and a sprig of fresh rosemary for garnish.
According to the hotel, black dates originated more than 400 years ago in the Zhejiang province near Hangzhou on the eastern coast of China. Considered a luxury, they were served to the Imperial courts.
- 1/2 cup black dates*
- 1 cup Lan Qiao Feng Yue rice wine
- Shanghai white vodka
Soak the black dates in rice wine for 3-4 weeks to draw out the sweetness. Chill a martini glass and add ice plus equal measures rice wine and vodka to a shaker. Mix well until chilled and frost forms on the mixer. Double strain into the chilled martini glass and serve with a spear of infused dates.
*According to the mixologist, standard dates (usually medjool) should not be substituted in this recipe as they are a different species altogether. Black Jujube dates have a smokier, less sweet flavor and can be found in Chinese markets across the country.