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Hemmed in by the Pacific Ocean, Tualatin Mountains, and a network of converging rivers, outdoorsy Portland takes food and drinks very seriously. After all, with millions of acres of nature to explore, its residents are a hungry and thirsty bunch who won’t settle for anything but fresh – especially when it comes to cocktails. It’s this natural penchant for farm-to-table everything coupled with Oregon’s pioneering spirit that’s produced a tall order for lofty libations. Outpacing the country’s larger spirited settings, the City of Roses has emerged as the hotspot for craft cocktails.
Before we imbibed the city’s most sought-after sips, we caught up with Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Portland’s unofficial master of mixology and barman at local tavern Clyde Common, to see why’s he’s shaking up the country’s cocktail scene. Morgenthaler approaches the art of the cocktail with an academic detail derived from dual degrees in physics and interior architecture, proving there’s art and science in every pour. Not satisfied with run of the mill rum, apple juice, or egg nog, he makes or ages his own, perfecting the flavor over months of tinkering. Part of an elite team of cocktail stars – the equivalent of celebrities in these parts – it’s these local bounty-to-beverage fanatics who are making your mixed drinks. No basic beverages here, only time-tested, barrel-aged, and passionate pours await your palate in PDX.
There’s no way around it, Moscow is pricey, and its nightlife scene is no exception – if you’re intent on painting the town red (you are just steps from the Red Square after all!), you might as well get something more than a cheap vodka buzz for the cost of your drink.
While you might not be able to dole out the big bucks for the pricey digs at these two swank Moscow hotels, there’s nothing keeping you from sampling their crowning glories. Each boasts a rooftop bar with prime panoramic perches, where, for the cost of a splurge-worthy cocktail, more budget-friendly brew, or simply a stiff drink, you can rub elbows with a motley mix of moneyed Muscovites (business tycoons, Kremlin bigwigs, celebs and pseudo-celebs – which, while I was there, came in the form of members of the Russian national soccer team), and lap up mesmerizing Moscow views that are even more intoxicating than your drink. Read more
The hardest part of traveling is never knowing when you’ll have your next drink.* At home, you have your liquor cabinet, the wine cellar, and the bottle of whiskey that you keep in the nightstand. Life is simple, if slightly blurry. At SkyMall Tuesday headquarters, we make our dogs wear those tiny brandy barrels that Swiss St. Bernards tote around. On the road, however, life can get dry. Airlines charge for drinks on domestic flights, minibar mini bottles are expensive, and hotel bars can be sad places. What’s a thirsty traveler to do? You can’t be expected to attend business meeting, go sightseeing, and visit your in-laws without your medicine? Nor can you ask your colleagues, friends, or family to stop at every bar your pass (or hold your martini glass while you visit the gift shop). Thankfully, SkyMall knows that discretion is the better part of valor (and cocktails are the best part of the day). The next time you’re going on a trip, be sure to keep your Personalized Cell Fone Flask in your pocket.
Traveling is exhausting. There’s a reason that people come home complaining that they need a vacation after their vacation. The airport is mentally taxing, sightseeing is physically draining, and all the overeating leaves us feeling lethargic. The last thing anyone wants to do while traveling is work. If only there was a device that could eliminate some of the everyday tasks that waste our time and energy while on the road. Without a doubt, stirring things is the biggest time burglar of all. Think about all of the hours you’ve spent on vacations stirring your coffee, tea, baby formula, mixed drinks, and protein shakes. You could have used all of that time to go sightseeing, explore ancient ruins, or watch television. You’ll never get that time back! It’s one thing for me to sit around stirring things at SkyMall Tuesday headquarters; but I can’t be bothered to waste that time (and risk injury to my wrist) when I’m away from home. Thankfully, SkyMall saw the problem and found a solution. The next time you need to mix solid into liquid (or combine any number of liquids, for that matter), be sure to use the Auto-Mixing Travel Mug.
New Orleans’ historic Hotel Monteleone – celebrating 125 years in 2011 – saw the reopening of its famous revolving Carousel Bar on December 1, just in time for the holiday season. The 25-seat rotating novelty is the only bar of its kind in the city, with a history that dates back to 1949. It owes its revolving capabilities to a system of motor-pulled chains and rollers, with the ride only further enhanced by a couple of well-crafted cocktails.
For some merrymaking on the merry-go-round, the hotel is serving up special holiday-themed cocktails with jolly names like the Joyous Noel, a blend of Absolut Mandarin, orange juice, and Grand Marnier; or Papa’s Nightcap, a dark roast coffee spiked with Bailey’s and Frangelico. Or pop in for some of the planned festive events, like on December 17, when Monte the Lion – the hotel mascot – will be hosting a Children’s Holiday Tea (at 10am or 2pm). Read more
At the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona, the best part of waking up (and capping off the night) is likely the orange juice in your cup. The two-year-old property planted a citrus orchard before it opened in 2009, and the trees are finally mature enough to harvest. To celebrate, the Ritz will let guests pick Arizona oranges, Minneola tangelos, and red grapefruit from the 42 on-site trees and deliver them to the chef to make freshly squeezed breakfast juices. Come evening, the bounty produces tangy cocktails, like the house specialty Greyhound, a blend of grapefruit-infused vodka and garden-fresh grapefruit juice. City-dwellers unfamiliar with proper harvesting techniques need not worry: Staff will reveal the secrets to selecting the juiciest, branch-ripened fruits. The service is free; for reservations, call 520-572-3000 or visit www.ritzcarlton.com/dovemountain
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Few can resist an ice-cold popsicle on a steamy summer day. But pause a moment before you indulge: These are not your childhood frozen treats. Selling for $1,000 each, the specialty pops at Marquis Los Cabos are made from Tequilas Premium Clase Azul Ultra tequila – which goes for $1,500 per bottle – and infused with 24-carat gold flakes. The hotel calls it “the world’s most expensive popsicle,” and we’re hard-pressed to dispute the claim. Feeling thrifty? Marquis Los Cabos also offers shots of Clase Azul Ultra for just $500. www.marquisloscabos.com
For general trip-planning information, see our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide.
The Kimpton hotel group – with 50 outposts in cities across the country from the new Eventi and Ink48 hotels in New York City to trendy Hotel Monaco in Seattle and Hotel Palomar in Dallas – is offering an array of awesome free perks in honor of summer, from upgrades to tasty treats.
These Summer Playground amenities last through September 10, so there’s plenty of time to take advantage…
With school FINALLY out and summer vacation in full swing, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite new kid-related hotel amenities. Pint-sized polo lessons anyone? Read more
Checking into Chicago? How about a gangsta-style stay that pays tribute to Al Capone, America’s most notorious mob boss? Some 63 years after his life of crime, there are hotels, tours—even theater productions that offer an inside glimpse into Capone’s life. With a crime circuit that stretched across Chicago’s North and South sides, Capone carried out his business dealings in some of the city’s top rate hotels.
He first set up shop at the Metropole Hotel before moving his headquarters to the Lexington Hotel’s fifth floor suite (the notorious planning site of the Saint Valentines Day Massacre); survived a lunch of machine gun fire at the Hawthorne Hotel; and was often seen in the barbershop at The Blackstone Hotel (also the site of the first “crime convention” in 1931 overseen by Charles “Lucky” Luciano.) So whether you’re looking for classy Chicago digs or some insight into the man himself—here’s your chance to do both.
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