The cocktail maestros are the backbone of our favorite happy hour spots, bars, restaurants, and lounges. Our bartenders not only set the mood for an establishment, they’re also constantly creating new boozy (and non-alcoholic), photo-worthy cocktails for all to enjoy.
We rounded up some of our most favorite and beloved bartenders, mixologists and bar managers’ most iconic drinks to craft + serve
Klaw – James MacInnes, Liquor Boss
Papaya Piña Colada
The iconic Piña Colada holds a special place in Liquor Boss, James MacInnes’ heart. So when curating the world-class beverage menu for Klaw – the newest land and sea concept slated to hit Miami this spring – he curated cocktails that paid homage to the golden era of Miami’s history when the city was referred to as the “American Riviera,” and the Piña Colada was the first that came to mind.
Inspired by the classic combination of Coco Lopez, pineapple juice, Caribbean rums, and lime juice, Klaw’s rendition strives to stay true to history while bringing complimentary ingredients into the fold.
Served in the signature “Hurricane Glass” and topped with crushed ice, forgoing the expected blender all together, the Papaya Piña Colada introduces a tropical undertone by way of Papaya fruit. While, originally from Mexico, the Papaya has been adopted by the Magic City. The beauty lies in its simplicity and vintage presentation!
Gerber Group – Moses Laboy, Corporate Beverage Manager
Some Like It Hot Cocktail
Gerber Group – owner-operator of 7 innovative cocktail bars and restaurants in New York, Washington D.C., and Atlanta – is known for its one-of-a-kind signature cocktails infused with killer flavor and personality. A personal favorite to of Gerber Group’s Corporate Beverage Manager, Moses Laboy, to craft and serve is his very own Some Like It Hot. Adored by all who try it, Some Like It Hot, is a sustainable cocktail crafted using mezcal, fresh jalapeños and rosemary cooked in simple syrup. The jalapeños are then candied via dehydration for cocktail garnish. The spicy beverage is the perfect cocktail to kick or top off the night with.
Thompson Playa del Carmen – Argennis Reyes, Bar Tender
Thompson Main House is an adults-only urban resort that combines mid-century design, exceptional cuisine led by trendsetting CATCH NYC and modern amenities in a refined boutique hotel experience. The property is recognized for hosting exciting parties at their spacious rooftop and serving up tasty cocktails including the guest-favorite Moscow Mule. Made with vodka, lime juice, homemade natural ginger beer and a few drops of essential oil from a grapefruit peel, Argennis puts a unique spin on a classic cocktail perfect for a poolside afternoon.
Resort & Spa – Jonathan Egged, Beverage Manager
Surrounded by a landscape of wildflowers, cacti, and the majestic McDowell Mountains, this luxury desert oasis tantalizes tastebuds at their renowned bars and restaurants with cocktails like Piano Man. Abounding flavors consist of house made cinnamon syrup which pairs perfectly with the nutty, dried fruit taste of sherry and the full, hearty flavor of dark rye. Topped off with egg whites for a creamy texture, the Piano Man is a silky, smooth, and unforgettable libation.
Villa La Valencia Beach Resort & Spa – Carlos Valdez Avila
Los Cabos’ newest luxury resort offers guests a chic vantage point to unwind in the midst of azure Sea of Cortez views, live music and contemporary décor at La Jolla Lobby Bar. Cocktail enthusiasts can request bartender Carlos Valdez Avila’s signature Piloncillo cocktail, which balances sweet and bitter flavors for a soulful flavor profile. The Piloncillo cocktail captures the essence of this staple Mexican ingredient highlighting tasting notes including caramel, rum and smokiness. The boozy libation features whiskey, Amaretto Disaronno (Italian almond liqueur), piloncillo syrup scented with star anise and lemon juice and topped with refreshing lemon and rosemary.
Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort – Lindsay Nakamura
Cocktail: Tropical Mojito
Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort is known for its Tropical Mojito as a fun twist on the traditional cocktail. As a nod to The Aloha State’s love for pineapple, this destination-inspired drink puts the fruit front and center. Its sweetness, along with the lime’s tartness and the mint’s freshness – pulled together with the rum – immediately transport you to Kauai’s turquoise waters.
Pasea Hotel & Spa – Miguel Sandoval
Cocktail: Just Beet It
Pasea Hotel & Spa’s specialty Just Beet It cocktail offers a refreshing twist on your typical poolside libation. The California living-inspired cocktail features high-in-vitamin beets that give a much-needed energy boost after a long day of lounging in the sunshine. Shaking together the beet gum syrup with bourbon and Blanc Vermouth and hazelnut liqueur reveals a sweet and earthy tone that complements strong notes of vanilla, oak and caramel. For a fresh finish, the lemon is squeezed into the strikingly ruby red drink and is strained with a dehydrated lemon that we make in house, ensuring the highest quality.
Mahina & Sun’s at The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club – Christian Taibi, Executive Bar Manager
I like to bring liquors, such as a London Dry Gin, out of its comfort zone. This cocktail not only supported the Tiki movement in 1930s, it is a completely unique cocktail when you pair it with Benedictine, cherry liquor and tropical juices. Finish this cocktail with seltzer and lemon oil and it is the ultimate poolside drink with a bright and herbaceous kick.
Merriman’s Hawaii – Jim Lunchick, Mixologist at Merriman’s Hawaii
When guests order a non-alcohol, “bartender’s choice” drink, it shows trust – it also starts conversation. I like to ask the guest a couple of questions before deciding on my mocktail of choice. What is your preferred sweetness level? Do you like carbonation? A Virgin Mojito with muddled up fresh pineapple and basil is always a good choice, or anything that feels like a taste of Hawaii, fresh and yum.
Images credits to Klaw, Gerber Group, Merriman’s Hawaii