We salute a few of our favorite watering holes around the country – and one in London, who have created special tipples and menus surrounding the Olympic opening ceremonies - with some of the proceeds going towards The Special Olympics. Here are a handful of our favorites worth savoring now.
In celebration of upcoming 2012 Olympic Games in London, WP24 Restaurant and Lounge by Wolfgang Puck at The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles is offering a “Go for Gold” cocktail. This $24 cocktail created by Beverage Director Klaus Puck, features classic English Oxley gin, rosemary from the hotel’s on-site rooftop cocktail garden, lemon and 24K gold flakes. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the cocktail will be donated to the Special Olympics non-profit organization. The cocktail will be available July 27 through the end of August.
The Savoy is one of the world's most iconic hotels located right in the heart of this year's chosen city for the Olympic Games. In keeping with British tradition, they are offering an afternoon tea and cocktail with a nod to the games in the American Bar, a winner in its own right as "World’s Best Hotel Bar" at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards. All cocktails, both classic and American, are made with the finest spirits, an imaginative twist and a passion for perfection. The specialty, named "The Unity Punch" (for up to five people) is a freshly squeezed combination of Bombay Sapphire Gin, Lemon Juice, Chamomile Tea, Home-made Lemon, Sage Syrup, and Celery Bitters.
Located in Manhattan's Upper East Side, The Surrey features three Olympic cocktails inspired by the trio of medalists. Gold, silver or bronze, each cocktail is created with a combination of fresh or organic fruits mix with Vodka, Gin or Tequila. Sweet, bitter or smoky, it is a great way to highlight seasonal fruit or a touch of flavored simple syrup. They will also feature a fourth concoction inspired by the story of Oscar Pistorius, the first Paralympic athlete ever to compete in the 2012 Olympic games. The ‘Blade Runner’ mixes the sweetness of passion fruit with the spiciness of chili and ginger. In honor of all athletes who overcome physical obstacles to accomplish their goals, all proceeds from the purchase of this cocktail will be donated to the US Paralympic team.
Overlooking the McDowell Mountains of Arizona, The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is offering a range of Olympic-inspired cocktails at their Stone Rose Lounge inspired by European countries's anthems, including "Brothers of Italy", "Hymn to Liberty" (Greece), "La Marcha Real" (Spain), the "God Save The Queen" (UK), and "Star Spangled Banner" (USA). With a base of Aperol, brandy or wine, highlighted with fresh ingredients such as lime, cucumber, orange bitter or sweet notes such as honey and fig jam, these drinks are unique, refreshing and bound to place first.
Public House, a contemporary tavern located inside The Venetian, Las Vegas is known for its vast beer selection and is offering a special "Olympic Trials Beer Flight" with beers from four different countries being represented this year in London. The beer flight ranges from a pale ale to a stout and includes a Sierra Nevada (USA), Hoegaarden (Belgium), Franziskaner Heffe (Germany) and Murphy's (Ireland) for $17.
Windows Lounge at the Four Seasons Los Angeles is celebrating the Summer Olympics with a London-inspired menu by Executive Chef Ashley James who pays tribute to his homeland with dishes such as a fish and chip “butty” sandwich with wild arugula and tartar sauce, and the Olympic Eccles Cakes with Devonshire ice cream and berries. (Check out James on the Today Show making the dessert here: http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/48300919). Cocktails include a Pimm’s Cup with Pimm’s No. 1, fresh meyer lemon juice and ginger ale; the "London Cooler" with Absolut Citron Vodka, fresh meyer lemon juice and ice tea; and "Golden Dream" with Hennessy Paradis, Moet & Chandon Rose Champagne and topped with a 24 karat gold leaf; and The Big Ben which is a lovely pairing of a Hendrick’s Gin and cucumber martini and traditional English cucumber finger sandwiches, cleverly priced at $20.12.
If you'd like to try your hand at making one of these cocktails at home while you're watching the games, here is a recipe from Whiskey Blue, at W Los Angeles – Westwood. Cheers to all the athletes!
STAR SPANGLED BANNER – USA:
1.5 oz Woodford reserve
50 oz rhubarb bitters
.25 oz of simple
.25 oz of lemon juice
3-4 pieces of strawberries
In a shaker, muddle the strawberries. Add other ingredients along with ice. Shake well and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a strawberry.