Fairmont hotels do cocktails well. So well, in fact, that every couple years the resort chain comes out with a new collection of drinks meant to represent classic cocktails from select properties, or craft cocktails or — as is the case this year — classic and revived classics (with a modern twist) created and tested by leading Fairmont bartenders. The result is the Classics Perfected menu, a list of six reinvented classics and six timeless favourites such as the G&T, Sidecar, Moscow Mule and Margarita.
I had the opportunity to sample three of the revived classics — the Sparkling Collins Royale, VSOP Boulevardier and Fairmont Old Fashioned (see recipe) — at the cocktail launch event at the Fairmont Palliser earlier this week.
The event was held in the street-level Starbucks, which, back in the day, housed the infamous Kings Arms bar (also known as “The Pit”). (The hotel is exploring the possibility of turning the space into a speakeasy by night, but nothing is confirmed, so if you arrive at the hotel seeking cocktails, go to The Oak Room bar.)
I really liked the Sparkling Collins Royale, which is like a cross between a Tom Collins and a Mojito (think vodka and lemon meet mint) that’s topped with Veuve champagne! I also loved the Fairmont Old Fashioned. It’s made especially yummy thanks to the addition of Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, which adds a hit of sweet molasses to the drink.
Fairmont Old Fashioned
- 1 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
- 1 oz Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
- 1/4 oz simple syrup (1:1 sugar-to-water)
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Garnish: wide orange disk
Method: In a pint mixing glass combine spirits, syrup and bitters. Fill 3/4 full of ice and stir swiftly for 20 seconds. Fill an Old Fashioned glass 3/4 full with fresh ice. Strain cocktail into glass. Express orange peel oil over top of drink, twist peel, and then drop into glass.
— Recipe courtesy Fairmont Hotels & Resorts