The Big Six: Classic cocktail bars

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Discover where you favourite cocktail was invented with our round-up of the world's best drinking dens

The St Regis, New York

Some argue that the Bloody Mary was created by American film producer George Jessel; others say it was a barman at Harry's New York Bar in Paris in 1920. What's certain is that barman Fernand Petiot created today's version 75 years ago while working at The St Regis – but called it Red Snapper as the hotel was unwilling to use the word "bloody". While presiding over the King Cole Bar, he gave the drink its characteristically spicy kick.

The St Regis, 2 East 55th Street at Fifth Avenue, New York, US (001 212 753 4500; stregisnewyork.com). Doubles start at $801 (£534), room only. A Bloody Mary costs $18 (£12).

Hotel Ritz, Paris

It is generally agreed that the Sidecar – cognac, orange liqueur and lemon juice – was invented towards the end of the First World War, but the exact location isn't clear. The Paris Ritz stakes one of the more convincing claims; legend has it that the cocktail was concocted by one of its barmen for a regular who rode a motorcycle with a sidecar. The hotel's wood-panelled Hemingway Bar serves both the original and a version that replaces standard brandy with Ritz Fine Champagne 1865 cognac. At €400 a glass, you'd better make sure it's not your round.

Ritz Hotel, 15 Place Vendôme, Paris, France (00 33 1 43 16 30 30; ritzparis.com). Doubles start at €550, room only. A classic Sidecar costs €30.

The Caribe Hilton, San Juan

Set in 17 acres of exotic gardens, the Caribe Hilton in the Puerto Rican capital is the spiritual home of the Piña Colada. When the Caribe opened in 1949, it was the first facility operated by Hilton Hotels outside the US. As the hotel grew in reputation and stature, a barman named Monchito was tasked with creating a new signature beverage. Three months later, in mid-1954, Monchito found the perfect tropical blend of rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice, and the Piña Colada was born.

Caribe Hilton, Los Rosales Street, San Geronimo Grounds, San Juan, Puerto Rico (001 787 721 0303; caribehilton.com). Doubles start at $255 (£170), room only. A Piña Colada costs $13 (£8.70).

Raffles, Singapore

Perhaps the most well-known venue of a classic cocktail is Raffles' Long Bar, home to the Singapore Sling. First concocted by Ngiam Tong Boon around 1910, it is one of the hardest cocktails to perfect because of its long list of ingredients. Visitors can find out more about the drink in the hotel's museum and see the safe where Ngiam Tong Boon stored his recipe books.

Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road, Singapore (00 65 6337 1886; raffles.com). Doubles start at S$996 (£440), room only. A Singapore Sling costs S$27 (£12).

Willard InterContinental, Washington DC

Henry Clay is widely credited with introducing the Mint Julep to the mainstream in the early 19th century. A US senator from Kentucky, Clay mixed the mint, sugar and bourbon drink for patrons at the Willard's Round Robin Bar, which is still the most luxurious location in which to enjoy it.

Willard InterContinental, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC, US (001 202 628 9100; ichotelsgroup.com). Doubles start at $518 (£345), room only. A Mint Julep costs $15 (£10).

Hotel Metropole, Brussels

Built in 1895, the Metropole is the only 19th-century hotel still operating in Brussels. Its Belle Epoque bar is where the Black Russian – vodka and coffee liqueur – was created in 1949 by Gustave Tops in honour of the then US ambassador to Luxembourg.

Hotel Metropole, 31 place de Brouckère, Brussels, Belgium (00 32 2 217 23 00; metropolehotel.com). Doubles start at €120, including breakfast. A Black Russian costs €10.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
British musician Mark Ronson arrives for the UK premiere of the film 'Mortdecai'
music
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Sales Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...

    Recruitment Genius: PCV Bus Drivers

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - York

    £18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - Y...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us