Golf resorts and communities are always thinking of new and different ways to stand out—some have decided to get creative in the mixology department and craft their own signature beverage for members and guests to enjoy during cocktail hour.
Here we detail the what, where, and how for nine different signature links libations—so that you can wow at your next dinner party.
Bay Harbor Old Fashioned (Bay Harbor Golf Club | Bay Harbor, Mich.)
While Ernest Hemingway is usually associated with Spain, the Florida Keys, and Paris, he actually was born in Oak Park, Ill., not far from Chicago, and summered with his family until his early 20s in Northern Michigan. There’s a Hemingway Trail through the towns that line the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, with more than a few attractions that became models for locations in his books.
At the Inn at Bay Harbor, a lovely Victorian-style resort, Papa’s spirit is remembered in a twist on the traditional Old Fashioned. Seems Hemingway particularly liked a refreshing rum cocktail in the hot months. Today, it tastes especially good on the inn’s patio watching as the sun also sets.
Ingredients: 1 orange wheel; 1 Bada Bing cherry; 1 sugar cube; 2 oz. Captain Morgan Private Stock rum; 1 tsp. blood orange bitters; ½ oz. soda water
Method: Drop the sugar cube in an Old Fashioned glass, douse it with the bitters and soda water, then crush and swirl around. Pour in the rum. Add ice and garnish with orange and cherry.
Blue Monster (Trump National Doral | Miami, Fla.)
After a restoration of the famed Blue Monster course at Trump National Doral in Miami a few years ago, the site wasn’t only longer, tougher, and more dramatic, it also had a drink created in its honor. The Blue Monster cocktail features a golf-ball-like ice sphere that adds its own drama and extends the pleasure as it melts. And after completing a difficult test on the course, this tasty treat is a worthy reward.
Ingredients: 6 oz water; .2 oz Blue Curacao liqueur; .2 oz lime juice
Method: Fill an ice-ball mold with the water, lime juice, and Blue Curacao, and let freeze for 48 hours. Remove the sphere, which should not be frozen through, and place on a towel for about 10 minutes or until it turns from dull to clear.
Ingredients: 2 oz Absolut Raspberry; 1 oz Absolut Citron; Lemon wheel
Method: Place ice sphere in a short glass. Pour mix of vodkas over the ice. Garnish with lemon wheel.
Carrot 43 Martini (Destination Kohler | Kohler, Wis.)
Among the choice of specialty seasonal cocktails at The Immigrant Restaurant and Winery Bar, the showcase eatery at The American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin, the most popular is the Carrot 43 Martini. The bar staff was determined to develop a signature concoction using carrot juice, but it took 43 tries to get it right—and provide a name. Its bright harvest hues make it the perfect periodic potion, but it apparently is a summer favorite, as well. Year-round, this is a drink to fall for.
Ingredients: 1 ¼ oz. Hendrick’s Gin; ¾ oz. Cointreau; 1 oz. fresh orange juice; ½ oz. fresh carrot juice; ½ oz. fresh lemon juice; ½ oz. simple syrup
Method: Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a slice of fresh cucumber
Daisy Chain (Gleneagles Resort | Perthshire, Scotland)
In Scotland, where whisky is king—and spelled without the “e” that is employed almost everywhere else— the locals occasionally look for other ways to enjoy the drink that takes its name from the Gaelic word for “water.” At Gleneagles Resort, site of the 2014 Ryder Cup, head bartender Cameron Johnston, a self-confessed “whisky geek” with more than 120 single malts at his fingertips, created the Daisy Chain using Haig Club, a whisky for which football (soccer to us) great David Beckham is the brand ambassador.
The recipe uses some obscure ingredients, but Johnston says it can be closely replicated. Rather than Haig Club, any “soft and floral grain” whisky will do. For cold-infused chamomile tea, brew a cup (loose leaf or bagged), then let it cool with a cube or two of ice. Any ginger bitters will do, the same with honey, although at Gleneagles, the honey water (a mix of equal parts honey and water) relies on the resort’s six hives, populated by bees that help pollinate the gorse and heather that may have stung you while playing one of the courses.
Ingredients: 2 oz Haig Club (or substitute) whisky; ½ oz lemon juice; 1/3 oz honey water; 2/3 oz cold-infused chamomile tea; 2/3 oz egg white; 2 drops Bob’s Ginger Bitters
Method: Pour the whisky, lemon juice, honey water, chamomile tea, egg white, and biggers into a cocktail shaker. Shake and then strain finely into a rounded coupette glass. Garnish, if desired, with aromatic chamomile sugar.
Desert Heat (Omni Rancho Las Palmas | Rancho Mirage, Calif.)
Back in the 1950s, Hollywood elite escaped Tinseltown by driving 120 miles to the east to the area around Palm Springs. One of their favorite hideaways was the Desert Air Hotel and Resort in Rancho Mirage, where they could soak up the sun, relax by the pool, and drink, dine, and otherwise divert themselves out of the public eye. The resort is now the Omni Rancho Las Palmas, but the pleasures are much the same and captured in this margarita—called the Desert Heat—created by the hotel’s R Bar. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.
Ingredients: 2 oz. Patron Silver Tequila; 1 oz. lime juice; ¾ oz. agave nectar; 1 slice of jalapeno; 3 slices of cucumber
Method: Muddle cucumbers, jalapeno, lime juice, and agave nectar. Add tequila. Shake with ice. Double strain over ice into a lowball glass. Garnish with slice of cucumber and jalapeno.
Ginger Glow (Glacier Club | Durango, Colo.)
At the Glacier Club near Durango in southern Colorado, the two on-site golf courses and close proximity to skiing in the San Juan Mountains have attracted a coterie of members from Texas who’ve brought with them a taste for sweet tea vodka. The club already goes through a lot of ginger beer, not only in the traditional Dark ‘N Stormy—where it’s mixed with dark rum—but with most other liquors, as well. It wasn’t long before someone had the bright idea of mixing the two club stalwarts together, resulting in what they call a “Ginger Glow.” It has proven very popular with after-round golfers, after-run skiers, and anyone simply after a nice glow of their own.
Ingredients: 2 oz. Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka; Goslings Ginger Beer
Method: Pour the vodka into a lowball glass filled with ice. Top off with ginger beer. Garnish with a lemon twist and candied ginger.
Makai Tai (Princeville Makai | Kauai, Hawaii)
There’s some debate over who invented the Mai Tai, but general agreement about where it originated and when: Southern California in the late 1940s. It crossed the ocean a few years later and was popularized in the early ‘50s by the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki Beach. Today, the Mai Tai is the most popular drink in the Aloha State.
A slight derivation on the theme, the Makai Tai was created by the St. Regis Princeville Resort on Kauai in 2014 to honor the Makai Golf Course, which opened in 1971 and was the first course designed by Robert Trent Jones II totally on his own. Whereas most Mai Tai recipes call for a blend of dark and light rums, the Makai Tai mixes Kraken, a dark spiced rum from the Caribbean, with Pau Maui, a Hawaiian vodka made from pineapples. The resort also fresh-presses their juices, not hard to do when the pineapples are growing right outside your door.
Ingredients: 1 oz. Pau Maui Vodka; 1 oz. Kraken Rum; ½ oz. pineapple juice; ½ oz. orange juice; ½ oz. lime juice; ½ oz. Orgeat syrup
Method: Stir ingredients together and garnish with a pineapple slice, lime wedge, and cherry
Our Garden Pointe of View (Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort | Phoenix, Ariz.)
It can be hard to keep cool under the Arizona sun, especially if your golf game is being as prickly as a giant Saguaro cactus. At the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, located in the rugged terrain of the North Mountains about 20 minutes north of downtown Phoenix, they have an antidote for any swing-stoked anxiety.
The magic ingredient in “Our Garden Pointe of View,” the specialty drink of the resort’s Terrace Room lounge—which sits at 2,000 feet above the city and overlooks Lookout Mountain Golf Club—is basil, an herb that has been shown to lower cortisol, a hormone produced by the body when it gets tense. Basil also can help detoxify the liver, which is good to know if your on-course swing remedy included frequent trips to the beer cart.
Ingredients: Four basil leaves; 1.5 oz Broker’s Gin; 3/4 oz fresh lime; 1.5 oz simple syrup; 2 oz Piper Sonoma Sparkling Wine
Method: Muddle basil leaves with lime juice, simple syrup, and gin. Add ice and sparkling wine. Shake. Double strain while pouring into martini glass. Garnish with fresh basil leaf.
Wild Rose Lemonade (Fairmont Banff Springs | Banff, Alberta, Canada)
There aren’t many local ingredients to make drinks from up in the Rocky Mountains of Western Canada. So when the mixologists at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel—which sits at 5,000 feet above sea level—wanted to create a summer refresher, they turned to one plant that is available in abundance, the wild rose, and the tiny berries it produces, called rosehips. The berries are cooked with sugar to create a thick syrup, which is diluted and combined with more typical drink mixings to create something a little bit sweet and a little bit tart—just like the hotel’s beautiful, yet challenging, golf course. After a round on the 90-year-old Stanley Thompson layout, it’s good to know that rosehips are rich in antioxidants, meaning a couple of drinks should have you ready to take on the course again tomorrow.
Ingredients: 2 oz Plymouth gin; 1.5 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice; ¾ oz simple syrup; 1 oz rosehip syrup (fresh rosehips cooked down with sugar until a jam-like consistency, then diluted with water)
Method: Shake ingredients with ice, pour over fresh ice in a tall cocktail glass.
Tell us your favorite après-golf libation in the comments below!