Ever wonder why cocktails are called cocktails? Well, I was inspired to investigate on your behalf. The most popular theory I stumbled upon originated in NOLA (New Orleans) where an apothecary named Peychaud served bitters in an egg cup (I’ve always wondered how to repurpose one of those for something more useful than, well, eggs). If you’re wondering, the drink was supposedly a mixed brandy “coquetier”—French for eggcup. His guests likely shortened it to cocktay—and from there it ended up as cocktail. I for one want to start a trend by calling them cocktays once more. What? No one else is with me? Whatever—on to the drinks.
Here are three places you need to drink cocktails in Babylon.
I’ve already established my preference for my alcoholic teas to be made with real tea which is precisely why Monsoon has made this list (and always makes me really happy). They offer highly innovative mixed drinks. Prepare to get your Zen on with the appropriately named Tranquility made with New Amsterdam Citron and perfectly brewed lemongrass infused oolong tea. But the real reason I first came here was for the Vanilla Chai. It answers the age-old question of how can one improve on what is (to me) the best tea in existence. The answer? By adding Absolut vanilla vodka, of course, to their house-made chai syrup. Be careful with this one. It’s so sweet and delicious that you can easily forget that whole vodka part.
Not everyone is as fascinated with tea as I am, and so it is with you in mind that I offer this unique alternative cocktail, Monsoon’s version of the Singapore Sling which is composed of Beefeater gin, house-made cherry vanilla bitters and pineapple. I also salute Mr. Ngiam Tong Boon, a hotel bartender and creator of this delicious cocktail.
2. Tres Palms
It’s almost summer-time (okay, well it will be, in a few short weeks) and what better place to meet your friends for drinks then Tres Palms, overlooking the gorgeous bay? Tres Palms offers a number of signature cocktails including the Tres Palmas—Tea vodka and pink lemonade and the Dark and Stormy, Goslings Black Seal Rum mixed with Goslings Ginger Beer.
Or, maybe you’ve told your significant other that you’re off for coffee with friends. Well, with the Nitro Expresso Martini you’re basically telling the truth. This martini is made of local cold brewed Nitro Coffee which is real coffee that’s infused with nitrogen, resulting in a super-smooth, natural sweet cold brew coffee. Throw in some Double Expresso and Vanilla Stoli, and you’ve got yourself a remarkable cup of joe! If coffee is your thing, I also highly recommend the The Irish Goodbye (Jameson, Baileys, and Sail Away Coffee topped off with whipped cream) as a nightcap.
3. Del Fuego
What do they always say in yoga class—that all things are temporary? Well, yeah, drinks are also sometimes like that, but in a good way. Last summer, my friends and I had a sweet pineapple sangria, but you won’t always find that option on the menu. See, Del Fuego has a seasonally changing cocktail menu. I tend to be a person who clings to my favorites when it comes to drinks and food, but the seasonal menu drives me to try new drinks—and as I tell my six-year-old, “What happens when you try new things? Sometimes you really, really like them!” I’ve yet to be disappointed by any of Del Fuego’s sangria choices—and Saturdays, pitchers are $5 off which is a great way to get together with friends and not spend a fortune while doing it.
Del Fuego also offers fun versions of beloved classic Mexican cocktails like the Mashed Margarita—created with El Jimador Tequila, Triple Sec, Fresh Lime with your choice of muddled fruit, or the Mojito Picante which is muddled lime, mint, sugar, ginger and jalapeno, with Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum.