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Food + Drink

9 Classic Cocktails You Didn’t Know Were Created At Hotels

Sure, hotel bars may be great for nightcaps and pre-party drinks. But, did you know that many of them actually had a hand in creating the classic cocktails that they pour each night? Here, the nine you should order next. Cheers.

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1

Rob Roy, Waldorf Astoria New York

The Waldorf’s most famous watering hole is Sir Harry’s Bar, where regulars like Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly once came to throw back Rob Roys. The drink was dreamed up in 1894, as part of a celebration for the opening night of an operetta inspired by the life of Scottish folk hero Robert Roy MacGregor. The clubby Manhattan mainstay still pours it today by using scotch, sweet vermouth and a dash of bitters, straight up or on the rocks.

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2

Sidecar and Mimosa, Ritz Paris

The newly reopened Ritz Paris is not only lavishly elegant, but it’s also steeped in history. Sip a sidecar at the Bar Hemingway, where it was invented in the 1920s. But make sure you have your wallet on you — it’s one of the most expensive cocktails in the world (at one point it even held a Guinness title) thanks to a rare ingredient: 1865 Ritz Reserve cognac. Or, if you’re more in the mood for bubbly, order a mimosa (created here in 1925) at the gorgeous Art Deco-inspired Ritz Bar.

RELATED: The World's Coolest Hotel Bars

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3

Singapore Sling, Raffles Singapore

This national drink is quite the controversy. In the early 1900s, the Raffles Singapore was a neighborhood gathering place where locals would come together over cocktails in the Long Bar. But, at the time, it was frowned upon for women to be drinking in public (thank god, that’s changed!). So, Hainanese bartender Ngiam Tong Boon conceived a boozy refreshment disguised as fruit punch to fool onlookers. With gin, orange juice, grenadine, lime juice, Dom Benedictine, cherry brandy and Cointreau, the rosy-colored tipple became an instant hit. You can even see his original hand-written recipe on display at the Raffles Hotel Museum.

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4

Black Russian, Hotel Metropole, Brussels

When U.S. ambassador Pearl Mesta came to stay at the Hotel Metropole in 1949, he was given a taste of the first Black Russian ever. The bartender at the time, Gustave Tops, blended vodka and coffee liqueur to become a staple Russian spirit.

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5

Dry Martini, The Knickerbocker, New York City

Shaken or stirred, the dry martini is best enjoyed in its New York City home: The Knickerbocker. It was here, in the hotel’s fourth-floor lounge that the dry martini was invented in 1912 by bar manager Martini di Arma di Taggia and served to John D. Rockefeller. The rest is history. Today, you can throw one back while enjoying the city views from the rooftop terrace at the renovated Beaux-Arts landmark.

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6

Sazerac, The Roosevelt, New Orleans

As one of America’s most hard-partying cities, New Orleans has always had a special place in the booze movement. The sazerac started it all when it appeared in the 1840s after a Haitian-born pharmacist, Antoine Amedie Peychaud, produced the vintage, paper-wrapped Peychaud’s Bitters and mixed them with a French brandy called Sazerac de Forge et Fils. But it took until 1949, when the Sazerac Bar was relocated to The Roosevelt hotel, for the French Quarter creation to really catch on.

RELATED: Next Stop, NOLA

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7

Bloody Mary, St. Regis New York

While this hair-of-the-dog drink has hotly contested roots, most people agree that the St. Regis New York was the beverage’s true birthplace. In 1934, Fernand “Pete” Petiot was a bartender at the hotel’s King Cole Bar, where he poured the world’s first vodka, tomato juice concoction. Originally, it was known as Bucket of Blood (imagine ordering that at brunch!), which was too risque for the buttoned-up clientele, so it was then changed to Red Snapper, and finally Bloody Mary (named after Mary Tudor, Mary I of England). Ever since, it’s been the luxury hotel chain’s signature cocktail — so much so that roughly 850 are made per month.

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8

Negroni, Grand Hotel Baglioni, Florence

In the early 1900s, an Italian count named Camillo Negroni decided to revamp his standard Americano by asking the bartender at the Grand Hotel Baglioni to add gin to the Campari-vermouth combo. This small recipe tweak was all it took to devise the namesake libation which now anchors most American menus a century later.

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9

Piña Colada, Caribe Hilton, San Juan

If you like piña coladas, then you have one special Puerto Rican bartender to thank. Ramon “Monchito” Marrero brought the concoction of rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice to the Caribe Hilton’s Caribar in 1954, and he stayed serving the beachy beverage for 35 years. In 1978, it was officially declared Puerto Rico’s national drink, and a year later Rupert Holmes made it famous when “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” hit number one on the music billboards.

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