Welcome to a new travel series, where we focus on a hotel’s signature dish and/or cocktail. In the same way that cities and towns have local specialties to try, hotels develop signature items that guests shouldn’t miss — whether it’s a popular room-service dish they’ve perfected, a cocktail named after the hotel’s longtime bartender, or a seasonal specialty that repeat guests always look forward to. These are the things that they love to serve, and that you’ll really consider going back for.
This week, in honor of the upcoming Academy Awards, we’re turning to Hollywood Boulevard, where the Roosevelt Hotel is serving a new signature cocktail inspired by, and named after, a silver screen legend. The hotel’s mixologist, Matthew Biancaniello, has concocted a Hollywood-themed cocktail available throughout "red-carpet season" with his spicy and tangy "Mae West." It's a nod to her voluptuous figure and irrepressible wit and is made with Japanese pepper-spiced St. Germain, Hendrick’s gin, and yellow heirloom tomato juice strained into a glass and garnished with red peppers.
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel isn’t just a prime watering hole during red-carpet season because it’s a stone’s throw from the Kodak Theatre where the Oscars are held — it was actually the site of the first ever Academy Awards. In 1929, the Academy hosted a private dinner in a ballroom in the hotel and honored films from 1927 and 1928. Tickets were $5. (To put that in perspective, the Mae West cocktail described above goes for $15.)