Tableside service is always exciting and feels undeniably fancy, and it’s available for cocktails more now than ever before.
Sbagliato with Prosecco
Available at Gelso & Grand in New York City, this spot is known for its wood-oven fired pizzas, but they have a new Champagne and Sbagliato cart in time for the holidays. Order Champagne by the glass or bottle — or a Negroni Sbaglioto – with Prosecco – served tableside. “It was fun to see the ‘Sbagliato with Prosecco’ trend take off on TikTok since we always talked about adding a sparkling Negroni to our menu. The cocktail cart adds an extra elevated experience to dinner with a splash of prosecco as a fun way to bring the trend to life,” said JaJaJa Group Partner Nima Garos.
Bespoke Cocktails (DIY)
At 9 Jones in New York City, the vintage black and gold trolley experience is can’t-miss. It begins once the table selects their spirit of choice between vodka, gin, tequila, whiskey or Champagne. The venue’s mixology team then stocks the cart with a garnishes ranging from cucumber to lime, lemon, spicy ginger, and caviar or caviar bumps for an added supplement. “Our cocktail trolley is the star of the show when dining with us. Our goal with the cocktail trolley was to bring an interactive dining experience to our guests. At 9 Jones, guests are able to have fun mixing their own drinks to perfection with spirits, mixers and garnishes. And we have signature tableside cocktails available for those who want to leave it to the pros,” said No Thing Group Partner Richard Wheeler.
At J-Prime Steakhouse, Austin, the carajillo is an after-dinner drink made with Liquor 43 that’s flambéed tableside, shaken with espresso and served on the rocks. “It’s a wonderful after-dinner pick-me-up with a frothy and sweet espresso flavor. It’s the best tableside cocktail to end your dinner with at J-Prime,” said Jeremy Barrera, bar manager.
Bloody Mary Cart
At Hancock St. in New York City, the Bloody Mary Cart offers a Bloody Mary with options to personalize it in many ways. It includes the choice of traditional tomato, yellow tomato and mango green tomatillo as a base, plus the choice of cucumber vodka, gin, tequila and mezcal as the liquor. Additional mixed garnishes are available like pickled vegetables and hot sauces. This service is available during the weekend brunch service. “It is the visual of seeing what you want as well as very appealing on social media. People love to film and post pics/videos of our staff making the drinks in front of them,” said Ryan Schmidtberger (chef/partner).
At Thistle & Rye at Conrad Nashville, a herbaceous cocktail with an unexpected tableside presentation involving smoking lavender into a vase. It’s made with Empress gin, lemon juice, St. Germaine, Cointreau, house made lemongrass syrup and lavender that is smoked into the water glass tableside to give the cocktail the attributes of the smoke prior to garnishing with flowers of your choice.
A5 Wagyu Smoked Old Fashioned
At Bourbon Steak in Nashville, this is A5 Fat washed Blanton’s Bourbon, sugar, Angostura Bitters and hickory smoke. “Given our name Bourbon Steak, we know that bourbon and steak pair beautifully together already, so we challenged ourselves to mix those two things together within a cocktail. The Old Fashioned is already a sweeter, approachable cocktail that we knew could delicately balance the flavor of the cocktail and the infusion fat-washing imparts. But we are taking that sweetness in a different direction by adding the A5 Wagyu rendered fat to it,” said Ryan Pendergast, head bartender at Bourbon Steak Nashville.
The Smoke Show
At Casa D’Angelo’s in Aspen, Colorado, this cocktail is made with Casa Del Sol Anejo, white truffled Doña Vega Mezcal, Strongwater OF syrup, orange bitters, Alba White Truffle, gold leaf, smoked, colossal ice. “The Smoke Show gives a nod to the beautiful people and precious metals that call Aspen home, marrying decadent Alba White Truffle with exquisite luxury spirits, and of course a show-stopping presentation,” said Bradey Coman, bartender.
Whether you go for a Vesper or a Lemon Drop, there’s six tableside martinis to choose from at Red Salt at Koʻa Kea Resort on Poipu Beach, Koloa, Hawaii. “Our Tableside Martini menu shakes up the typical resort dining experience by bringing fun to the table and adding to the romantic setting Koʻa Kea is so renowned for. Guests can choose from a wide selection, from traditional Vesper martinis to the island-inspired Wipe Out,” said John Sweiss, Director of Restaurants at Koʻa Kea Resort.
El Facundo Grande
At Fiola Miami, prepared tableside, Facundo Exquisito rum is stirred and topped with a house-made chocolate Fiola coin and golden ice and served in a Spanish Galleon Ship decanter. “El Facundo Grande pays tribute to Fiola Miami’s connection with the local Cuban culture. When creating this cocktail, our team was also inspired by the sunken treasures said to be off the coast of Florida and the Florida Keys,” said Head Sommelier and Beverage Director Daniel Bishop.
At Coquette in Boston, this is a rotating martini offering featuring custom vermouth blends and a touch of salt to compliment the raw bar options at Coquette. The martini is served tableside with a collection of accouterments the guest can choose depending on their preference. Ray Tremblay, Director of Beverage COJE restaurants says: “We wanted to create a martini that compliments the wonderful seafood fare we have at coquette. We are currently on our third iteration of this ever-evolving cocktail. We fully batch and dilute a gin and vodka version of this cocktail to exact specifications and allow the flavors to meld together. The martini is then chilled in our freezer and poured to serve. This allows us to serve our curated martini the same to every guest. For the accouterments, guests have the option of a Castelvetrano olive, lemon twist, or a house pickled onion.”
At Hakkasan Las Vegas, this cocktail is made with Old Forester Bourbon Whiskey, plum wine, grapefruit bitters, hickory smoke. “The Han Dynasty cocktail is an Asian-inspired, classic Old Fashioned. The bold richness of Old Forester bourbon is mellowed with the addition of umeshu (plum) wine. Brightened with a touch of grapefruit bitters, and finished with a cloud of hickory smoke, it is a flavorful cocktail that stimulates all the senses,” said Jan Padiernos, Director of Beverage.
At LAVO Italian Restaurant Las Vegas, this cocktail is made with Bulleit Bourbon, BLiS Bourbon barrel matured pure maple syrup, orange peel, and smoked applewood. “The Vecchia Fiamma is a spirit-forward libation made with Bulleit bourbon, bitters, and a touch of subtle rustic maple. The maple syrup, aged in 18 year-old bourbon barrels, complements the whiskey’s nuanced notes of charred oak and vanilla. Shrouded in smoke within a glass cloche, the cocktail is revealed tableside, robust with flavor and aromatics,” said Jan Padiernos, Director of Beverage.
At TAO Asian Bistro Las Vegas, this cocktail is made with Ketel One Vodka, Junmai Sake, St. Germain Elderflower, yuzu, and matcha green tea. “The Jade Scorpion includes a masterful collection of earthy flavors, ranging from St. Germain Elderflower, Junmai Sake, and Matcha Green Tea, as well as the tart addition of Yuzu. Served in a spinning glass, this twist on a vodka refresher acts as an eye-catching presentation sure to impress each guest,” said Jan Padiernos, Director of Beverage.
At Il Mulino New York, this drink is made with vodka or brandy, Lavazza Espresso, Tuaca Amaretto, Grand Marnier and orange peel garnish served tableside inside a smoking treasure chest. “We were thrilled to debut an entire menu of espresso martinis this holiday season at Il Mulino, but this one is a showstopper as its tableside presentation has everyone in awe. Espresso martinis are super trendy right now so we wanted to create a menu of unique varieties, in addition to the traditional,” said Jason Rodriguez, Il Mulino.
Old Fashioned au Canard (For 2)
At L’Avant-Garde in Washington, D.C., duck fat washed whiskey and Martell Blue Swift, orange marmalade, walnut bitters, smoke. The cocktail is smoked at the bar with hickory wood chips, then served table side with two stackable rocks glasses and the stackable decanter, making it a three step process. The drink is then slow-poured tableside to release the aromatics. “I’m a fan of this cocktail for several reasons: starting with the story it tells of the bridging of a French-inspired cocktail bar that happens to be in America. An Old Fashioned is such a classic American drink, but when you add the incredible duck fat-washed rye, which is rendered from Chef Gilles Epie’s dishes, it gives it this incredible silky texture reminiscent of the classic French dish, Duck à l’Orange,” said Hakim Hamid, Beverage Director.
Up in the Clouds
At Angel Oak at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, Up in the Clouds is a spin of the paper plane cocktail. The Ritz-Carlton Bacara takes the cocktail to the next level with a citrus-infused bubble blown tableside to rest gently on the coup glass rim. Popping the bubble before your first sip releases the citrus notes to compliment the bourbon and aperol. “Our ‘Up in the Clouds’ cocktail is a rendition of the beloved paper plane cocktail. The perfect blend of bourbon and aperol is topped with a citrus-scented smoke bubble—brought to life tableside—to enhance the classic lemon and orange notes of the drink,” said Dylan Shea, Food & Beverage Manager, The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara.
At Palo Santo in Atlanta, the Santo Carajillo is a riff on the espresso martini, made with Licor 43, nixta, santa Teresa rum & espresso. All the ingredients are combined in a moka pot, shaken, infused with some Palo Santo smoke and poured tableside into a Nick & Nora glass. “We’re all about creating an experience at Palo Santo. Alongside our floating mezcal cart (where we serve tastes of different mezcals and accouterments like agave worms, scorpions and crickets), I wanted to create a version of an espresso martini — but one that aligned with our modern Mexican flavors, and would catch the eye of everyone in the dining room. It’s perfectly shaken and fresh poured, with a nice touch of actual Palo Santo,” said beverage director Antonio Morales.
At Lobby Bar at Hotel Chelsea in New York City, this cocktail is named after the Dukes’ Hotel in London comes Hotel Chelsea’s Lobby Bar Duke’s Martini with freezer cold vodka or gin, vermouth rinse and Meyer lemon peel. The Duke’s Martini is prepared tableside at the hotel’s recently unveiled Lobby Bar. Inspired by the grand European lobby bars, Sunday Hospitality’s Beverage Director, Brian Evans, drew inspiration from iconic bars around the world to bring a new-world sense of glamor.
At Dreamland in Dripping Springs, Texas, the Day Dreamer is a refreshing cocktail made with local distillery Treaty Oak‘s bourbon, pomegranate juice, and Richard’s Rainwater. “Perfect after an intense round of pickleball or mini golf here at Dreamland,” said Jaret Hoyle.
Bubbles, Barrels & Tea
At Beacon Grand in San Francisco, the new Beacon Grand hotel’s Bubbles, Barrels & Tea experience includes a Champagne welcome glass followed by the guest’s choice of a hot tea and barrel-aged cocktail. Each hot tea and cocktail creation has been strategically paired by Beverage Manager Meg Benshalom and is an interactive DIY take on a hot toddy, made tableside. Drinks are paired with delectable bites including sweet potato cake with curried apple and medjool date chutney, honey glazed goat cheese mousse with saffron preserve and candied pecan, and more. “Think hot toddy with layers of other expressive and nuanced flavors,” said Megan Benshalom, Beverage Manager at Beacon Grand.
Cotton Candy Martini
Available at Carnivale in Chicago, this drink features Ketel One Vodka, Pimm’s #1, raspberry, fresh lime and pink cotton candy. Sam Garcia, beverage director, says: “This drink is as whimsical and fun as our restaurant. We see many guests coming in specifically for the Cotton Candy Martini experience. The fresh pink Cotton Candy is presented in the Martini glass, and we shake the cocktail tableside to pour over the Cotton Candy, fusing in real time into a delicious pink drink.”
The M.S.G. Martini at Legasea Bar & Grill at the Moxy Times Square is a Grey Goose Dirty Martini, made with a dash of MSG, and truffle caviar stuffed Castelvetrano olives. “With the Dirty Martini at the forefront of the scene, we wanted to take it to the next level by adding umami notes and depth of flavor of M.S.G highlighted by our Truffle Caviar stuffed olives,” says Beverage Director Nikki McCutcheon (Tao Restaurant Group). “It’s also a super fun way to pay homage to Madison Square Garden just down the street as so many of our guests are joining us pre-game or show.”