The Independent Hotel-Lovers Guide to Drinking

House-made whisky aged in 2 different kinds of oak at The Iron Horse Hotel
House-made whisky aged in 2 different kinds of oak at The Iron Horse Hotel

Prefer the Bourbon Trail to a wine tour? Have we got a hotel for you. Ale lovers and craft liquor connoisseurs, join us as we raise our glasses to 6 independent hotels where the art of drinking is understood.

1. Whisky distilled out back at The Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee WI.

Known for attracting bikers, bad boys, big dogs, and design-forward fashionistas looking for a five-star hotel experience, The Iron Horse caters to all its constituents with house-distilled whisky aged in two different kinds of oak. Drink yours in Branded, the hotel’s cool, dark bar, or outside in The Yard with freight trains chugging slowly past at the bottom of the garden.

AAHeaderBurbonTrail[1]2. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail at The Brown Hotel, Louisville KY.

“Civilization begins with distillation,” according to William Faulkner, Nobel Laureate and brown liquor afficionado. Prove him right with a tour of the birthplace of Bourbon and a stay at the ne plus ultra of civilization: the English Renaissance-style Brown Hotel.

norwich-inn-specialty-beers_hpg3. Whistling Pig via underground pipes at The Norwich Inn, Norwich VT.

Single-handedly responsible for getting the Dartmouth College student body through Prohibition, this Vermont inn (reportedly the model for Bob Newhart’s tour-de-force performance on “Newhart”) pipes Whistling Pig Red Ale, Second Wind Oatmeal Stout and others underground from brewery to pub.

Ten-Minute-Martini-586x3904. World’s tastiest physics experiment at Hotel 43, Boise ID

The prize-winning 10-minute martini owes a debt to Archimedes, high-school physics, and some dude called “Stokes.” It really does take 10 minutes to make—so if you’ve just gotten off of a long, dry flight, call ahead from the gate and it’ll be ready by the time you hit the bar.

lounge 00185. Drinking the way it used to be at Riviera Palm Springs, Palm Springs CA

Sidecars the way Frank and Deano liked them. Have yours in the Rat Pack’s Palm Springs clubhouse in the swingin’ Starlite Lounge, Sidecar Bar, or served by appropriately-attired staff at Bikini Bar.


6. Cocktail butler at your door at The James New York, SoHo, New York City.

Liquors, fancy-pants mixers, shakers, olives, and your very own bartender come to your room with the James New York’s In-Room Mixology service. Let Jeeves do his stuff, or mix your own if the occasion calls for privacy.

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