September 25, 2012 was the official launch of the Pierre Hotel Fall 2012 Cocktail Launch, where E Lounge--the hotel bar--debuted it's new line of cocktails for autumn.
I was the lucky recipient of a call from my new friend Christine, asking me to be her plus one to this exclusive PR event.
When I arrived, fashionably late by 15 minutes, Christine was already there, making the acquaintance of the two other PR girls at our table. They had ordered their drinks but were waiting for me to get mine before trying them and comparing.
The cocktail menu was crafted to reflect the Taj Hotel's transition from the 19th to the 21st century, with remixes of classics like the Whiskey Sour, the Gimlet, and the Sazerac, as well as original concoctions, such as the My Fair Lady of Cafe Pierre and the Star of Taj (a real showstopper, as you'll later see).
|Star of Taj|
|The Pierre Sparkle|
|Rotunda's Whiskey Sour|
|Cheers! Me and my Whiskey Sour|
|My Fair Lady|
|Christine with the Pierre Sparkle|
With a jazz trip playing in the background and subtle lighting the mood was intimate and friendly as we chatted over our drinks and took notes.
The entire evening was comped by the hotel as a promotional event, and so the drinks and food were plentiful, in an effort to sweeten our experience and elicit sincere positive reviews.
They then invited us to view the making of two of the cocktails, the Gimlet and the Star of Taj--a spectacular drink that involved setting fresh Indian herbs on fire and pouring the flaming mixture into a fruity cocktail.
|Making the Gimlet|
|JP Getty's Gimlet|
This was accompanied by a delicious tasting menu spread of tiny versions of their new fall menu.
|Infusing the Indian Spices|
|Mixing the Star of Taj|
|Lighting the herbs on fire|
When we'd tried everything on new menu, they brought out their regular bar menu and encouraged us to try some of their regular cocktails and restaurant menu appetizers, in case we were still hungry.
|The Antique Fashioned|
Christine and I were impressed by the skill and speed with which the bartenders were mixing gorgeous and elaborate cocktails, so we went up to the bar to watch, as they explained what they were making and how.
|Vintage Stolichnaya Lemon Vodka--one of a limited number of bottles|
|A glass of Balvenie, neat, to finish off the night. Courtesy of a Nigerian business man who insisted on buying.|
I have to say, this may have been a night where my eyes were bigger than my stomach, and on the cab ride home we were quite a bit tipsy. But it was more than worth it--the staff were delightful, the cocktails divine, and the food delicious.
I highly recommend both the E Lounge at the Pierre Hotel for a vintage evening where no detail has been forgotten.