Resist the Minibar and Hack a Cocktail In Your Hotel Room

Resist the Minibar and Hack a Cocktail In Your Hotel Room photo

When pro bartender Tiffanie Barriere isn’t mixing excellent cocktails at One Flew South in Atlanta’s Hartford-Jackson Airport, she’s packing up her bar tools and a suitcase full of booze and mixing drinks all over the world—including in her hotel room. While we were down at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, Barriere showed us how to MacGyver a totally delicious (and cheap) cocktail you can mix up without ever having to leave your room.

Rather than cracking open the $14 mini liquor bottles in the hotel fridge, the pro move is to BYOB and pack a few staples in your suitcase ahead of time: a wine key; a couple of lemons; a travel-sized shampoo bottle filled with a 1:1 ratio of honey (or sugar) and water; and your liquor of choice (wrap the bottle in a piece of bubble wrap before you stick it in your suitcase). Don’t feel like packing a whole 750 ml bottle in your case? Barriere suggests grabbing a few minis at the liquor store or buying them on your flight, where they’re often half the price of what you’ll find in the hotel mini bar.

Once you get to your hotel room, grab some ice from the ice machine and locate the coffee machine and whatever free teas you’ve got lying around, which you’ll need to make the base of your cocktail. Steep a cup of any tea you’d like, then set it aside to cool.

Use the knife of your wine key to cut your lemons in half crosswise. Squeeze half the lemon into a glass, then use the empty citrus half as an instant jigger, or shot glass. Fill the lemon half with booze and add to your glass. Only fill half of the lemon-shot-glass with honey syrup, toss that in with a scoop of ice, and fill the rest of the glass up with tea. Grab a second glass and pour the cocktail between the two glasses a few times until it’s cold and well-mixed. Ta-da! Instant cold toddy. Feel free to skip the hotel bar entirely from now on.

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