Singapore Sling, at Raffles Singapore
One of the world’s most popular cocktails, the Singapore Sling was invented at the Raffles hotel in Singapore in 1915. Lore has it that bartender Ngiam Tong Boon wanted to create an option that would be “socially acceptable” for women to enjoy at the hotel’s Long Bar.
At the time, it was a faux pas for women to drink alcohol in public, so the barman put together a cocktail that looked more like fruit juice, thanks to its colorless gin, pink grenadine and cherry liqueur.
These days, anyone can make a Singapore Sling at home during the pandemic to transport themselves to Singapore.
Parker House rolls, at the Omni Parker House
You don’t have to wait to visit Boston’s Omni Parker House to carbo-load on Parker House rolls. All you need are some standard baking ingredients and an oven set to 375 degrees.
You’ll love the buttery, soft rolls because everyone loves buttery, soft bread. Even President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a fan.
The Parker House didn’t stop with rolls. The hotel is credited for being the birthplace of the Boston cream pie, which you can have shipped to your home frozen at the click of a button.
Bloody mary, at the St. Regis New York
Day-drinking was forever changed with the creation of the Bloody Mary. A savory vodka cocktail, it can be traced to 1934. Fernand Petiot, bartender at the St. Regis New York’s King Cole Bar, spiced up an existing drink with tomato juice, and the rest was history. The hotel eventually renamed the cocktail to the Red Snapper, “so as not to offend the hotel’s refined clientele.”
To make the drink at home and envision yourself at the St. Regis, use the recipe from its website. You’ll need vodka, lemons, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, black pepper (bonus points if it’s fresh ground), cayenne pepper, celery salt and whole black peppercorns.
McCarthy salad, at the Beverly Hills Hotel
A signature dish at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge since the 1940s, the McCarthy salad was made per the request of restaurant regular, polo player Neil McCarthy. A relative of the Cobb salad, the McCarthy is made with both romaine and iceberg lettuce, bacon, beets, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, chicken, avocado and egg.
“I think what makes the McCarthy salad the iconic dish that it is, is that it stood the test of time,” says Robert Rouleau, the director of food and beverage for the Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows. “It’s … tradition that has transcended generations.”
Rouleau offers that the original recipe is just a “mere suggestion” of what you can do with the dish. He says celebrities like Jennifer Aniston have their own preference for McCarthy variations, so get creative at home.
Piña colada, at the Caribe Hilton
Vacationing at home? Consider making a piña colada, a drink almost synonymous with a beach getaway. It tastes like the tropics thanks to its rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice, and it’s best enjoyed with a tiny umbrella garnish.
The piña colada was invented in San Juan, Puerto Rico, by bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero at the Caribe Hilton in 1954. Although he first made the piña colada as a shaken, nonalcoholic welcome drink for guests, Marrero eventually added local rum to his creation. It would later be declared Puerto Rico’s official drink. If you have a blender at home, try the recipe yourself.
Waldorf salad, at the Waldorf Astoria New York
Despite its birth at one of the world’s most famous luxury hotels, the Waldorf salad is a pretty simple dish that easily can be made at home. The original recipe called for just a bed of lettuce, apples, celery and mayonnaise and later incorporated walnuts to complete its evolution.
Hot Brown sandwich, at the Brown Hotel
In the West, cultures have their own take on the open-face sandwich. France has the croque madame. Scandinavia has smorrebrod. And Kentucky has the Hot Brown, thanks to the Brown Hotel in Louisville.
To feed guests who came to dance all night in the 1920s, chef Fred Schmidt invented the Hot Brown as a late-night meal. Heartier than a midnight snack, it’s a version of a turkey sandwich with bacon and Mornay sauce.
The brownie, at the Palmer House
The brownie is one of America’s most beloved desserts, and we have the Palmer House hotel in Chicago to thank for its existence. Legend has it that in the 1890s, the wife of the hotel’s owner, Bertha Palmer, was tasked with contributing a dessert for an 1893 World’s Fair event. Palmer asked the hotel’s pastry chefs to make an easy-to-eat “ladies’ dessert,” according to “The Secret Lives of Baked Goods,” and what they delivered was the brownie.
Portable and delicious, the brownie is an excellent source of comfort for those in social isolation to carry as they pace around their homes. The hotel still has the original recipe for the public to replicate here.