“The classic bars of the 1920s were found in hotels,” said Kasey Dubler, director of restaurant operations at The Grand America, “and the cocktails we make at the Gibson Lounge are a reflection of that time period. The cocktails are classic, consistent and crafted with the highest-quality ingredients — many are even named after historic hotels. We want people to know that they can get an artisanal cocktail at a Salt Lake City hotel bar today.”
In preparation for the launch, the hotel’s bartenders attended classes to learn the history of cocktails and the techniques necessary to mix classic drinks, including how to prepare fresh ingredients. Many cocktail ingredients are made on site — from fresh squeezed juices to Gibson-style onions pickled in-house — or sourced from local producers where possible, such as the honey used from a nearby organic farm.
Amy Eldredge served as an advisor for the project. “Salt Lake City has a great craft cocktail movement, which we wished to reflect at the Gibson Lounge,” said Eldredge. “Grand America’s scale enables it to raise the standards and expectations of what a truly classic hotel bar should be. The bartenders have access to every tool and type of high-quality crystal glassware imaginable — which enables us to create a real five-star cocktail menu fitting for the hotel’s guests.”
In addition to the new bar program, The Grand America Hotel has designed a poolside cocktail menu for summer, consisting of classic seasonal drinks, such as a watermelon margarita, banana daiquiri, house-made sangria and other summer-friendly handcrafted drinks.