Wed | Dec 1, 2021

AC Hotel Kingston is big on cocktails

Published:Thursday | November 11, 2021 | 12:10 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
The cocktails at AC Hotel Kingston are aesthetically pleasing using local spirits and herbs to garnish. They are (from left) the explorer martini, the New York sour, and the Kingston mule.
The cocktails at AC Hotel Kingston are aesthetically pleasing using local spirits and herbs to garnish. They are (from left) the explorer martini, the New York sour, and the Kingston mule.
AC Hotel Kingston’s Food and Beverage Manager Andre Harris has been in the field for more than 11 years and has enjoyed every second of it.
AC Hotel Kingston’s Food and Beverage Manager Andre Harris has been in the field for more than 11 years and has enjoyed every second of it.
Savour and sip handcrafted cocktails by in-house mixologists.
Savour and sip handcrafted cocktails by in-house mixologists.
Looking for something heavier to have with that mid-afternoon cocktail? The grilled salmon is a healthy option on the menu, served with a side of mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables.
Looking for something heavier to have with that mid-afternoon cocktail? The grilled salmon is a healthy option on the menu, served with a side of mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables.
The signature AC Hotel gin and tonic is bound to convert non-drinkers.
The signature AC Hotel gin and tonic is bound to convert non-drinkers.
The Caprese panini and roasted pumpkin soup has a quick turnaround time of 15 minutes.
The Caprese panini and roasted pumpkin soup has a quick turnaround time of 15 minutes.
The purple rain is a frozen cocktail made of a mixture of Smirnoff Vodka, Blue Curacao, Grenadine and lime juice.
The purple rain is a frozen cocktail made of a mixture of Smirnoff Vodka, Blue Curacao, Grenadine and lime juice.
The avocado toast is a great blend of cool.
The avocado toast is a great blend of cool.
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At the centre of AC Hotel Kingston sits its bar. The hotel’s commitment to art, innovation and music sets the stage, but cocktail culture fuels its social energy and makes it the heart of the hotel.

“It is a feature; our guests can tell we are big on cocktails. It has become part of our culture,” said AC Hotel Kingston’s Food and Beverage Manager Andre Harris, in a recent interview with The Gleaner.

“It’s not just about an individual coming in to order their favourite spirit or chaser; we present the spirits to make persons more aware and open to international cocktails,” he added.

Selling spirits in the hotel environment in urban areas is becoming more competitive, as cocktail-centric bars and lounges are an integral part of dining and drinking tourism. The aim is not only to attract guests to the hotel but also non-vacationing guests into the dining room, lounge, and seating area by the pool. AC Hotel Kingston is constantly revamping its food and beverage experience with AC Lyme Beer Wednesdays and Happy Hours. They also have Sunday Brunch.

“There are over 60 cocktails on our list, separate and apart from the list of spirits we offer,” Harris shared. “Coming to the AC, I have to recommend drinks. Even if the person is not a drinker, they must try our signature cocktails – the signature gin and tonic and the Kingston mule, a remix of the Moscow mule.”

Gone are the days when the gin and tonic mix would be considered a simple classic cocktail for an old suit-wearing man settling down after a long day in the office. AC Hotel Kingston’s twist – Scottish Hendrick’s Gin, infused with cucumber, lime and star anise – adds spice and makes it a must-try cocktail.

The hotel doesn’t recommend having cocktails on an empty stomach either. Its European style tapas menu is complete with small, easy-to-eat dishes and appetisers, including five types of paninis or grilled sandwiches which are served with a soup of the day, salad or fries, the mango barbecue wings – a top seller – and the avocado toast (akin to a bruschetta).

“We’re in the business of making people happy. So, the food and service persons receive, I commit to you, our servers and mixologists will be above par,” Harris said.

Other cocktails that stand out on the list include the German chocolate cake, a popular pick among women, and the Lychee martini, as well as the New York sour, sidecar and the Remington. There is also a wide range of mocktails available.

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com