Orlando's Best Cocktail Lounges
No longer just a mouse town, Orlando has seen a renaissance in recent years with world-class sports facilities, museums, shops and dining venues sprouting up around town. Of course, no world-class city is complete without world-class cocktail lounges, too. With one of the busiest convention centers in the country, Orlando offers business travelers plenty of cocktail lounges to choose from, within easy reach, to boot. Here are 5 cocktail lounges, serving up everything from classic hand-shaken martinis to over-the-top libations, to check out in Orlando’s Convention Center district.
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Restaurant chef Kevin Spencer and the Hilton’s director of food and beverage Jonathan Raz have joined forces to create a slew of first-of-their kind, scratch-made cocktails. Most notably is their potent Bottom of the Cereal Bowl, which features a trio of Bacardi rums, blackberry brandy, “sous vide” raspberry simple syrup and half-and-half, all shaken over ice and served with a garnished rim of powdered Fruit Loops.
Other house favorites include the Bacon Reserve cocktail, which showcases the perfect marriage of bacon and whiskey. The decadent cocktail meshes Woodford Reserve bourbon that has been sous vide (“cooked under vacuum”) for 1 hour with brown sugar and orange zest. The hand-shaken beverage is served over a Macallan ice sphere and topped with chocolate-covered bacon.
In between feasting on prime beef in a modern steakhouse setting, sample Spencer’s slew of scratch-made cocktails, from the classic Manhattan to the more contemporary Farm Flip martini (Bombay Sapphire gin, fresh lemon juice, sous vide raspberry simple syrup and an egg white).
Sip, kick back and enjoy as lounge goers are serenaded by a live jazz pianist, on Friday and Saturday nights.
Case in point: the Rocks Burning Cocktail. The signature house cocktail utilizes the sweetness of sugar to mellow out the fire of Serrano peppers, while extracting the acidity of the Florida citrus, to create a drink with an easy-to-recognize kick that is soothed by the final ingredient -- lots of vodka!
Rum connoisseurs will rejoice in the lounge’s extensive rum list, which features spiced rum made from a blend of aged rums and hand-picked spices. For patrons looking to keep the night alive, Cuba Libre also features the swanky upstairs lounge Gloss, with dancers and a live DJ spinning top-40 hits.
In addition to its impressive cellar choices, Funky Monkey offers some of the best bar bites in town, including decadent cheese plates and fresh sushi.