Surviving the business conditions brought on by the Covid pandemic wasn’t easy for anyone in the hospitality industry. To offset some of these challenges, the team at The Post Oak Hotel in Houston, TX, initiated several unique beverage innovations and programs at selected outlets. It also won a BevX Award for Multi-Concept Hospitality Beverage Program.
At the hotel’s Bloom & Bee, which focuses on fresh, locally inspired cuisine, the team created specialty cocktails that matched the restaurant’s floral theme. The color concepts of each cocktail are inspired by the rose centerpieces, while flavor profiles range from sweet and elegant to tropical and refreshing, among others, says Faith Chen, assistant director of food & beverage at the Post Oak Hotel.
What’s more, Bloom & Bee revamped the back bar to bring more focus to the spirits with floral components. Craft gins, for instance, have floral bouquet notes and pair well with the restaurant’s theme.
To address the interest in health and wellness, Bloom & Bee also added an original cocktail to its breakfast menuVitamin Bee, which is made with fresh-press Glow juice and Health Ade Kombucha.
Bloom & Bee is adding unique wines and beers to the drink menu to mirror the cocktail programming, such as the Black Currant Cider, and Fruited Sours, with guava and tropical fruits, to add more colorful and tasty options to the menu.”
H Bar, the hotel’s dark, opulent lobby bar, focuses on creating signature craft and classic cocktails, which are nostalgic and curiosity themed, Chen says. The bar’s exclusive collection of spirits includes rare Japanese, traditional Irish, vertical expressions of renowned Scotches, American whiskies antique and novel, as well as prized tequilas and mezcals.
With a portfolio that suggests worldliness, any five-star travelers visiting H Bar can feel comfortable and treat themselves to a rare and unique spirit that cannot be found anywhere else,” Chen says.
The Cellar Outlet at the Post Oak Hotel celebrates wine, so guests can enjoy the grandeur of the cellar and its bespoke wine list, dinners and tastings. “This creates a sense of emotional connection with the guests, since one tasting or dinner cannot be replicated again as The Cellar’s sommelier team designs them based on the guest’s preferences,” Chen says. The Cellar has hosted executive caliber dinners priced at $500 per person and included unique courses paired with each wine.
And at Willie G’s Seafoood restaurant, Post Oak enhanced the beverage program to match the ever-evolving cocktail trends and tastes of loyal clientele. Willie G’s added a new selection of innovative cocktails to the menu, including the Peachy Sidecar (Cognac Grand Marnier, Evan Williams Peach, sweet and sour mix), and the Busy Little Bees, with Garrison Bros. HoneyDew bourbon, lemon, mint and Demerara syrup. Willie G’s also adding a sister concept’s most popular and most requested drink: The “Grotto” Frozen Bellini.
So how have guests responded to Post Oak Hotel’s beverage program upgrades? At H Bar, Chen says that the guests’ favorites are the signature Hibiscus Margarita, Old Cubans, and the New York Sour, which is H Bar’s Whiskey Sour with pinot noir.
And at Bloom & Bee, customers are crazy for the specialty sips. “Rarely does the restaurant receive any need for Vodka Sodas or Jack and Cokes, as the guests at Bloom & Bee love the signature cocktails, whether it’s at brunch or dinner,” Chen says. “Often our guests can’t order just one.”