Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Plaza Pours Out 100-Mile Drink

As part of its 100-Mile Menu, New York City's The Plaza recently unveiled its new signature drink, the POMONA. It was rolled out in front of a national television audience on the Today Show. The POMONA is made from ingredients that hail from the 100-mile area around New York City, including American Fruits’ Black Currant Cordial, Lieb Family Cellars Blanc de Blancs, New York sparkling wine, and local honey. The beverage was commissioned by CPS Events, the partnership entrusted with the hotel’s famed Grand Ballroom, and designed by mixologist Brittany Chardin of Atlanta’s iMi Agency.

“Creating a signature drink for The Plaza was both an honor and a challenge,” Chardin said. “At the onset of the project, CPS Events required the drink be developed utilizing ingredients produced within a 100-mile radius of the city. I was thrilled and surprised by the interesting array of amazing products produced in New York City and the 100 miles that surround it. The enthusiasm of the local distilleries and producers to work on this project was infectious. I know guests will truly celebrate in a memorable way with this drink.”

The signature drink was named the POMONA for the Roman goddess of abundance and orchards. A statue of POMONA adorns the fountain outside The Plaza’s main entrance.

I have read and written a lot about the importance of sourcing local but this is the first time I have come across a hotel developing a signature drink with a sustainability angle. It is certainly a great opportunity to generate some publicity about the property's 100-Mile Menu. Has your property done anything similar? If not, give it a try. Develop the formula for your local drink and then hold a contest among your guests and in your local community to name the drink. Give away a room for a night and bottle of wine to the winner. Invite the media to the unveiling of the new drink.

Practicing sustainability can be fun; use it to your advantage when you can.

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