Guests enjoying a pre-prandial drink in the Caprice Lounge inside the Corinthia Palace Hotel in Malta can go back through the decades as the hotel has created a cocktail menu that spans favourites from the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties, Nineties and Noughties.
The Sixties harkens back to the period when the hotel first opened, when lava lamps were de rigeuer, The Beatles were in full swing and hedonism ruled. The youth may have been experimenting with illegal substances but the classic Martini, Margarita, Tom Collins and Manhattan were the drinks of choice in cocktail bars.
The Seventies saw Blue Nun become a popular quaffing wine, strikes and blackouts marred the world of work and flared trousers and bad hair ruled the sartorial stakes. No surprise that cocktails with a pop of colour and dollops of fresh cream had their time in the spotlight including Brandy Alexander, Harvey Wallbanger, Pina Colada and Grasshopper.
The Eighties saw the arrival of the first Apple and IBM home computers, our first mobile phones, the Berlin Wall torn down, the rise of Michael Jackson and Madonna and the opening of The Athenaeum Spa, Malta’s first upmarket spa to tap into the trend towards wellness. The trend didn’t reach as far as the bar as most popular were The Gin Geene, Singapore Sling, Blue Lagoon, Mai Thai and White Lady cocktails.
The Nineties saw the birth of the Millenials and genuine optimism in the air. Corinthia expanded overseas, into two former Eastern European countries, first Budapest and then Prague. Not surprising that the vodka-based Cosmopolitan and Black Russian were two of the decades’ favourite tipples.
The Noughties saw further international expansion of the Corinthia brand – into Lisbon, St Petersburg, Tripoli and London – plus a 50th birthday celebration. The vodka-based Moscow Mule prevailed at the bar together with the first champagne-based cocktail, Bellini, mixed with peach puree, to match the bling-induced early years of the Noughties. Cocktail staff became stars of the bar and were re-named mixologists.
Ironically, Corinthia Hotel founder Alfred Pisani refers to the ‘Spirit of Corinthia’ as underlying all that is great and good about this luxury, five-star collection of hotels. Rather than a cocktail however, it references a set of values wrapped around service with warmth and passion, and delivered by the 3,000 staff across all the hotels, including 200 full-time staff at the Palace.