Connect with us

Wines & Spirits

Getting into the Milaidhoo Mood




The newly opened Milaidhoo Island Maldives introduces mood dining, a specific combination of curated menu, designated location on the island, and spa elements to enhance the experience designed to change a person’s mood. Guests can choose from five different ‘moods’: ‘Deep Sleep’; ‘Getting into the Milaidhoo Mood’; ‘Sunrise Awakening’; ‘Curious Adventures’ and ‘Sunset Chill’. The theory behind mood dining is that certain foods can affect body chemistry and can therefore alter a person’s mood.  The location of the meal also helps shape the mood, which vary between a deserted island, sandbanks in the middle of the ocean, beach or simply on the private deck of the guest’s own villa.  The innovative concept is part of the luxury resort’s philosophy to offer guests authentic and meaningful experiences.

The ‘Deep Sleep’ mood addresses both physical and mental hurdles that prevent a good night’s sleep.  It begins with a peaceful spa treatment in the early evening to physically relax the body.  This is followed by a light dinner served in the guest’s villa with a menu designed to encourage sleep, using foods that contain naturally occurring substances that can bring on sleep, such as Hot Passion Fruit Green Tea Soup.  After the dinner Milaidhoo’s resident yogi leads the guests in a private moonlight meditation session on the deck of their villa to calm and slow the mind.  The evening ends with a scented candlelit bath, because the drop in body temperature after a bath triggers the body’s need to sleep.

A complete contrast to the deep sleep mood is ‘Sunrise Awakening,’ which includes a breakfast menu of dishes known to be energy boosting for a good start to the day, such as fruit skewers with toasted coconut and lime. A bottle of Salmon Billecart champagne accompanies for extra indulgence.  The location is either on the private deck of the guest’s villa or on the beach to ensure exposure to the mood-lifting serotonin that the body produces in bright sunlight.

The ‘getting into the Milaidhoo mood’ features a menu designed to calm and promote a relaxed mind set; the perfect way to ease into a holiday. Dishes like a Confit Tasmanian Salmon with green apple purée, green papaya and spearmint salad are selected for richness in vitamins, omega 3 and nutrients to help guests switch off from a fast paced life style and settle into a glorious relaxed, island mode.  It begins with a 60-minute spa treatment at the resort’s over-water Serenity Spa followed by the meal which can be enjoyed anywhere on the island that takes the guest’s fancy.

Complete with Bento Boxes to go, ‘Curious Adventures’ menus are ideal for either the Snorkel ‘N’ Soak or Beach Comber Trips. A BBQ Lunch can also be prepared for mounting uninhabited island sand banks. The ‘Sunset Chill’ mood dining menu of select canapés like Asian wagyu beef en croute, pan seared foie gras with brioche, quince paste, and smoked salmon and caviar fraiche, is best to enjoy aboard the resort’s sunset cruise.

Mood Dining ranges from $140 to $1,050 based on the menu. Nightly rates start at $1,575 per night for two people in an over-water villa on half-board basis. For more information or reservations,

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Wines & Spirits

The Rise of Post-Dinner Cocktails – And How to Order Them




Bar 1910 at Reichshof Hamburg, Curio Collection by Hilton offers a wide range of whiskey, gin, and spirits. [ Credit: Hilton ]

After-dinner drinks are becoming more than just an old boys’ club tradition.

​An expanding group of diners is looking to make the most out of culinary outings by extending their meals with inventive after-dinner cocktails and digestifs at hotel bars and restaurants, according to Hilton mixologists.

For some, the drinks are becoming an extension of the dessert menu as less-indulgent diners focus on lower-fat diets. Sipping on a small serving of Port wine, or a coffee or tea blended with liquor and spice, may feel less indulgent than blueberry pie.

​ For others, the drinks are a way to explore new spirits and variations on dinnertime favorites –all while extending quality time with family, friends and even that date you don’t want to end just yet.

In addition, let’s face it: knowing the difference between a Port, Amaro and Grappa can make you seem more cultured.   ​

​ Psssst: Port is a fortified wine with roots in Portugal and tends to be red and sweet though there are variations.  Amaro, which means “bitter” in Italian, is an Italian herbal liqueur that is often bittersweet and sometimes syrupy. Lastly, Grappa, which is likewise Italian and ​ sometimes called “firewater” for its kick, is a byproduct of the winemaking process, thanks to leftovers such as grape skin.

Love sorbet or snow cones? Try frozé–an icy blend of frozen rosé–which is the perfect way to end dinner on a hot night. Try this one on the scenic rooftop bar at The Graham Washington DC Georgetown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. [ Credit: Hilton ]

Hilton’s Thom Caska is the Director of Food and Beverage at Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza. Thom is just one of the master mixologists Hilton has at its thousands of restaurants and bars throughout the world – below he offers some tips for how to order with knowledge and suit your palate.

Ask yourself if you prefer spirit-forward or flavor-forward drinks. That’s the first question every after-dinner drinker should answer. Spirit-forward drinks can scream of bourbon, scotch and vermouth-based cocktails while flavor-forward drinks let the fruits, herbs and mixers do the talking.

For spirit lovers: try an Old Fashioned – often made with whiskey or brandy – or a Sazerac, a New Orleans variation of a cognac or whiskey cocktail.

For more flavor-forward drinkers: try an Aviation, a classic cocktail often made with gin, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice and crème de violette that creates a pretty lavender color.

Determine which kind of craving you’d like to satisfy, then get creative. After-dinner cocktails typically fall into four categories: coffee, citrus, bitter and herbal, or sweet and creamy. Determining if you tend to prefer tiramisu or lemon meringue pie, or coffee versus citrus drinks, is a great way to narrow down your perfect after-dinner beverage.

Need sweet satisfaction? A Chocolate Martini or White Russian are indulgent creamy treats.

For coffee lovers, try a Siciliano – a cocktail made with cold brew, vermouth, simple syrup and soda. Mr. Caska created an original that is now on the menu at the Millennium Hilton New York UN Plaza. He calls his concoction the November Red Eye Foam, a caffeinated treat made with Amaro, espresso, butternut squash, anise and cinnamon –all of which he sets in a culinary molecular whipper with soy lecithin powder.

Great Citrus options include Limoncello – the Italian lemon liqueur – or a Sidecar, a cocktail often made with cognac, orange liqueur and lemon juice.

Bitter and herbal more your style? Amaro, the Italian liqueur, qualifies as a digestif – a category of drinks meant to help settle the stomach after dining.

Know your basic terminology. Apéritifs and Digestifs aren’t one in the same: Apéritifs are meant to be enjoyed at the start of a meal to stimulate the appetite, while digestifs are to help digestion after a meal. If you need help ordering, ask your server or bartender for suggestions.

Don’t be thrown by the sometimes-small glasses. Some after-dinner drinks can be quite high in alcohol content so they’re poured in small glasses for portion control (and a pretty display). Grappa, for example, sometimes consists of 40 to 45 percent alcohol. No matter what you order, be sure to sip responsibly.

Thomas Caska is the Director of Food and Beverage at Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza. He has consulted on beverage design and planning at establishments all over New York City. Many of his iconic cocktails have been featured in Edible Manhattan, Cosmo, Zoomer, Healthyish, and several other top publications.

Continue Reading

Wines & Spirits

The Biltmore Santa Barbara Wins the Official Drink of Santa Barbara Cocktail Contest




Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, an AAA Five-Diamond award recipient and California’s premiere Four Seasons resort, has won the Official Drink of Santa Barbara Cocktail Contest with their creation, the Biltmore Fuerte.

After nearly five months of Resort closure due to the Thomas Fire and Montecito Debris Flow, Ty Lounge Bartender Samantha Graham welcomed this year’s contest with eager arms. Originally from South Africa, Sam quickly fell in love with the close knit community feeling Santa Barbara had to offer, and was deeply moved by the loss the community faced in the wake of these two natural disasters. When thinking about cocktails and ingredients that truly embodied the spirit of Santa Barbara, Sam recalled a news story about Nick Wigle, owner of Super Bee Rescue, a bee removal and rescue company. Sam reached out to Nick and discovered that in addition to saving the honey, he also rescued many bees whose hives were destroyed in the Thomas Fire. The honey he extracted from these hives had a new and unique flavour with notes of sweet smoke, which Sam knew she had to use as the key element of her community strength-inspired cocktail, the Biltmore Fuerte.

The Biltmore Fuerte cocktail features locally-distilled Cutler’s 33 bourbon, which holds notes of sweet honeycomb, caramel, vanilla and spice.  The notes of honeycomb are mirrored by the Super Bee Rescue Thomas Wildfire honey, which offers subtle rich smoky flavours. Local Ebby’s Farm strawberries create a crisp and tart contrast, while lemons and lavender flowers from the Resort’s gardens balance the cocktail perfectly.

“Just as Nick was able to find something good in the wake of tragedy, we have come together as a community to support and help one another, despite being faced with unimaginable odds,” says Karen Earp, General Manager of Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. “Santa Barbara is truly resilient and has never been stronger or better – the Biltmore Fuerte is a testament to the strength of our beloved community.”

Visit Santa Barbara, the destination marketing organisation for Santa Barbara’s South Coast region, hosted its second annual competition June 21, 2018 following two weeks of online voting to secure the five finalists. Local restaurants, bars and lounges were invited to develop a signature mixed drink that celebrates the distinctive attributes of the “American Riviera.” The creation required inclusion of a spirit from Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, a locally owned small-scale craft distillery in the city’s Funk Zone. Contestants were encouraged to use at least one local ingredient and take inspiration from Santa Barbara’s dramatic landscapes, architectural landmarks and culinary scene. Finalists participated in the live competition, where a panel of judges decided on the winning cocktail.

In celebrating this award, along with its 90th year, the Resort is currently offering the Experience More – Resort Credit Package, which includes luxurious accommodations and a Resort credit of up to USD 300. Guests may use their credit to experience more – from scenic oceanfront dining at Bella Vista and handcrafted cocktails and sunset tapas at Ty Lounge to tennis lessons, spa treatments and more. For reservations, book online, call 805 969 2261 or contact your travel professional (chain code FS).

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara is also celebrating with its popular Summer Tasting Series, which returned with a new lineup of the best local purveyors, distillers and winemakers. Guests are invited to experience the bounty of Santa Barbara via three tasting events set within several of the Resort’s standout venues. Additionally, new culinary and spa offerings have been introduced, further enhancing the guest experiences already available.

Continue Reading

Wines & Spirits

Experience Margaret River’s Finest Wines at Alto Restaurant and Bar at Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta




Pristine isolation, ancient lands and twin oceans make Margaret River on the western coast of Australia a wine paradise and one of the world’s greatest environments to grow ultra-premium cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.

Vasse Felix was established in 1967 and is Margaret River’s founding wine estate, having produced Margaret River’s first cabernet sauvignon at the estate in 1972.  Today, the wines maintain a reputation as regional and national benchmarks. The wines are made to best express the unique environment of Margaret River with a “hands-off” approach to viticulture and winemaking. This earns some of the most prestigious awards such as New World Winery of the Year by leading USA publication Wine Enthusiast.

The acknowledgement doesn’t stop at the wines, The Vasse Felix Restaurant is one of Australia’s well-known establishments and is regularly reviewed alongside the best in the country. Some recent critical acclaim includes Top 100 Restaurant in Australian Financial Review and Top 100 Restaurant in Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Alto Restaurant and Bar at Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta is welcoming a special guest from down under, Virginia Willcock, Chief Winemaker at Vasse Felix Wines and Brendan Pratt, Head Chef of The Vasse Felix Restaurants, one night only on July 3, 2018. During this special evening, guests can expect to indulge in a modern Australian menu, with regional flavours, textures and creative cuisine to compliment the outstanding wine collections of Vasse Felix.

Continue Reading




Copyright © 2018 Modern Diplomacy