A legendary hospitality figure from one of NYC’s most iconic cultural destinations, Frank Caiafa—author of The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book, former bar manager at The Waldorf’s Peacock Alley bar and restaurant, and director of the global food and beverage consultancy Handle Bars NYC—riffs on a Rob Roy in this new craft cocktail called the Waldorf at 90. The Rob Roy was originally introduced to cocktail connoisseurs at The Waldorf Astoria’s original Fifth Avenue location circa 1894—a glamorous institution that ran until 1929. The Waldorf Astoria reopened on Park Avenue in 1931. To celebrate the current building’s 90th anniversary, and the four private bars that will populate The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria, Caiafa introduced a bright berry-enhanced gin to the traditional Scotch-and-vermouth tipple. The flavorful, balanced drink—which Caiafa served to us in one of his grandmother’s classic cocktail glasses—exemplifies the historic grandeur of the property, and the excitement over what’s to come.
Waldorf at 90
2 ounces Aberfeldy 12-Year-Old Scotch Whisky
1 ounce Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth
.50 ounce Bombay Bramble Blackberry & Raspberry Flavored Gin
.125 ounce simple syrup
2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
Add all ingredients to mixing glass. Add ice and stir well. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Expressed orange or lemon peel and brandied cherry for garnish.
Currently, The Waldorf Astoria is undergoing an immense restoration—driven by the Dajia Insurance Group in conjunction with acclaimed architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. This will transform the property into the 375-key Waldorf Astoria New York hotel and 375 condominium residences known as The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria (both set to open in 2023). The latter will not only feature the aforementioned private bars—The Presidential Library Bar, Monaco Bar, the 20th floor Starlight Lounge (with a terrace overlooking Park Avenue) and the 18th floor Winter Garden—but also a total of 50,000 square feet of amenities and design by Jean-Louis Deniot. Altogether, it’s an Art Deco icon revitalized and Caiafa knows exactly how to celebrate it.
Hero image of The Winter Garden at The Towers of the Walforf Astoria courtesy of Noe & Associates