hilhaven lodge

Cocktails for Your Oscar Party

For those of you watching this year’s Academy Awards, here are a few cocktail recipes featuring Hilhaven Lodge Whiskey.   These same cocktails will be featured at this year’s Governors Ball after party.  You can now bring a little of Hollywood’s biggest night to your home, thanks to mixologist Charles Joly.

Hilhaven Lodge Whiskey is named after the famous Hollywood Estate now owned by director/producer Brett Ratner. Ratner helped develop this whiskey, which is a blend of bourbon, rye, and Tennessee whiskey.  


1.5 oz. The Hilhaven Lodge Blended Straight American Whiskey

0.5 oz. Demerara Simple Syrup

1 dash Angostura Aromatic Bitters

1 Orange Peel

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice, mist with orange oil and place twist decoratively.


1.5 oz. The Hilhaven Lodge Blended Straight American Whiskey

0.75 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

0.5 oz. Bourbon Vanilla Chai Tea Syrup

1 oz. Dandelion Burdock Root Soda

Combine The Hilhaven Lodge with tea syrup and lemon juice. Shake gently. Roll in dandelion and burdock soda. Pour into Collins glass over large cubes. Garnish with dehydrated lemon wheels.


1.5 oz. The Hilhaven Lodge Blended Straight American Whiskey

0.3 oz. Punt e Mes Sweet Vermouth

0.3 oz. East India Sherry

3 drops Chocolate Bitters

 Combine The Hilhaven Lodge whiskey with vermouth, sherry and bitters. Stir to chill and dilute. Pour over large cube into an Old Fashioned glass. Mist with orange oil and garnish with fresh rosemary.


1.5 oz. Cîroc Vodka

0.75 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

0.5 oz. Simple Syrup

Splash of Champagne

 Combine Cîroc, lemon juice and simple syrup in cocktail shaker over ice. Shake gently. Roll in champagne and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Mist cocktail with lemon oil and garnish with a twist.

Photos courtesy of Diageo.

Hilhaven Lodge Whiskey Review

Photo courtesy of Diageo.

Photo courtesy of Diageo.

Named after the famous Hollywood home, Hilhaven Lodge is a new offering from Diageo and Hollywood director Brett Ratner.  The whiskey itself is a blend of bourbon, Tennessee whiskey and rye whiskey.  Sounds interesting, right?

Ratner is the latest celebrity endorsing a whiskey, but the buck doesn’t stop there.  Based on what I’ve seen and heard online, Ratner is passionate about this whiskey.  Hell, he reportedly helped develop the whiskey with Diageo and is really putting his weight behind promoting this release.  But why? The answer is rather simple:  he loves whiskey.  Not in the hard-core super serious whiskey enthusiast kind of way, but rather just a big fan of the stuff.  Ratner is also the current owner of Hilhaven Lodge.

How is it?

Decent stuff, actually.  The nose is full of rye spice and sweet maple syrup.  Some charred fresh corn and vanilla follow.  Hilhaven Lodge is bottled at 40% abv, but tastes richer than expected.  Just like the nose, the flavors here are a decent contrast of sweet and spicy.  There’s an initial syrupy blast on entry.  Notes of spice, creamy vanilla and barrel char sit on top.  Not much complexity here, though.  The finish leaves behind notes of candied orange peel and cinnamon.

I love the idea of blending these three types of American whiskey.  The best parts of each come out, making this an enjoyable whiskey, if a little on the sweet side.  My only real complaint is this isn’t complex enough to warrant a $50 price tag.  7.5/10

Thanks to Diageo for the sample.  As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.