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This New Cruise Ship Bar Beat Out Restaurants, Hotels and More to Win “Best Beverage Menu” Award
Why just have a drink – when you can have a story, too? That’s the premise behind the cruise ship bar menu that’s won out over competitors throughout the world of hospitality.

“Best Beverage Menu” was awarded to Holland America Line for its newest bar concept onboard its newest ship at the 2022 VIBE (that’s the Very Important Beverage Executives) conference.

That means this bar menu isn’t just the best at sea. The award is open to any venue in the entire beverage space, and Holland America Line went up against other bars in hospitality, including restaurant groups, hotel chains, casinos, and more for the honor.

The “Half Moon Bar” debuted on board Holland America Line’s new flagship, the Rotterdam, which launched in fall, 2021. 

I traveled on the Rotterdam in the Caribbean in the fall, and can attest that the new bar concept is one of the great new innovations on Holland America Line’s latest ship. I’m not surprised that Half Moon Bar has – in just months – become “the most popular bar on board,” I’m told.

Half Moon Bar pays homage to Holland America Line in a couple of ways. It’s named after the cruise line’s private island in the Caribbean. And its bar menu tells the history of the line and cruising through the lens of its cocktails.
Each carefully crafted cocktail comes with its own fascinating tale, and simply reading the now award-winning bar menu transports you back in time on a journey though Holland America Line’s history.

Time-traveling tipples on the menu include:

·      “The Original,” (pictured above) which celebrates Holland America Line’s first ship, Rotterdam I. It’s crafted from Dutch gin and a hint of single malt Scotch, ingredients inspired by the building of the ship and Holland America Line’s Dutch beginnings.
·      “De Halve Moon” ties into the line’s origins as ocean liner travel between Rotterdam and New York (which, you may recall, used to be Dutch and was called “Nieuw Amsterdam” before it was renamed New York City.) De Halve Moon is an ode to the Dutch sense of exploration and the botanical wonderland Henry Hudson found in present-day New York. It’s composed of Old Duff genever (the Dutch precursor to gin), lemon rosewater shrub and DDG Bitters.
·      “Three Mile Run” is a prohibition cocktail that tells the story of Holland America Line Prohibition-era ‘cruises to nowhere’ New Yorkers could take to get around no-alcohol rules. Once in open waters (three miles out), cocktail bars on the ship could be legally open, and quenching the thirst of New Yorkers for a strong one. It is made from a combination of lemon, honey and gin for a Bee’s Knees, whiskey for a Gold Rush or rum for a Honey Bee.
·      “May She Be Blessed” is an ode to the godmothers who bless the Holland America Line ships. The elegant and feminine cocktail is made with champagne and the guest’s choice of essence.
·      “Rotterdam VII” is dedicated to its namesake ship. The current Rotterdam is the seventh vessel to have that name in the nearly 150-year history of the line. Like the ship herself, the cocktail salutes both tradition and innovation, with its combination of smoked gin and maraschino.
If you’re imagining yourself on holiday, sipping an inventive cocktail with new and old friends and sharing a laugh and a good story, Half Moon Bar on Holland America Line’s new Rotterdam might be your best place to be.

Book a Holland American Line cruise on the Rotterdam or any other ship in the Caribbean to visit the Half Moon Bar's namesake, Half Moon Cay (pictured above.) A day at Half Moon Cay - no matter what you're drinking - is the ultimate island beach day.

Start your Cruise Trip!

By: Lynn Elmhirst, TV show producer/ host and cruise expert

Images courtesy of Holland America Line

All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this material from this page, but it may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

What’s not to love about May 13th? World Cocktail day has two of my favorite words: world, and cocktail.
For those of us who love to travel… and love to get into the ‘spirit’ of the moment with a locally-sourced beverage, cocktail recipes can be some of our most cherished travel souvenirs.

And drinks at a smart bar can be among our most cherished travel memories. Here are just a couple of mine:

The Original Daiquiri at the House of Bacardi, Puerto Rico

Rum, lime and sugar are timeless ingredients in the Caribbean. The origins of this classic cocktail go back to an engineer in early 20th-century Cuba who developed its refreshing taste, and the Bacardi family's business sense in creating the world’s most famous rum, the first ‘white’ rum in the world, and the largest private, family-owned spirits company in the world.
Spearheaded by Bacardi, rum cocktails like Cuba Libres, Mojitos and Daiquiris became part of the early 20th century cocktail party craze. And the story of Bacardi became legendary.

Today, visitors to the House of Bacardi in Puerto Rico (called ‘The Cathedral of Rum’), where the company relocated after the Cuban revolution, visitors are greeted with a cocktail before taking an historical tour, rum-tasting tour, or a mixology class. 

BestTrip TV got an extra treat: a chance to meet the head of the Bacardi family business who shared the personal passions behind this global brand.  WATCH THE VIDEO, TOP, TO SEE MORE.

Bacardi's classic Daiquiri is served ice cold for a refreshing drink on a hot day in the islands... or for cocktail hour at home dreaming of your next trip to the Caribbean. You might already have the ingredients on hand...
  • 2 ounces BACARDÍ Carta Blanca Rum
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tsp Sugar
Place sugar and freshly pressed lime juice into a cocktail shaker and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Then pour in the BACARDÍ Carta Blanca rum and fill the shaker with half-cubed ice, followed by some half-crushed ice.
Place the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled.
Finally, strain through a fine tea strainer into a chilled coupette.

 The Singapore Sling in the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel, Singapore

The storied Raffles Hotel is synonymous with Singapore. First opened in 1887, Raffles' recent restoration retains what makes the hotel one of travel’s greatest treasures as well as a National Monument. It's a magical place in Singapore: a combination of gracious luxury and expansive tropical colonial design that stirs your historical and travel imagination. Polished teak verandahs and white marble colonnades clustered around lush tropical gardens evoke the romance of life-changing travel.

(Courtesy Raffles Singapore)
The epic tales of the early Raffles Hotel are legendary in the history of modern Singapore. You can't visit the island state without hearing about the times when the occasional tiger would wander into the hotel's Long Bar from the jungle, and legendary authors, playwrights, taste-makers and trend-setters and empire builders called Raffles home during their time in the East.
Even today, you can’t say you’ve been to Singapore unless you’ve paid a visit to the Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar and tasted an original Singapore Sling, created at Raffles Hotel at the turn-of-the-century.
The irresistible combination of gin, cherry brandy, pineapple and lime juices, Cointreau, Dom Benedictine, Grenadine, Angostura bitters and garnish of pineapple and cherry inspired a whole new genre of ‘tropical’ drinks that often, unlike a good Singapore Sling, overwhelm the imbiber with a sugar high.

The ‘Golden Square Cocktail’ – Four Seasons, Montreal

Yes, that’s real gold leaf in this hotel’s locally-flavored - and understandably pricey - version of an old fashioned. 

Montreal is the second-largest French-speaking city in the world after only Paris, and still has its European lifestyle, credentials as the fashion capital of Canada, a UNESCO City of Design, the birthplace of Cirque du Soleil, and a culinary scene that celebrated ‘local’ before it became a ‘thing’.

For its 375th anniversary, the city underwent a renaissance, with new style, new experiences and new energy in Old Montreal, the Old Port, and its signature neighborhood, the Golden Square Mile, where the city’s ‘old money’ lived, worked and played.

This historic neighborhood has been compared to New York's 5th avenue, and is now home to museums, cultural institutions, galleries, boutiques… and luxury hotels like the new Four Seasons, which was inspired by its location to come up with this stunning signature cocktail.




By: Lynn Elmhirst, Producer/Host, BestTrip TV

Images copyright as noted.

Copyright BestTrip.TV/Influence Entertainment Group Inc or Rights Holder. All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this material from this page, but it may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Warm Up Indoors with 12 Days of Christmas Cocktails in Canada

InterContinental Hotels in Canada are warming up a cold Canadian winter with 12 festive cocktails through the month of December.

You can celebrate or commiserate over the winter weather while enjoying flavors of the holidays in style at all three InterContinental hotels in Canada: Toronto Centre, Toronto Yorkville and Montreal.

Barchefs at the hotels have created a dozen cocktails marrying seasonal herbs and spices such as cinnamon, rosemary and thyme with the delightful yuletide tastes of cranberries, lemons and apples, pairing them with specially selected rums, gins, liqueurs, vodkas and other spirits. So whether you travel to Toronto or Montreal for business, family, or a winter holiday escape this month, there's a seasonal cocktail in town calling your name.

In the spirit of the season, the barchefs have even given us the recipes, so you can warm up your guests at home in style! Here are three of our favorites.



Copyright BestTrip.TV/Influence Entertainment Group Inc or Rights Holder. All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this material from this page, but it may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

A Wee Dram or Two at Glenmorangie Distillery, Tain The beauty of distillery’s whiskies and their distinctive taste and style. read more
A vibrant nightlife awaits you at Clarke Quay, Singapore

After enjoying the number of attractions of Singapore during the day, you must head to Clarke Quay, one of the best places in Singapore to enjoy food, drinks and clubbing.

A maze of a retail stores, restaurants, concept bars, and recreation outlets, Clarke Quay is where you will be dazzled by the beautiful people of the city, flashy lights, and an array of attractions that comes alive at night. Named after the country’s second Governor and Governor of the Straits Settlements Sir Andrew Clarke, Clarke Quay is actually the name of the road along the quay. It was initially developed and officially opened in 1993, and ten years later, it was redeveloped into a major social and tourist area by redesigning streetscapes, facades, and superior shading and cooling systems. Today, Clarke Quay consists of five blocks, and welcomes more than 2 million visitors annually.   

Clark Quay features a number of cafes, food kiosks, restaurants where you can have a taste of the best of Singapore and western delicacies. Some of the restaurants have bars where you can have a happy hour or a drink while enjoying live entertainment. If you want to party, you can dance, drink and interact with the locals in a number of bars, lounges, and dance clubs. You can also sing your heart out at Tang Music Box which features large TV screens, state-of-the-art Karaoke systems. Clark Quay is not only for those who want to paint the town red, it has retail shops where you can purchase stuff while enjoying the bustling atmosphere. 

It will not be surprising if you spend all your nights at the Clarke Quay. After all, it is the coolest place to be in Singapore. Consult your travel agent for more details. 

Good times in Marquee If you like dancing in the club, this is a place for you! read more
Drink and Be Merry at the Red Baron Beer Garden If you’re looking for fun on a hot, smoldering summer night in Rome, then a good beer is what you need. read more

We don't want to take away from the many, many things to do and see in Ireland - it has a rich culture and history, amazing people, and unbelievable green landscapes. 

However - we have to admit, there's nothing like having a pint in an Irish pub. You don't want to miss out on this experience!

Sarah Gordon of the agrees. She writes that "the best thing to do in Ireland ... [is] head straight to the pub. Check out her article here

What else can you do in Ireland? Contact us and find out!

Glasgow is the cooler, younger cousin to Edinburgh's more touristy scene. Not that Edinburgh doesn't have much to offer - it's an amazing destination in itself - but Glasgow is proving to be a hip, modern city in its own right. 

As Phil McDonald of the Venere Travel Blog puts it, 

"Forget Edinburgh, Glasgow is the best Scottish city. While the millions of Americans stock-up with whiskey, tartan and haggis, 46 miles west you’ll find throngs of trendy bars, clubs and hangouts and some of the coolest Scots around."

In his article he lists The Coolest Bars in Glasgow  - definitely check it out!

Contact us for more info on this amazing city!


"It's impossible to imagine a London without pubs."

Just wanted to share this article by Matt Brown, editor of Londonist. He picks out 10 of the best pubs in London, from the historic to the eccentric. 

Why not take a lovely vacation in London and experience some of these terrific pubs yourself? We can make that trip happen in a snap - we are experts in UK travel and can create the perfect trip for you and your family.

Just contact us for more info!