Ladies First: Raising the Bar
As the doors open at Thompson Washington D.C., we’re inaugurating the event with a series of cocktails inspired by some of history’s most noteworthy First Ladies
Call them the original influencers: First Ladies have been fashion icons, artists and international ambassadors, as well as tireless advocates for education, equal pay and civil rights. And now, certain First Ladies — both US presidents’ wives as well as other international women— are providing inspiration for a series of site-specific, signature cocktails that will be served at all Thompson hotels locations. Each drink has been crafted to evoke a specific First Lady’s style, ethos and connection to place using local flavors and ingredients.
At the just-opened Thompson Washington D.C., its “Secret Service” cocktail has been crafted in homage to Jacqueline Kennedy, whose original security agent created a lighter, less bitter version of the Negroni, a classic Italian concoction the First Lady discovered while traveling along the Amalfi Coast.
Eleanor Roosevelt was just as much an international traveler, and yet her ties to Seattle remained strong: Her only daughter Anna lived there, and the First Lady often travelled to and worked in the Pacific Northwest city. Thompson Seattle bartenders honor that legacy with “Her Day,” an aromatic mix of gin, vermouth, lemon and rosemary. Other First Lady cocktails include “The Duchess,” a clever twist on the margarita inspired by Florence Harding and served at Thompson Chicago; “The Librarian,” served at Gild Hall, honors book lover Abigail Filmore who created the White House’s library; At Thompson Nashville, “The Bloomin’ Nellie” with its mix of lavender, rosewater, gin or vodka, is inspired by Helen “Nellie” Taft, a First Lady who planted 3,000 Japanese Cherry Blossoms more than a century ago on White House grounds. Today, her legacy is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors each spring.
Looking for a deeper dive into the past? Head to the Beekman in New York City, where the original First Lady Martha Washington has inspired “Give Me Liberty,” a colorful blend of blue curacao, bourbon and bitters, served with an edible flower. At Thompson Zihuatanejo, supporter of Mexican War of Independence Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, makes a splash with “La Corregidora,” a mix of mezcal, tequila and jalapeno syrup while the “Olinala,” which pairs mezcal with Ardbeg, lime and agave, is served at The Cape in honor of 19th-century First Lady of Mexico Margarita Maza de Juarez.
A total of eight first ladies are highlighted across all of the Thompson Hotels properties. We’ll be publishing in-depth posts about each First Lady cocktail, and the talented content creators such as @nyc and @gracejsilla, who have been sent to experience them.