Quickie Brithday Cocktail Adventures: Grand Hotel

InterContinental Paris le Grand Hotel
2 rue Scribe
75009 Paris

Recall Ugo from the hand incident at le 47? We met up recently at the preselection for the Trophée du Bar at the InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel. As it happened it was also my birthday, so while waiting for him, I decided to indulge in an anniversary-of-my-being-born martini.

Upon sitting down, I was ready to love up this somewhat spendy hotel bar. First impression: upscale, rich red in an under-the-radar-ish locale, a bar/lounge area that spans the entire first floor lobby and an “original dry martini” on the menu comprising Tanqueray, vermouth and a few dashes of orange bitters! A few interesting gins on the menu and a selection of classics (Sazerac, vieux carre, etc) and house creations.

Service was top-notch hotel-worthy and I ordered my dry martini. But apparently should have specified I wanted the “original” martini that was listed on the menu. I watched the bar-lady stir up a martini with Gordon’s and then pour it into a Grey Goose glass. I payed 20 Euros for a sponsored cocktail glassful of bog standard gin. For 2 Euros more, I could presumably have had the better martini but wasn’t given the option and didn’t realize until after that in addition to the ‘original dry martini’ there is ‘dry martini’ on the menu, so I guess I should have specified.

Ugo arrived and we dropped down to the smaller bar downstairs to watch the participants mix up drinks. The crowd was fun & some interesting cocktails were being created. But I was still cranking a bit after paying 20 Euros for a martini made from a bottle of gin that in its entirety (at grocery full price) costs significantly less than the price of my drink at le Grand Hotel. The annoyance lasted only briefly, because – really – who wants to be cranky on their birthday!? But, I do like the space and will pop by again to try the original dry martini.