This martini was created of Bombay gin and a wash of dry vermouth at the Riviera Palm Springs’ Starlite Lounge well before the sun had disappeared to the west behind Mt. San Jacinto.
Palm Springs is a fine place to obtain a righteous martini. The desert resort town has been floating on gin for years, stretching back to the Rat Pack days and before. The vibe has been kept alive by restaurants like Mel’s, whose bar seems left over intact from the 1960s. But none of the retro joints does the old days in the desert better than Riviera Palm Springs.
The Riviera was alive back in the day too, but it’s been updated to fold in the best of the new millennium with just enough of the old to foster authenticity without the reverting to slavish period reliance. So you get a good gym and spa, a freeform resort swimming pool, nice rooms, and fine food in the Circa 59 restaurant. Yes, this does refer to the hotel’s birthdate.
These two desert thirst-quenchers are from other towns in the toasty Coachella Valley. One was made in the wonderful Morgan’s at La Quinta at the far eastern edge of the resort region. The other showed up lagoon side at Rockwood Grill in the Marriott Desert Springs. There are plenty more desert martinis to come when we explore desert happy hour in a future posting. Stay tuned sots.