In preparation for the 69th Emmy Awards Governors Ball, we chat with award-winning mixologist Charles Joly who created the signature Hilhaven Lodge cocktail for the event.
Tell us about The Hilhaven Lodge cocktail for the Emmy Awards Governors Ball. CHARLES JOLY: The Hilhaven Lodge is elegant, complex and equally well suited for the seasoned whiskey drinker and approachable for new whiskey drinkers. The same can be said about The Hilhaven Lodge Fireside. While refreshing, it reveals subtle complexity as you peel back the layers. Hints of cooked fruits, baking spices and bright citrus will be a treat for guests to sip as they enjoy the evening.
What was the inspiration for this cocktail? CJ: My inspiration was Hilhaven Lodge, Brett Ratner’s storied Hollywood home. Hilhaven Lodge is a special place, known for its parties, and I wanted to create a cocktail inspired by these legends. Additionally, the flavor profile is perfect for late summer. It will be a great way to kick off the Emmys and keep the entertaining going well into the evening.
What makes The Hilhaven Lodge different from other whiskeys? CJ: The Hilhaven Lodge is a blend of rye, bourbon and Tennessee whisky spanning across three decades. What I especially appreciate are all the special nods to Hilhaven Lodge you see in and on every bottle—from the three decades of whiskey honoring the history of the Lodge, to the H you’ll see in the blank space on the front of the bottle. You’ll even see a tie between the architecture of Hilhaven Lodge on every bottle, including the iconic bay windows. It’s all very thoughtfully curated.
What trends in mixology do you think will be big in 2018? CJ: I actually just had the pleasure of sitting on a panel with four amazing industry professionals on this topic at the World Class Global bartending championships in Mexico City. We discussed sustainability, the movement to making cocktails at home, inventive signature serves and the crossover between kitchen and bar. I think all of these offer vast opportunities for continued evolution in our industry.
What is your favorite way to unwind after a busy day? CJ: Whether at home or one of my favorite bars, it’s all about reconnecting with friends and focusing on what is important. Having a glass of decent whiskey to sip doesn’t hurt either.