Where We’ve Been Drinking: Morgan’s in the Desert
We stayed the week between Christmas and New Year’s in Palm Springs, where we spent our pre-dinner happy hours searching for the desert’s best watering holes. Our first stop was Morgan’s in the Desert, the La Quinta Waldorf-Astoria’s hotel bar.
Morgan’s setting was quite charming. It’s one of several restaurants and lounges located off of the hacienda-style resort’s large main courtyard. The crisp, dark evening was warmed by a brightly lit Christmas tree, with more strings of lights climbing their way up to an outdoor patio, and with fire pits dotting the rest of the courtyard. Inside, the high ceilings and leather armchairs gave the bar the feeling of a well-appointed ski lodge, welcoming you after a long day on the slopes (though in this case, the golf course).
What We Drank
The Speakeasy: rye, benedictine, lemon juice, honey
Blood and Sand: scotch, luxardo liqueur, sweet vermouth, orange juice
A+: aperol, gin, lemon juice, bitters
What We Thought
The Speakeasy was the pre-order favorite, at the top of everyone’s list. It ultimately proved something of a disappointment, though. We were looking forward to a spicy, herbal interplay between the rye and Benedictine, but those two ingredients were completely masked by the lemon and honey. It tasted like a vaguely alcoholic lemonade.
We grade the A+ a solid ‘B.’ It was well worth the drinking. In this case, the lemon juice played a helpful background role, holding the drink together nicely. The New Amsterdam gin, of which we aren’t usually fans, brought a pleasant floral element to the bittersweet Aperol.
Our A+ for the round actually goes to the Blood and Sand. The splash of orange juice served as a fine base for an excellent interplay of the slightly smoky Scotch and the uniquely pungent sweetness of the Luxardo. While we usually go for diversity in our drink orders, the group of us would have been quite happy with a Blood and Sand for each of us.
So Should You Go?
The comfortable and luxurious setting alone makes Morgan’s a worthwhile stop, and the round of drinks was on average better than decent. And, by all means, if you do go, order the Blood and Sand.