While missing the modern Art Deco splendor of the hotel's Bar Pleiades is not recommended, neither is spending too much time away from the rooms' Duxiana beds. The logical compromise is the Surrey's cocktail program. "The inspiration came when I was at Dukes in London," says Director of Restaurants and Bars, Sims Foster. "They go through this very simple, but classic, way that they pour their martinis."
Here's how it works: guests first order whichever base spirit is to their liking, whether it's Hudson Baby Bourbon, Bombay Sapphire gin, Grey Goose vodka, Patrón Silver tequila or Gosling's Dark Rum. Then, your personal Surrey bartender will arrive accompanied by a fully stocked bar cart-modeled after an Italian mid-century original-and its attendant supplies, among them bitters, fresh fruit, ice and the implements of the trade. He'll demonstrate for you the proper way to make classic cocktails with your chosen spirit, say a Moscow Mule (vodka) or a Vanilla Old Fashioned (bourbon). And then, he'll leave.
From there you can pretend you're Nick and Nora, using the vintage Boston shaker glasses to mix, muddle and strain your day away. With several rounds of ammunition in you it's only a brief sway to the Whitney Museum of American Art, Central Park or Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud (the chef also operates Bar Pleiades). But now that you're so close to figuring out the elusive tequila-bourbon cocktail combination, there isn't much of a reason to decamp. Especially when a fresh cart rolls in so easily.