Le Salon Rouge is Queenstown’s newest concept lounge bar in the luxurious Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa. Now open to guests, the restaurant offers fascinating stories about Queenstown’s history and features meticulously crafted delicacies made in-house.

Inspired by the Prohibition Era of speakeasy supper clubs, La Salon Rouge is ‘secretly’ located within the hotel, styled quintessentially to the speakeasies featuring rich reds, velvet decor and soft candle lighting.

I challenged the team to create an experience that would celebrate the versatility of gin and take our guests on a journey – but with covid related interruption, it has taken some time for our creation to take shape,” said Jeremy Samuels, General Manager. “ Unlike the speakeasies, which were shrouded in secrecy, we are excited to position Le Salon Rouge as the secret that everyone knows.”

The venue proudly offers eight signature cocktails, each with its own story, including The Prospecting Dream, which encapsulates Queenstown’s gold rush history featuring gold dust in the drink. Mixologist Mitchell Corbett, the mastermind behind the cocktail creations, invites guests to choose their gin, tonic, and botanical mix.

“Gin is certainly the hero – we have over 70 gins currently available and hope to grow the range to 100,” Corbett said.

Locally crafted gins are the main components on the menu, featuring favourites such as Scapegrace, Wild Diamond, and Broken Heart. Non-tails are also in the mix with Lyre’s non-alcoholic alternatives.

“We are really impressed with this spirit,” Corbett detailed. “In blind tasting test, it was almost impossible to distinguish the non-alcoholic cocktails made with Lyre’s compared to cocktails made with traditional alcoholic spirits.”

La Salon Rouge provides guests with a menu complimentary to a variety of cocktails with grazing plates, charcuterie, snacks, and New Zealand cheeses.

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