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Meetings with a Side of Bourbon

Bourbon Heritage Month 21c Cincinnati

 21c Museum Hotel’s roots are firmly planted in Louisville, home of Kentucky Bourbon, so it’s only fitting we’ve found ways to incorporate bourbon into, well, just about anything. Filtering bourbon-country roots into unexpected facets of our hotels is one of our favorite ways to give a nod to the now-trendy spirit. Ever consider holding a corporate meeting with a rocks glass full of bourbon in hand? We did. Below, see how each of our properties are showcasing the beverage of the moment: bourbon.

While some are bourbon devotees for life, others may need a little more coaxing to ease into the whole bourbon experience: it can seem foreign, intimidating and as 21c Louisville Event Manager Emily Larder puts it, “some people just don’t like to party while they work –I don’t know why!” Let’s face it, the term meeting doesn’t exactly evoke feelings of joy for most people.

Bourbon is a way to enliven meetings and events in a manner that is educational and interactive. Beyond the obvious novelty of bourbon as a unique talking point, there are other advantages to bringing Kentucky’s favorite spirit into the landscape of meetings and events. Whether through cocktail demonstrations or flight tastings, the creativity bourbon inherently brings to an event can enable colleagues and clients to mingle and interact in a new, dynamic way. Bourbon can serve as a convenient transition from formal daytime board meetings, to nighttime networking receptions. “At the end of a long event, guests love doing a quick bourbon tasting before heading out for dinner. It’s really a great transition from a long day of meetings to a fun dinner or reception” says Lardner.  Bourbon inherently spurs interaction and education, effortlessly taking groups from logistical settings to social ones.

So how exactly do we incorporate a bourbon element into meetings and events? It starts by developing an agenda interspersed with activities like bourbon tastings and craft cocktail demonstrations that really bring bourbon to the forefront, “Bourbon add-ons are usually very specifically tailored to our clients and are customized to fit their needs” says Event Manager Yasmin Albina at 21c Cincinnati. She goes on to explain that a good place to start is by using more approachable, classic cocktails like the Manhattan. In so doing you can, “expand people’s knowledge of bourbon through that gateway….it’s especially fun to educate and wow people; it’s like taking baby steps into this world of bourbon that can sometimes intimidate people.” The Old Fashioned is another classic cocktail Albina uses to breakdown the mystique surrounding bourbon, and the Metropole cocktail program is the ideal place to start. (If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s kind of a big deal)

Our Cincinnati cohorts have even managed to add bourbon into Team Building activities for corporate events. Albina describes an event from a few months ago, “it was for a smaller group and we brought in one of our Metropole bartenders. He basically led the meeting by providing a cocktail demonstration. They had their choice from four different flights and we paired then with little bites like cheeses and dark chocolate.” Of course there’s always room for bourbon in our restaurants’ culinary offerings. With catering supplied by the farm-fresh ingredients at our restaurants, it’s easy to pay tribute to bourbon through cooking. Delectables like a Caramel Mascarpone Cheesecake topped with bananas found at 21c Louisville, or the Dark Chocolate Bourbon Balls offered at 21c Cincinnati are a perfect way to send guests off to a restful night’s slumber at the end of a long day. Oh, and did we mention the flourless dark chocolate cake prepared with a hint of bourbon? Yeah. That happened.

Whatever your occasion, our hotels and restaurants are fully ready to infuse bourbon offerings into your program, not just during Bourbon Heritage Month, but year round.

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