It’s the secret gin bar everyone’s about to know about.
Queenstown’s newest concept lounge bar, Le Salon Rouge, has just opened to the public in the Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa, on Duke Street.
Taking its cue from prohibition-era speakeasy supper clubs, Le Salon Rouge has been a work in progress since 2019.
General manager Jeremy Samuels says he challenged the team to create an experience to celebrate the versatility of gin, and take guests on a journey of Queenstown’s history.
‘‘But with Covid-related interruption, it has taken some time for our creation to take shape.
‘‘Unlike the speakeasies, which were shrouded in secrecy, we are excited to position Le Salon Rouge as the secret that everyone knows.’’
Samuels says the menu includes eight signature cocktails, each designed by mixologist Mitchell Corbett, imported from Sydney, to reflect part of the resort’s history, including The Prospecting Dream, which draws on gold rush history, and Ain’t Misbehaving, a tribute to Queenstown’s founder, William Rees.
There are more than 70 gins available — locally-made gins, like Scapegrace, Wild Diamond and Broken Heart take centre stage — with aims to boost that to 100, while ‘‘non-tails’’ are made with booze-free Lyre’s spirits, and chef Lindsay Bennett’s created a menu highlighting local produce with ‘‘a touch of French flair’’.
Le Salon Rouge is open from 2pm, Monday to Thursday, with a happy hour from 5-7pm, daily.