Head bartender Sarah Rahl shares Four Seasons Hotel Austin’s new Hay Maze cocktail.

By Chelsea Pribble, Cocktail photo by Damon Luu, Sarah Rahl photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Austin

Inspired by seasonal ingredients, Sarah Rahl, head bartender at Four Seasons Hotel Austin, concocted a robust fall recipe with her New England home in mind. One sip of the Hay Maze cocktail is like biting into a freshly picked apple straight from an orchard followed by a brisk jaunt through a maze lined with hay. Hints of clove, cinnamon and pepper provide warmth, while pear liqueur adds a unique flavor profile.

“Growing up in Maine, we would have those actual crisp fall-weather days that you don’t see here in Texas,” Rahl says. “I miss that. So, I wanted to remind people it is actually fall.”

The Hay Maze is among an expansive menu of cocktails set to premiere this fall with the opening of the hotel’s new restaurant, Ciclo (Spanish for “cycle” and a nod to its changing menu offerings each season), and bar, Live Oak.

“Our space is doubling in size. We have a few cocktails that are going to be pitcher-style cocktails, so people can go out on the lawn, come in groups, pour and enjoy the space that we have,” Rahl says. “That’s what we’re all waiting for.”

The cocktails are crafted to pair well with the menu’s innovative dishes. Rahl recommends enjoying Hay Maze with ceviche or as an after-dinner drink.


Serves one


3/4 ounce Havana Club Rum

1/4 ounce Pere Francois VSOP


1 ounce St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur

1/2 ounce lemon juice

1/2 ounce maple syrup

1 bar spoon St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram


1. Combine all ingredients and shake; don’t stir.

2. Pour the cocktail over ice into a Collins glass.

3. Add the garnish of your choice (Rahl recommends fried-apple threads.) and savvily sip.

Pro tip: For larger servings, pour the cocktail ingredients into a punch bowl and dilute it with sparkling water to taste.


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