In The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto, Pulitzer Prize-winning essayist, historian, and “a judge of good whiskey” Bernard DeVoto famously wrote, “When evening quickens in the street, there comes a pause in the day’s occupation that is known as the cocktail hour.” Thus, with a nod to National Bourbon Day on June 14, Luxury Defined presents six luxurious homes with elegant spaces devoted to the refined consumption of spirits. Consider the manor house in Saddle River, New Jersey, with its three wet bars, or a Caribbean retreat with wood-paneled bar and media-viewing area. Then, there’s the authentic Irish pub tucked away in a grand home in Charlotte, North Carolina, with saloon, billiards room, and a snug for chess or quiet conversations at cocktail time, that magic hour when, as DeVoto wrote, “The shadows deepen along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn.”
The magnificent Manalapan estate of six-time Grammy winner Billy Joel has an enviable setting on nearly two acres between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, with approximately 150 feet of waterfront on each side. A refined take on classic Mediterranean design, the eight-bedroom residence encompasses approximately 13,210 square feet, all beautifully furnished. Smart House innovations ensure effortless luxury, while generous spans of impact-glass bring the outdoors inside. Among the elegant appointments is a family/club room featuring a wet bar with wraparound onyx counter; the room also boasts a piano frequently played by the celebrated singer-songwriter. A loggia leads to the stunning outdoor spaces: a saltwater pool and fountained spa; a summer kitchen/bar and cabana bath; a boat dock on the Intracoastal Waterway and a dune walkway leading to the Atlantic Ocean.
Saddle River, New Jersey
A haven of luxury and privacy, just 17 miles from Midtown Manhattan, this palatial manor house commands more than six acres of manicured grounds in the hills of Bergen County, New Jersey. The Colonial-style main residence offers 17,000 square feet of living space with nine en suite bedrooms, including two master suites, and eleven full and two half bathrooms. The lavish amenities include a gym, car collector’s dream garage, and a spectacular indoor pool area with a glass ceiling inspired by the Louvre Pyramid. Three wet bars, including an English-style bar in the mahogany-paneled library, several kitchens, covered pavilions, two gazebos, a large stone veranda, and fire pit provide opportunities for year-round entertaining.
Quail Hollow Manor
Charlotte, North Carolina
This custom-designed home overlooking Quail Hollow Country Club offers more than 6,600 square feet of living space and a unique array of amenities. Owners will enjoy Chloe’s Pub: a traditional Irish-inspired saloon, with beer kegs, snug, billiards room, game room, and his-and-her bathrooms. Above the pub is a light-filled, open-plan living area with cathedral ceilings and exposed wood beams, featuring a family room and kitchen with huge center island, which opens to covered terrace with a fireplace, overlooking the private, wooded grounds. The master suite is on the main level and includes a spacious bathroom and his-and-her closets. The upstairs bedrooms all have large walk-in closets and Jack and Jill bathrooms.
Chateau de la Lune
Jupiter Island, FloridaSpectacular moonscapes inspired the name of this oceanfront masterpiece with nearly 190 feet of beachfront on Jupiter Island. Chateau de la Lune’s beautifully customized, 11,801-square-foot, two-story main house blends Mizner-esque exterior details with a French-inspired interior with exquisite finishes, such as marble floors, decorative ceilings with crystal chandeliers, antique fireplaces, custom doors, and French-imported hardware. The amenities are equally outstanding: a wet bar, wine cellar, elevator, and five-bedroom, five-bathroom guest house, which echoes the design of the main residence and has its own special views of the surrounding beauty. Stately lawns lead down to the water’s edge, where a natural reef buffers the shoreline, creating a paradise for swimming and snorkeling.
Grand Residence in South Granville
Situated in Vancouver’s prestigious South Granville neighborhood, this 6,338-square-foot, six-bedroom residence was designed for elegant family living and grand-scale entertaining. The home’s three luxurious levels abound with artisan finishes and state-of-the-art amenities. The grand entrance foyer leads to the stately living and dining rooms, which are scaled for formal gatherings. French doors open to the kitchen, which adjoins a bright dining area and family room which open to the garden. A sweeping spiral staircase ascends to four en suite bedrooms, including a sumptuous master suite, and west-facing balcony. Two additional guest rooms are housed in the lower level recreation center, which also features a wine cellar, solid-wood wet bar, sauna, and home theater. Adding to the allure are lushly landscaped gardens with sundecks and patios.
Nassau, BahamasWith a perfect waterfront location on Nassau Harbour, Sea Level is the premier home in Ocean Club Estates, a prestigious gated community in Paradise Island, Bahamas. This one-of-a-kind property has been built with the finest materials, furnishings, and amenities, for the ultimate tropical lifestyle. The 17,000-square-foot, two-story main residence has recently been updated and streamlined to enhance the beauty of the architecture and the incredible waterfront views from all of the main rooms in the house, which boasts six bedrooms, two kitchens, three garages, and multiple entertaining areas including a wet bar. The lush tropical gardens are an oasis of tranquility with a koi pond, pool with waterfall, and more than 153 feet of seafront with dockage for two yachts.