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Zellige Cocktail by La Sultana Marrakech

The Riad Saadia is the inspiration for this week’s cocktail — specifically the zellige mosaic.

By Samantha Coles

La Sultana Marrakech, found within the Unesco old Imperial City Walls of the city (aka the Medina), has a rich history dating back over ten centuries. 

Its storied past is honored in the jaw-dropping design — the property was carefully restored in partnership with the Ministry of Culture to honor traditional methods. Craftsmen used centuries-old techniques to preserve the architectural integrity and its history from the Almohad, Saadian and Alaouite dynasties.

La Sultana comprises five riads (a traditional Moroccan home that is centered around a courtyard); each one has its own design that nods to a certain historic period. Within the five riads are the 28 rooms and suites with further sumptuous design details — vaulted ceilings, marble columns, precious woods, tadelakt (a traditional Moroccan Plaster technique), intricate metalwork and copper finishes. 

[See also: Inside the Most Expensive Property in the World]

La Sultana’s spa / ©La Sultana
Traditional design details / ©La Sultana

One of the riads, The Riad Saadia, is the inspiration for this week’s cocktail — specifically the zellige mosaic. Zellige (which, in Arabic, means ‘tile work’) originated in Morocco and is created from individually hand-chiseled pieces. These pieces are typically different colors and are joined together to form geometric patterns, meaning each is unique. Within The Riad Saadia, expert craftsmen rearranged the intricate patterns of the zellige mosaics to mirror the original tiles documented in the photographic archives. 

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The Zellige Cocktail is a concoction of lemon, fig and cognac. Best enjoyed at La Sultana’s The Odette Bar while taking in the panoramic views of Marrakesh and the Atlas Mountains, but if you can’t quite make it there it’s easy to rustle up at home. 

If you do make a trip to the Red City, La Sultana has launched a Living Architectural Heritage Guided Tour. In-house curators take guests on a tour of the property and share stories of the design and craftsmanship techniques used, as well as visiting the workshops to see first-hand how some of the materials are used. 


– 3 cl of fresh lemon juice 
– 5 cl of homemade fig liqueur
– 3 cl of homemade herbal honey
– 1 cl of Cognac Frapin VSOP
– 2 rosemary leaves


Blend all the ingredients in the shaker with ice cubes. Shake well and double strain into a cocktail glass with ice. Garnish with the slice of a dried lemon and a rosemary brunch.

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