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Instead of unwinding with a cocktail, how about getting your face exfoliated with a grapeseed scrub? Or having your entire body wrapped with a cloth soaked in beer? Or luxuriating with a foot rub infused with tequila? These six spa treatments make use of alcohol’s antioxidants, vitamins and other skin-nourishing benefits. So go ahead, take a shot at relaxation.
1. Tequila Massage (Vidanta, Riviera Maya, Mexico)
Exfoliation, a trio of massage disciplines and skin softening combine for 80 minutes of euphoria at this luxe resort and hour south of Cancun. The therapist begins with a gentle whole body scrub from an infusion of effervescent sea salts, essential oils and Don Julio reposado tequila. Next up is a body treatment that combines techniques of lymphatic, Swedish and deep tissue massage using tequila oil, which is rich in linoleum acids to nourish the skin.
The agave used to make tequila is rich in sodium, potassium, iron and vitamins A, B, B2, C and E, all believed to be antioxidants that tone skin and reduce irritation. It’s also believed that the plant’s compounds (called fructans) contain soluble fiber that can encourage the growth of good bacteria in the digestive system and reduce cholesterol. 80 minutes, price available upon request
2. Kapi Kapi Craft Beer Massage (Tabacón, Nuevo Arenal, Costa Rica)
The spa at this 900-acre rainforest oasis near the Arenal volcano has thermal springs naturally heated by the magma and outdoor spa bungalows where treatments are accompanied by the sounds of local wildlife. The resort has partnered with 5inco Amigos Cervecería Artesanal for an experience that starts with a body wrap soaked in aloe vera and the brewery’s Kapi Kapi Double IPA. (The name means “pura vida” in Maleku, the language spoken by the indigenous people.)
Next up is an 80-minute express facial to clean, exfoliate and hydrate using a scrub, tonic lotion, mask and facial cream that also contain beer. Finally, an outdoor shower fed by a mineral-rich spring whose water is full of silica, calcium and lithium is said to promote restful sleep, decrease anxiety and give a sense of well-being. It all ends with brew-filled body lotion to seal skin. $195 for 80 minutes
3. Jamaica Mocha / Rum Wrap (Rockhouse, Negril, Jamaica)
Guests at this cliffside resort in Jamaica have three options for where to enjoy this treatment: the spa pavillion, the bath house or at one of the spa cabanas on the cliff’s edge. Nourishing honey, mango, hemp, cocoa, rum and shea butter are mixed together along with patchouli, orange and cinnamon to warm and stimulate the skin. The product is applied to the body, which is then wrapped to encourage warmth and penetration throughout the skin. It smells fantastic, feels fabulous and is said to give skin a new life. $90 for 45 minutes
4. Vintage Bourbon Massage (Four Seasons Chicago)
This treatment inside the hotel’s 8,000-square-foot spa encourages circulation and zen using everyone’s favorite corn-based whiskey. It starts with a gingersnap- and pecan-scented Bourbon Bubbler scrub from FarmhouseFresh, which combines brown sugar and Kentucky bourbon with rice bran oil and vitamin E to exfoliate and soften skin while allowing other products to penetrate more easily.
Next up is a healing massage using a blend of essential oils and smooth heated stones. As an optional add-on, sprawl out on a lounge chair in the relaxation room after it’s all over with a glass of the hotel’s signature single-barrel whiskey named for the property’s restaurant, the Allium Knob Creek Single Barrel Select bourbon. $180 for 50 minutes, $260 for 80 minutes
5. Tuscany Pleasure (Il Salviatino, Florence, Italy)
A three-hour treatment in a 15th-century five-star villa resort overlooking Florence and the rolling hills of Tuscany? Sign us up. Designed to even out the complexion and whisk away stress, it starts with an exfoliator made with grapeseed and red grape extracts. While your body is cocooned in a wrap soaked in local wine, a mini facial cleanses and exfoliates the face with a wine gel cleanser, then moisturizes it with a wine-based cream. A Swedish massage soothes sore muscles using grapeseed oil, and a wine mist leaves you with the intoxicating scent of fresh grapes. $300 for 170 minutes
6. Four-Handed Tequila & Nopal Massage (Grand Velas, Los Cabos, Mexico)
One tequila, two tequila, three tequila—and four hands. This 80-minute treatment at the all-inclusive oceanfront Mexican resort begins with an energy purification ritual to call forth the four elements. Purifying sage represents the earth, a floating candle represents fire and water, and a feather is as light as, well, air.
Afterward, a duo of therapists multitask to relieve tension; One uses ancestral stretching techniques with a Mexican shawl, while the other applies a tequila-based rub, whose blue agave has both anti-inflammatory and antiseptic benefits. Finally, a highly emollient mask made with nopal, a variety of cactus, is applied to help soften hands and feet. $400 for 80 minutes