Buttered Popcorn Tequila and Other Boozy Infusions Make For Seriously Good Cocktails at Searsucker

Searsucker --four cocktails.jpg
Front -- Latin Cinema, Peter Rabbit; Back -- El Floridita, Coyote
According to Rouns, "cook times" vary. Some infusions (each of them kept in 10-liter jars) take four to eight hours; others take seven to 14 days. He and his crew taste test them along the way, removing the ingredients and straining the spirit when each batch is ready.

Of course, nowadays it's possible to buy flavored vodka, but Rouns says, "We don't do that shit here," explaining how much more subtle and true-flavored infusions made with fresh ingredients are than something artificial-tasting like, say, marshmallow vodka.

And then we sample a few of the cocktails, and I find that I'm just as nuts for the Peter Rabbit -- a light, easy refresher made with Pimm's #1 and basil lemonade -- as I am the Latin Cinema. Garnished with an heirloom pickled carrot, this one is a Searsucker signature for good reason, and it's just right for a 78-degree December day. Named for Hemingway's favorite Florida hangout, El Floridita is a daquiri made with hibiscus-infused rum. I've never been a daquiri fan so this one doesn't ring my bell, but the Coyote, a cinnamon-bourbon variant on the Moscow Mule, is absolutely outstanding, providing a little sweetness with a nice dose of warm spice from the cinnamon and foamy effervescence from the ginger beer. A touch of bitters provides balance.

And that's the thing about the cocktails here: there's a culinary underpinning to all of them. Rouns tells me Searsucker's cocktail program was created by Pick & Rocks, a San Diego-based company founded by three hot-shot mixologists -- Jen Queen, Lucien Conner and Ian Ward -- who've bartended at the Grammys as well as for Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. Rouns explains that he and his crew are given a lot of freedom (they're currently experimenting with their own new infusions), adding, "We're not handcuffed by Pick & Rocks but complemented by them."

Hey, whatever the arrangement, it's working for me.

Follow Chow Bella on target="_blank">Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Location Info


6900 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
Monie Mann
Monie Mann

When are you coming to Scottsdale Nikki?!


El Floridita was Hemingway's hangout in Havana. And its daiquiris are pretty phenomenal.

Now Trending

From the Vault