Alexa Bowler's Fall Cocktail Menu at Cowboy Ciao in Scottsdale: A Sneak Peek
Although Alexa "Pixie" Bowler began her career in culinary school, she found a love for mixology when she realized that it combines the creativity of the kitchen with the guest interaction of the front of the house. She's a "cook by trade" but brings her love of balance, flavor and fresh ingredients to each drink she crafts at Cowboy Ciao. Joining suit with the kitchen's brand-new fall menu, Bowler is creating a 10-drink cocktail menu that accentuates the flavors of fall and pairs with dishes on the food menu.
Heather Hoch Alexa Bowler shows us how to make two of her new fall cocktails.
Although Bowler has only been behind Cowboy Ciao's bar for six months, she has a long and loving history with the Old Town Scottsdale mainstay. That connection to the restaurant comes through in her new cocktail menu, which has intended dish and drink pairings throughout. Her Pastrami and Rye Old Fashioned uses the spicing of Cowboy Ciao's pastrami short ribs mixed with maple syrup and sweet vermouth to mellow out the spice and heartiness of the dish. The Sedona Sunset (we grabbed the recipe for you to try), pairs well with the pork barbacoa, blending sweet, tart and spicy notes.
Bowler says she tries to make her cocktails lower in spirit content so diners can enjoy more drinks with their intended dishes without worrying about over-imbibing. While this results in less clean and straightforward cocktails, it lends itself to complex flavors with a deeper focus on balancing sweetness and spice with bitterness and acidity. It also makes each drink dangerously drinkable.
Heather Hoch The dessert-like You'd Be Nutty Not To cocktail from Bowler's new menu.
Dish pairing is only one aspect of Bowler's intention with the new menu, though. A greater focus on fresh, local and seasonal ingredients and handmade tinctures, syrups and other mixers is evident in every drink. Like a meal, each drink features elements that take preparation and attention before execution, which makes them the ideal restaurant cocktail experience. Bowler's new menu isn't set to come out for another couple of weeks, but we have recipes for the You'd Be Nutty Not To and the Sedona Sunset for you to try before they're released if you're up for a challenge.