10 Best Metro Phoenix Cocktails of 2014 -- So Far

Categories: Hooch

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Heather Hoch
Just try to guess by looking at The Darkness what's in it.
It's been a great year thus far for craft cocktails in Phoenix, making it pretty difficult to pin down just 10 drinks to mention. While original tiki drinks have made their way back into the scene in a big way, simplicity, with a focus on high-quality craft spirits, seems to be king. Other trends include the use of amaros, apertifs, and fortified wines to give cocktails flavor without added juices or syrups. However, uncommon produce, like passion fruit, and homemade bitters, syrups, sodas, and more still rule the cocktail world in town-- and that's definitely not a bad thing.

See also: Judging Cocktails: 9 Lessons Learned After Drinking 18 Mai Tais in a Row

The Darkness from Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
From the looks of it, you might be thinking, "Why in the world would anyone put small dried flowers on top of a cocktail? It's just going to get stuck in my teeth." However, Stephanie Teslar is a pro. She likely knew the frothy, substantial layer of egg white on top would cradle the lavender so you get the perfect floral aroma with each sip without having to pull the buds out of your mouth every few minutes. All impressive construction elements aside, Teslar's drink is deceptively bright in color, masking it's sweet, flavorful genever and smoky mezcal base. Add in some lemon for tang and Montenegro amaro for depth and you have one expertly crafted drink.

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Heather Hoch
A classic done right at Second Story Liquor Bar.

Philadelphia Fish House Punch from Second Story Liquor Bar
Although folks have been mixing up this punch recipe since before the birth of the modern cocktail, bartender John Christie's in-depth and readily recanted knowledge of the drink's history makes ordering this drink as much of an experience as taking a sip. Bright, lemony, and surprisingly refreshing for an aged-rum cocktail, this drink also packs a deceptive alcohol punch. That's probably why, as Christie tells it, George Washington toasted with this drink thirteen times to each of the original colonies, resulting in a pretty drunk first president.

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Heather Hoch
The Batida Rosa is great and Kentucky Thoroughbred is pretty great too.

Batida Rosa from Welcome Diner
Cachaça was kind of the "it" liquor for the past month or so while the World Cup put the focus on Brazillian culture, and therefore, spirits. It's distinctly funky flavor makes caipirinhas worth drinking, but the Batida Rosa is a fruitier use of the liquor. With pineapple juice, lime juice, and grenadine, the drink gets a sweet, tartness. Served over ice with a splash of soda water, it's the perfect cocktail for sangria lovers in summer. While it isn't a Welcome Diner invention, it's a welcome addition to any cocktail lover's line-up.


Location Info

Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails

2 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Second Story Liquor Bar

4166 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Welcome Diner

924 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Bar Crudo

3603 N. Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

The Local

1011 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

The Parlor Pizzeria

1916 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Clever Koi

4236 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Barrelhouse American Kitchen & Cocktails

2050 N. Alma School Road, Chandler, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Last Drop Bar

5532 N. Palo Cristi Rd., Paradise Valley, AZ

Category: Music

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7 comments
joel.latondress1
joel.latondress1

Hard to believe The Gladly isn't on the list - they are killing it over there.

Pfalsone
Pfalsone

Flagstaff is now metro Phoenix? Sweet!

Pablo Gomez
Pablo Gomez

Looks like The Parlor has been following The Aviary in Chicago. Same idea, different presentation.

Nicole Goard
Nicole Goard

Ooo I want that Ice ball old-fashioned! Aude Odeh Briza Regalado

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