Liquor and Spirits

  • Blogs

    August 8, 2014

    How to Make a Doctor Funk Cocktail (The Right and Proper Way)

    Some of my cocktailian brethren and I were recently bemoaning the lack of authenticity in some cocktails. Take the Manhattan, for example. Long ago, it was a 50/50 mix of rye whiskey and sweet vermouth, with a couple of dashes of orange bitters. Over time, the cocktail has evolved (or in this case, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2014

    How to Make an Ampersand Cocktail: More Fun with Old Tom Gin

    I'm having lots of fun with Old Tom gin lately. So much fun, in fact, that I had to do two weeks in a row of Old Tom cocktails.

  • Blogs

    June 13, 2014

    How to Make a Satan's Whiskers Cocktail

    Satan's Whiskers is sure one hell of a name for a drink. (Pun most definitely intended.) It's yet another in the long line of drinks with lurid names to get a drinker's attention. These days, the name Satan's Whiskers almost seems quaint instead of titillating. Still, the drink is a darn fine one. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2014

    How to Make the Perfect Pisco Sour

    If you take a trip to Chile or Peru, you'll find that the Pisco Sour is a massively popular drink. It's so popular in both countries that each has designated it as their official drink. Moreover, both Chile and Peru claim that they are the birthplace of the Pisco Sour. What is pisco, you ask? It's ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 24, 2014

    Bitters Lesson with Travis Nass of Last Drop Bar at the Hermosa Inn

    After learning all about the types of bitters on the market and the history of the non-potable tincture last week with Bill and Lill Buitenhuys of AZ Bitters Lab, Travis Nass of the Last Drop Bar at the Hermosa Inn shows us this week how to use bitters in a cocktail. Nass says that if you're using ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 18, 2014

    How to Make a Jungle Bird Cocktail

    Sometimes behind the bar, you have your own personal trends. Take, for example, this week's cocktail. A year or two ago, I got on a streak of making this drink for almost everyone I knew. I sang its praises far and wide. But somehow, it never made it into Chow Bella. Then last week some friends and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2014

    Bitters 101 with Bill and Lill Buitenhuys of AZ Bitters Lab

    If you haven't been building your bitters collection, it's time to start. Bill and Lill Buitenhuys, the couple behind AZ Bitters Lab, explain that chefs have spice racks and bartenders equip themselves with an arsenal of bitters, which act as the seasoning element to finish and round out any cocktai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 4, 2014

    Licor 43 Is My New Fascination Behind the Bar

    I find trends in liquor to be both fascinating and puzzling. Lately, I'm left wondering how the hell marketing executives come up with ridiculous flavors of vodka. Nothing quite says "I'm using a fake ID" than trying to order a drink made with vodka that tastes like Froot Loops cereal. But through ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 25, 2014

    Jason Grossmiller of Arizona Distilling Company on SB 1397: "It's a Shame."

    Jason Grossmiller Co-Owner, Distiller Arizona Distilling Company Arizona Distilling Company seems to be making a habit of blazing trails for the state's fledgling micro-distilling scene. When it released Copper City Bourbon last June, it was the first legally distilled spirit made ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 26, 2014

    3 Classic New Orleans Cocktails from Geoffrey Wilson of Barrelhouse

    Although a search for Mardi Gras cocktails could lead you on a dark path of artificial ingredients and goofy garnishes, Geoffrey Wilson of Chandler's Barrelhouse is here to keep you from being led astray. While working with the legendary New Orleans bartender Chris McMillian, Wilson learned a fair a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 21, 2014

    The Last Call Guide to Amaretto

    Recently at work, I found a bottle of amaretto in the back stock of liquor. A co-worker piped up, "Oh, yeah, that's the almond-flavored liqueur, isn't it?" I could only reply, "Au contraire, my friend! Everyone thinks it's an almond liqueur, but it's not."

  • Blogs

    December 18, 2013

    5 Champagne Cocktails for New Year's Eve

    The bartenders at Virtu Honest Craft in Scottsdale and Cork in Chandler are mixing up cocktails to accompany your New Year's Eve imbibing. While Kailee Gielgens, Virtu's new head mixologist, takes a more culinary and experimental approach to the her cocktails, Jon Doholis goes for simple pairings th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 11, 2013

    Mixology 101 at Jade Bar: Bartending Basics With a Double Shot of History

    So you want to be a mixologist, huh? Well, Jade Bar's bartenders are all pitching in to teach weekend classes for the resort's Mixology 101 series. Each week is separated by spirit with a different instructor showing you what you need to know to get started as a home mixologist. We've already clarif ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 29, 2013

    How to Make a Monkey Gland Cocktail

    Whew. Thanksgiving madness has finally settled down. I have about a month's worth of leftovers squirreled away in my fridge, and my kitchen looks like a bomb went off in there. I don't know about you, but I could use a restorative tonic. I'm not in the mood for a wildly complex potion, but I could ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 8, 2013

    How to Make Keoke Coffee

    You know you're a native Arizonan when it's 60 degrees outside and your thoughts turn to wintry things. There I was, enjoying a late-night dinner on a restaurant patio after work when I got in the mood for a warm nightcap. Dinner was hearty, so coffee sounded good. What should I have? The bartender ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 20, 2013

    Crème de Menthe and Crème de Cacao: How Sweet It Is

    Goodness, I've been getting lots of questions lately. I love it. Send me more! Leave them in the comments if you so desire. This week's burning question reads: "What's the difference between white and green crème de menthe, and white and dark crème de cacao? And why is it 'crème' when there's no ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 13, 2013

    Fernet Branca: Why Does Your Bartender Love It?

    A curious reader recently asked me: Why do all you bartenders love Fernet Branca so much? You know, that's a really good question. I partake in Fernet Branca on a semi-regular basis. I enjoy it enough that I've written about cocktails with it. But calling Fernet Branca an acquired taste is polite ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 1, 2013

    The Gladly in Phoenix Offers Special Guests a Sneak Preview

    Although the doors didn't officially open until Saturday, about a hundred guests enjoyed a sneak preview Friday night of one of the Valley's most highly anticipated new restaurants, The Gladly. Chef Bernie Kantak, Andrew Fritz and mixologist/bar master extraordinaire Richie Moe, the triumvirate re ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 23, 2013

    Exploring the Rainbow of Fruit Liqueurs

    I had fun writing about triple sec last week. It was one of those articles that almost asked more questions to me than it answered. After all, triple sec is but one liqueur of literally hundreds out there. Why should triple sec have all the fun? Let's take a look at some other fruit liqueurs you hav ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 16, 2013

    Last Call Mailbag: What the Hell Is Triple Sec?

    This week, the mailbag fell open to reveal this missive: "I have a bottle of triple sec on my shelf, and I have no idea why I have it. What is it, and what should I do with it?" As you might have guessed by the pictures on labels, triple sec is orange-flavored liqueur. It's a very versatile liqueu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 19, 2013

    Revealing the Secrets of Absinthe

    One of my favorite parts of tending bar is clearing up misconceptions about alcohol. The biggest one has to be the old saw about beer before liquor or vice versa. (Answer: It doesn't matter, except you tend to drink faster and, therefore, drink more when you start with beer.) Right behind it is that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 28, 2013

    How to Make a Bushwacker Cocktail

    It's nice to have a finely crafted drink. These days, a well-made frozen piña colada or margarita is especially delicious. But sometimes, I want to let down my hair. I want something that I can throw together with a minimum of fuss that's still delicious and full of booze. That's where this week's ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 19, 2013

    Distrito's Cocktail School Features Carlos Santana's Tequila, Casa Noble

    It might be summer vacation, but if "cocktail school" is in session, count us in any day. "Professor" John Christie, head Distrito mixologist, is gearing up to teach you a thing or two about Carlos Santana's tequila. Tequila Casa Noble will be the featured ingredient when the class bell rings this ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2013

    Scotch Chef's Table at Cafe ZuZu in Scottsdale on May 20

    A Mr. Ron Burgundy once said, "I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly." And if, like Mr. Burgundy, you're a fan of the stuff, then you might just be thrilled to know that Cafe ZuZu at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale will be having a scotch-filled chef's table ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 26, 2013

    The Secret to the Perfect Margarita (Hint: It Does Not Include Agave Nectar)

    I just took a look at the calendar, and realized that Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner. Never mind that it's barely a blip on the radar in Mexico; around here, it's become Cinco de Drinko, where it's socially acceptable to get wasted on crummy margaritas and horrible Mexican beer. If you're ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 29, 2013

    Corpse Reviver: Bringing a Cocktail Back from the Dead

    Ring the bell -- it's time for Last Call, where JK Grence, bartender at Shady's, serves up booze advice and recipes. Got a burning question for your bartender? Leave it in the comments and it might be answered in a future column. Names are a funny thing. Names get even funnier when it comes to cock ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 8, 2013

    Aviation Cocktail: Your Taste Buds Are Cleared for Takeoff

    Ring the bell, it's time for Last Call, in which JK Grence, bartender at Shady's, serves up booze advice and recipes. Got a burning question for your bartender? Leave it in the comments and it might be answered in a future column. Every now and again, a movie comes along where the supporting actors ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 1, 2013

    Blood and Sand Cocktail Is a Perfect Intro to Scotch

    This week for Last Call, I'm venturing into sacred ground. To be specific, I'm sharing my favorite cocktail that involves scotch. I know, I just sent a bunch of scotch purists running for the smelling salts. For those folks, the only adornment that scotch ever needs is a couple of ice cubes. For eve ... More >>

  • Culture

    February 28, 2013
  • Blogs

    February 1, 2013

    Get Ready for Mardi Gras with the Perfect Sazerac

    Ring the bell, it's time for Last Call, where JK Grence, bartender at Shady's, serves up booze advice and recipes. Got a burning question for your bartender? Leave it in the comments and it might be answered in a future column. Mardi Gras is coming up quick. The fuel of Fat Tuesday's debauchery is, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 28, 2012

    The 5 Best Shots for Your New Year's Eve Party

    Ring the bell, it's time for Last Call, where JK Grence, bartender at Shady's, serves up booze advice and recipes. Got a burning question for your bartender? Leave it in the comments and it might be answered in a future column. When we Chow Bella folks were discussing our New Year's Eve plans, I wa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 5, 2012

    Three Holiday Liqueurs You Can Make at Home

    See also: Chow Bella's Gift Guide for the Aspiring Bartender See also: Make Puerto Rican Egg Nog Now, Enjoy It Later I'm officially committed to making all of my gifts this year. I blame Pinterest. And while I don't expect you to make everything yourself too, I do urge you to explore a little. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 14, 2012

    How to Make the Perfect Sidecar

    Ring the bell, it's time for Last Call, where JK Grence, bartender at Shady's, serves up booze advice and recipes. Got a burning question for your bartender? Leave it in the comments and it might be answered in a future column. One of my favorite parts of writing Last Call is getting to answer peop ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2012

    Bourdain's Favorite "Satanic, Delicious Hell Broth" -- The Negroni

    This time of year is perfect to pull out the big guns for refreshing cocktails. You can keep your frozen Daiquiris and Margaritas, I'm reaching for Negronis right now. You might remember a few months ago when we discussed the classic Americano. Think of the Negroni as the advanced version of the Ame ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 18, 2012

    Rum Bar Launches A-RUM-a-Therapy Social Hour: $5 Rum Punch to Cure All Y'all's Ills

    Dwayne Allen and Danielle Leoni bring a taste of the Caribbean to downtown Phoenix via The Breadfruit and Rum Bar -- the one a cheery Jamaican restaurant and the other a cozy hideaway featuring more than 100 brands of premium rum. Now that summer is in full swing, the two have decided customers need ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 31, 2012

    Glenfiddich's Cask of Dreams

    We all have dreams, though some might be more easily attainable than others. Is your dream to travel to a foreign country? Easy. Is your dream to be CEO of a company? Tough, but not impossible. Is your dream is to taste a Scotch aged in casks inscribed with the hopes of thousands of American dreamer ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 18, 2012

    Getting Shaken & Stirred at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival

    The 34th Annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival began on Tuesday, and we chose to kick the weeklong celebration off the same way we would any soirée -- with a few drinks. Not your simple liquor-plus-mixer drinks, mind you. There was a time when the cocktail was as essential to living as food, and wa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 5, 2012

    Pisco Porton: The Other Grape Drink

    It would seem from looking around the shelves of bars or liquor stores that Europe holds a monopoly on the production of spirits made with grapes. France gives us Cognac and Armagnac; Spain produces a fair amount of brandy; Italy has its grappa. But drinkers do themselves a disservice if they ignore ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 21, 2012

    Last Call Goes On Spring Break: Adios Motherfucker!

    It's that time again, time for the students at ASU to be on spring break, heading off to Puerto Peñasco or Lake Havasu or goodness knows where. And with spring break comes a time-honored tradition for college students everywhere: Binge drinking. One of the most popular mixed drinks for copious cons ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 16, 2012

    Irish Whiskey: A St. Patrick's Day Primer

    It's been said that God created whiskey to keep the Irish from taking over the world. If it's true, he didn't do a great job of it -- the Irish take over the world every day on March 17. But while everyone may be from the land of the clover on St. Patrick's Day, before you go around pinching everyon ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 8, 2012

    Gin: How to Drink It, and Like It

    Really, they're better than you think!​In my years of bartending, one of the things I've heard the most is this: "I don't like gin." When I press for details, the story is always the same: They had a bad experience with it years ago (inevitably in college) and haven't been able to touch the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2011

    New in CenPho: Rum Bar at The Breadfruit

    ​Dwayne Allen and Danielle Leoni, the folks behind cheerful Jamaican restaurant The Breadfruit, just opened Rum Bar in the space next door to the restaurant, serving nearly 70 kinds of premium rum, from smooth, young spirits to exquisite aged reserve varieties. There are also several kin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 14, 2010

    The 10 Best Cocktails for Your Holiday Party

    ​Party season is full swing and the best way to make your holiday party a hit is to serve the best drinks in town. We have compiled a list of our favorite cocktails based on holiday desserts. Pick one to serve as a signature drink or stock up and try them all! ​1. Sugar Cookie Martini - ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 29, 2010

    5 Ways to Drink Your Halloween Candy

    mixthatdrink.comA rainbow of vodka flavors.​Candy is dandy, liquor is quicker, so combining candy AND liquor must be a jovial jaunt to inebriation.If you've  got a bowl full of Halloween candy and some alcohol in your cabinet, why not get creative and really trick-or-treat.Here are 5 ideas to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 28, 2010

    New Twists on the Old Fashioned

    deoveritas.comThe classic Old Fashioned cocktail.​Traditional cocktails are back in a major way, and there's no drink that embodies old fashioned imbibing quite like the—um, well, like the Old Fashioned. Over the last few years, the drink has surged in popularity as Mad Men bad-boy ad- ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 2, 2010

    Top 5 Cocktails For Easter the hatch ... er, rabbit hole.​Church. Hiding plastic eggs for unappreciative children. Cooking a huge dinner. Putting up with painfully unlikable family members. Whatever your Easter entails this Sunday, there's a good cha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 21, 2010

    Behind the Bar: Steve Howard of Murphy's Law

    Nicki Escudero Ready to serve you​It's easy to see why Steve Howard of Murphy's Law in Chandler is a popular bartender. The handsome 25-year-old is extremely charming, doing tricks behind the bar and letting customers name drinks he makes for them. And he's had plenty of time to build up a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2010

    St-Germain: Patron Saint of Modern Cocktails?

    Even the bottle suggests a "refined" new liqueur.​With the recent resurgence of "classic" drinks, it's nice to see a relative newbie that combines tradition with innovation like St-Germain, an artisanal French liqueur made from handpicked elderflower blossoms found in the foothills of the Alps ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2009

    Happy Hour Cocktails at Spotted Donkey Cantina

    ​This winter season, the specialty cocktails offered on the happy hour menu of Spotted Donkey Cantina in north Scottsdale will have you feeling like it's a lot warmer, as the chic southwest Mexican restaurant presents sweet, brightly colored drinks more suited for the beach than for cold mo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 4, 2009

    Red Brazilian at Olive & Ivy

    Benjamin LeathermanChaz Anderson gabs with a Scottsdale socialite while whipping out a Red Brazilian at Olive & Ivy.Chaz Anderson is deeply involved with preparing a Red Brazilian behind the bar at Scottsdale's Olive & Ivy, muddling and mashing raspberries and fresh lime slices into a fragra ... More >>

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