The glossy second draft of a Book o' Cocktails is bigger and better, featuring drinks that are revisited, revised, and reinvented. H.G. Wells-inspired images, dotted with nods to Dr. Who and illustrative styles of bygone eras, give a feel of what's to come in your glass.
The tour guide is still Principal Barman Ross Simon.
"The focus, this time around, was to really dial everything in," Simon says.
There are new creations like the Sucker Punch, where Pisco gets it edges softened by strawberry "candy" syrup and plum bitters, but isn't too sweet, thanks to lime juice and a chilly preparation. And the new Wibble cocktail makes for flavorful and easy drinking with its base gin, fruity sloe gin cousin, and creme de mure for notes of blackberry, all dragged through a bit of citrus.
One of the standouts was the very simple Green Beast, which employs made-in-Montana Vilya absinthe to liqourice-heavy heights, and cools down in a bath of cucumber. This is a perfect summer drink.
As the 10-foot-tall robot on the book's cover suggests, gadgetry is on display, here to whisk — or whiskey — you away from the bar and into another dimension of cocktail drinking. The new dimension is one where you, in ultimate kitsch, drink a Long Island Iced Tea-inspired cocktail (made with premium spirits, Averna, port, and lemon bitters) from coca-cola can. The concoction is carbonated with a $200 Perlini shaker. It's intense, to say the least, and perhaps the only truly booze-forward drink we tried from the new menu.
Want something that's boozy and a play off a classic but without so much fuss? The chocolate sazerac makes use of Aztec cocoa bitters to create balance.
The new Bitter & Twisted cocktail menu is available now at the bar, which is located at 1 West Jefferson Street in downtown Phoenix. You can purchase your own copy of the Book o' Cocktails for $5. For more information or to make a reservation at the bar, visit the Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour website.