Sure, you know what is in your Manhattan. You can even make a mean margarita at home. But have you ever wondered about the backstory of your favorite drink? This weekend, cocktail-nerd out: Get inspired, order your booze-on-demand, and start shaking.
Meet Phoenix's Award-Winning Home Mixologist
Elliott Clark didn’t go to culinary school. However, earlier this year he entered the Arizona Cocktail Week — and won the event’s Cocktail Contest. Clark drew inspiration for his drinks from the classic cocktails and seasonal flavors. He used The Flavor Bible, a reference book for culinary cooking, to help him construct drinks. “For me, nowadays it’s not so much about throwing all this booze in a glass and seeing how it turns out. It’s more about understanding the building blocks of a good drink, and based on those building blocks, playing with different flavors,” says Clark.
A Phoenix Twist on a Manhattan
The Manhattan dates back to sometime in the mid-tolate 1800s, though its origins and ingredients still are hotly debated many years later. Some credit the drink to a bartender named Black, while others insist that it was invented at the Manhattan Club. The most standard recipe calls for two parts rye, one part sweet vermouth, and two dashes of bitters. The drink is served up (in a martini or, more traditionally, a coupe glass), and it’s garnished with a cherry or a lemon twist. But, with such a long history, it’s not surprising that bartenders have found many ways to mix up their Manhattans, like Chris Cuestas, bartender at Torch Cigar Bar on High Street near Scottsdale, who adds a touch of smoke to his concoction.
Trade Your Gin and Tonic for a Last Word
On the surface, it might seem like a simple cocktail. There are four ingredients in equal parts; it’s shaken with ice and served up, usually in a coupe glass, which became popular in the United States in the 1930s. The garnish is almost always lime, a wheel, a twist. Sometimes it comes unadorned, ready to speak for itself. First, you add gin, like the floral botanicals of Aviation, but anything mid-range will do. You’ll need maraschino liqueur (like Luxardo), and green Chartreuse, a French herbal liqueur made by Carthusian monks in southeastern France from a secret blend of 130 herbs and plants known only to two monks (interestingly, the liqueur came first, the color is inspired by it). Next, you’ll need the juice of a fresh lime or two.
Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour's Updated Caipirinha
If you’ve had cachaça before, chances are, it’s been in a caipirinha. The drink of muddled lime and sugar, ice, and cachaça is the national cocktail of Brazil. Legend has it that the tipple was introduced in the early 1900s as a remedy for Spanish flu, and the original version is said to have also contained honey and garlic. At Bitter & Twisted, Her Name is Rio, starts with the caipirinha as its base, then calling on classic mojito mint, the bitters from a Queen’s Park Swizzle, and, inspired by a more contemporary classic, The Bramble, some blackberry-flavored créme de mure.
Order Your Booze and Start Mixing
Try one of Phoenix's three new booze-on-demand apps. Or, better yet, order from all three and see who rings your bell first.