We're a little scared of absinthe, the high alcohol-by-volume spirit that tastes like black licorice, though it's certainly a fascinating drink, as one of our colleagues discovered years ago. Drinking it on its own can be pretty nasty, but several local spots -- including Hanny's in downtown Phoenix -- have incorporated the liquid into some of its mixed cocktails to make it more approachable.
One such beverage is the George, Jim and Hanny's, a short drink that's dominated by liquor. To off-set the alcoholic bite, the drink features a little bit of sweet agave syrup to balance out the flavors.
Hanny's is also known for its classically-inspired cocktails presented in smaller serving sizes with strong liquor. The Maple Hook Manhattan is a refined drink that mixes both whiskey and cherry liqueur, with a lemon bite from fresh juice. We checked out how to craft both these cocktails on a recent visit.
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The bartender: Peter Baray, who's been at Hanny's since it opened in November 2008
George, Jim and Hanny's ingredients: 1/2 ounce St. George Absinthe, 2 ounces Jim Bean Rye, 1 ounce St. Germain, 1 ounce agave syrup, 2 dashes bitters
How to make it: