Two of the most striking cocktails I've had recently were original creations made with infused bourbon, served at two top local eateries.
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At Nobuo at Teeter House recently, I stopped by after work and enjoyed the night's special, made with Cartel-coffee-infused bourbon, orange blossom water, bitters, and Cynar (bitters made from artichoke). It was incredibly aromatic and comforting, a perfect taste of autumn in Arizona.
Binkley's serves an even more outrageous -- and outrageously delicious -- boozy concotion, a Bacon Manhattan made with bacon-infused bourbon and served with a side of candied bacon strips as garnishes.
My favorite part of the drink was how it was served. The booze came separately from the glass, which was filled with applewood smoke and covered until it got to the table. Then, the lid came off, the smoke permeated the air (and gave the ice cubes a tinge of smokiness) and it was time to fill the glass. A really delightful drink.
Now that I'm craving infused bourbon, the next place on my agenda will be Quiessence -- the 90-day oak-aged Manhattan, with citrus- and vanilla-infused bourbon, sounds just my style.