Hooch

Libby Longlott and Michael Allmandinger of The Parlor in Phoenix: Spring Cocktail Guide, Continued

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Which things grow right out front of the restaurant?

MA: Well, we literally just replanted yesterday.

LL: It's brand spanking new.

We walk all of ten feet from the bar stools up to the open windows that look out over section of planted things -- rosemary, sage, thai basil, curry plants, lavender -- that Michael and Libby point out one-by-one, and which line the walkway to from the parking lot to the front doors.

Are you going to do anything with the curry plant?

MA: I have in the past, like with a call drink, like a hey bartender -- that's one of my favorite things if we have time, if we're not jam-packed, is to go our there and spark the interest of people by showing them how fresh we can really make it.

Instead of just getting them a chartreuse or something.

MA: Yeah, and I mean, those are my two favorite shelves; the modifiers. The crazy exotics. Some of my favorite things. I mean we do like to make our own ingredients, but that just sort of helps to compliment it.

What's especially interesting to you on those shelves at the moment?

LL: We were playing around with Chareau, an aloe vera and cucumber liquor. Again, nice and light.

MA: My favorite right now? I like the Vecchio Del Gapo, an amaro. And Wolfberger -- they have a nice, simple amer. When they brought it in and tasted me on it, he's like "it has these herbs, and tastes like this," and I was like "Yeah, I taste that." It was nice for once to actually taste these things. And then they have another one called Gingembre, which has those other elements and a then little ginger...

The amaros are something you can finish your meal with, and that's something I want to try to get people to appreciate more, the degestifs, where there's so much care and craft and all of the fresh botanicals and herbs are already in it -- and it lines up really well with our concept, and it's already done and put in a bottle. And you can use it as a modifier in a cocktail, but to really understand and appreciate what they've done already - that's what I really enjoy, that's what I'm really into right now, those little after-dinner sippers.

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Shelby Moore