Matt McCullough's Sonoran Summer at R Bar

Yesterday we had a chat with Matt McCullough bartender at R Bar at the Camelback Inn Resort.  Last year he was a finalist in the GQ's Most Inspired Bartender contest held by GQ magazine and Bombay Sapphire.  

The drink, which he calls the Sonoran Summer, was inspired by the tastes of the Southwest and won for the state of Arizona, sending Matt to the finals in Las Vegas.  

Though he didn't win, the drink made an appearance in GQ magazine and the sweet and spicy cocktail is sure to be a winner on the local scene.

The Recipe

2 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
1/2  oz St Germaine Elderflower liqueur
1 oz fresh lemon juice and lemon peel for garnish
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 slice muddled jalapeno, and several slices for garnish
3/4 oz pomegranate juice

Slice jalapeno onto wheels, removing seeds.  Muddle one slice in a glass with syrup, this process releases the oils.  If more heat is desired, seeds can be included.  

In a cocktail mixer, combine lemon juice, St. Germaine, gin, pomegranate juice, and muddled jalapeno.  

Add ice and shake.

Strain over a cocktail glass to remove bits of jalapeno.

The Garnish

Peel lemon clockwise in a single strip.  String along jalepeno slices and twist around each piece forming  chain. Drape over the rim of a martini glass.  

​Play it cool as you slide the drink to the recipient.  The extra jalapenos can be nibbled to add some heat to the drink.

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Cheri Biggs