Cocktails

Drink Suncliffe Gin at These Cocktail Bars Around Metro Phoenix

Suncliffe Gin builds its flavor from botanicals harvested around Sedona.
Suncliffe Gin builds its flavor from botanicals harvested around Sedona. Chris Malloy
Suncliffe Gin conjures the enchanting canyons of Sedona from which it's foraged. Founded by Thomas Giddings, Ryan Lawrence, and Clare Byrne in early 2020, the spirit has carved out a home on better bar menus across the state and beyond.

Suncliffe incorporates three species of juniper and 12 total botanicals to bring a punchy yet refined, aggressively Arizonan gin into the world. These four metro Phoenix bars and restaurants serve great introductions to the new-wave gin.

Gertrude's Restaurant

1201 North Galvin Parkway
480-719-8600
dbg.org/visit/dining/gertrudes-restaurant
Michelle Jacob, the manager at this restaurant inside the Phoenix Botanical Garden, "sells a lot" of Suncliffe. She said its botanicals have an endearing loudness, a punch to rival Scotch. "I wanted to do something that would play with its aromatics and flavor profile rather than mute them," she said. So, she tricks out a gin-based mojito with thyme, blackberry, and sparkling cactus water: the Mojave Mojito.
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The Painted Sky, a top-notch cocktail from Highball Cocktail Bar.
Kyle Ledeboer @KPLStudios


Highball Cocktail Bar

1514 North Seventh Avenue
602-675-4244
highballphx.com
This sleek, second-story cocktail lounge uses Suncliffe in a cocktail that is arguably one of the greats in town: the Painted Sky. The lush drink features several liqueurs, including Amaro Montenegro and raspberry liqueur, shaken with citrus juices and guava puree, before being poured into a tall glass and crowned with a lambrusco float. Co-owner Mitch Lyons said that, as a gin, Suncliffe belongs in "a category of its own." We agree.

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This Rough Rider punch draws on Suncliffe's "super cool dryness."
Rough Rider

Rough Rider

1001 North Central Avenue
602-675-0439
roughrideraz.com
The bar manager at this downtown Phoenix restaurant, Alex Montoya, is so into supporting local that they have a "602" tattoo. Lately, Montoya has been spiking a rotating tropical punch with Suncliffe, playing its "super cool dryness" and "soft juniper presence" against some giant Tiki flavors. One such punch packs Suncliffe, sherry, Velvet Falernum, Big Marble Organics Tonic water, and a "super juice" that Montoya concocts from fruit zest and malic acid.

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A cosmo riff gets a jolt from Valentine's house gin blend, which includes Suncliffe.
Valentine

Valentine

4130 North Seventh Avenue
602-612-2961
valentinephx.com
Known for having the most-Arizonan bar program in the state, Valentine uses Suncliffe in a house gin blend. Co-owner and barman Blaise Faber said that the blend is made from three Arizona gins, with Suncliffe making up about 30 to 50 percent of its volume. This means that Suncliffe will come in the glass if you order a classic G+T. It can also come in more experimental offerings, such as a cactus martini and some of the rotating biome-inspired libations from the clandestine back room, Bar 1912.

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Chris Malloy, former food editor and food critic at Phoenix New Times, has written for various local and national outlets. He has scrubbed pots in a restaurant kitchen, earned graduate credit for a class about cheese, harvested garlic in Le Marche, and rolled pastas like cappellacci stuffed with chicken liver. He writes stories on the food world's margins.
Contact: Chris Malloy

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