Keeping with the theme of bartenders turning childhood drinks into adult beverages, The Brickyard in Chandler has not a root-beer float on its menu but, rather, a Root Beer Flip.
“I really love root-beer floats,” says Bar Manager Bobby Kramer, formerly of Scottsdale’s Virtú and Downtown Phoenix’s Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails. “I used to drink them all the time as a kid.”
The Root Beer Flip, unlike a float, contains no ice cream. A flip is a wide genre of cocktails — any mixture of spirit and sugar into which the bartender adds an egg (most often just the egg white, though some drinks call for the yolk as well) before shaking.
Adding egg to a cocktail is one of the best ways to boost the weight of an otherwise thin mix of ingredients, and gives the end product a creaminess and a silkiness more suitable for summer. If you’ve had a traditional whiskey sour, then you’ve had a flip. If you haven’t ordered a whiskey sour, but your drink arrived at your table with thick white head of foam, then it’s also very likely you’ve had a flip.
The core of Kramer’s flip is spicy rye whiskey and amaro, and he uses demerara sugar to imitate the caramel-brown sugar flavors of root beer. Then he adds a generous pour of Barq’s root beer. Shaken with the egg white, the drink is finished with cocoa and cardamom bitters dotted across a high-rising hat of foam. The sweetness of the root beer comes though first, followed by the spice of the rye and the cardamom bitters, which finish dry.
The Brickyard, only open since mid-February, officially brings Downtown Chandler’s craft cocktail bar tally up to two, since it lies only a short walk from bartender Brandon Casey’s The Ostrich, a speakeasy-style bar in the basement of the Crowne Plaza San Marcos, below Crust Pizzeria.
Together, the two are trying to raise the collective cocktail consciousness in downtown Chandler
“Brandon and I have been calling Downtown Chandler, ‘Chanhattan,’” Kramer says. “[We're] trying to get that to catch on.”