Tag Archives: Cocktail Recipes

Ross Simon, Bitter & Twisted

Thirsty Thursday: Bitter & Twisted Menu, Vol. 2

Bitter & Twisted’s Ross Simon is the Bill Nye of cocktails, the Neil deGrasse Tyson of spirits, the kind of mixologist who transfixes you with the chemistry and history of the torched/shaken/flawlessly frozen imbibement sweating on the bar in front of you.
Oh, and everything tastes good, too.
For fans of the Arizona Cocktail Week co-founder and owner of Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, there’s a handful of new Simon originals (and a few cocktails he’s borrowed from his favorite mixologists in London) to try.
Bitter & Twisted launched an updated menu on May 19, organized in sci-fi themed categories. The cover, designed by Matt Andrews, is a modern take on “Forbidden Planet,” the campy sci-fi that rips Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” The whole menu is nerdastic. Simon, who handled all the menu’s campy editorial and conceptualizing of sci-fi tie-ins, hopes it’s a hit when Comic Con comes through town. [Speaking of “Doctor Who,” we also never realized how much Simon looks like David Tennant. (Insert revelatory Tardis sound here.)]

The Wibble

The Wibble

About 25 percent of the menu is new, Simon says.

Highlights include:
The Sucker Punch — a cotton candy pink South African-inspired cocktail that uses candy syrup instead of simple syrup. (We didn’t try this one, but it sure was pretty!)

The Wibble — This is a deep red, sweet fruit alternative to fans of Simon’s Corpse Reviver No. Blue. Some famous author somewhere called gin “writers’ tears,” and this combination of citrus fruits with dry and sloe gin is enough to make you weep when it’s empty.

The Flawless Martini — A flawless martini is a bit of a delicacy, says Simon, who is pretty damn proud of the fact that his parlor is the only one in the area that serves martinis like this. Gin is poured into a freezing-cold glass and served; no stirring, no shaking, no dirties. It’s positively amazing. If possible, opt for the Old Raj dry gin. It contains a measure of saffron, which gives it a slightly spicy flavor that goes down, well, flawlessly.

LIT Up — A Long Island iced tea will flatten most people with its five-fingered cocktail combination, but Simon takes this up a notch to make it classy. The drink has a two-per-customer limit and is served in a Coca-Cola can, because America. Yes, you’ll look like a bro. Yes, you have to use a straw. But, a few sips in, who cares?

Chocolate Sazerac — I hate whiskey, but I don’t hate this Belgian chocolate-flavored Sazerac. Served straight up, this drink is smoky (think mist, more than French bar) and just downright delicious. This drink is dangerously accessible.

Green Beast — A cold drink on a warm Arizona night is refreshing, but this drink is downright glacial. Absinthe and cucumber flavors lead the palate in this cocktail, and you’ll get more of the cucumber the longer you take to drink it.

Caipirinha copy, web

Thirsty Thursday: Meet the founder of Railean Distillery

A unique meet and greet opportunity with the creator of the first rum certified “Made in the U.S.A.” will take place April 16 at Texaz Grille in Phoenix.

Serving special rum drinks at the bar and tequila lime shrimp appetizers, Texaz Grill will welcome Kelly Railean of Railean Distillery. The distiller for Texaz, Railean Distillery is the first women-owned distillery to produce American rum.

Railean will meet with and serve guests, joined by Texaz Grill owner and chef Steve Freidkin.

The Texas-based distillery uses unsulfured, grade-A sugarcane molasses from the Gulf Coast. Railean recently introduced the first handcrafted American Agave Spirit, crafted with 100 percent Blue Agave.

The event will run from 4 to 7 p.m. April 16. Texaz is located at 6003 N. 16th St. in Phoenix.

If you can’t make it to the event but still want a taste of Railean’s rum, try her caipirnha — the national drink of Brazil — recipe below.

Railean Rum Caipirinha

What you need:
1/4 of a lime
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 oz Railean Reserve XO Rum

How to make it:
Muddle the lime and sugar in a 12 oz glass. Add rum and fill glass with ice.

Golden Gate Sazerac, Susan Cope

Pink Pony offers Spring Training specials fit for Giants fans

Spring Training is a few tender weeks away, and Pink Pony is already ready to round the bases with its special cocktail, Golden Gate Sazerac — an ode to the San Francisco Giants, we assume — and “bomb burger.” The specials run March 1 through April 1. The burger costs $13, the cocktail costs $11 and together they cost $20.

Golden Gate Sazerac
St. George Whiskey & Absinthe Verte – Peychauds Bitters – Demerara – Orange Peel – Anchor Steam

Umami Bomb Burger
Niman Ranch Beef – Anchor Steam Braised Onions – Soy Emulsion – Local Cheddar – Parmesan Crisp
Shredded Lettuce – Roasted Mushrooms – House Made Brioche Bun

Cocktails courtesy of District American Kitchen and Wine Bar

Thirsty Thursday: Super Bowl cocktails

District American Kitchen and Wine Bar has graciously shared with Scottsdale Living its starting lineup of cocktails for this weekend’s big game. Check out the recipes and photos below! Our mouths are already watering.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary

The drink: Hail Mary


  • 6 ounces V8 Tomato Juice
  • 11/2 ounces Jim Beam Black Bourbon
  • ¼ ounce Schreiner’s Chorizo
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 1 medium dehydrated Hatch chili
  • 11/2 teaspoons of Worcheshire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon celery seed
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste


  • Add V8 Tomato Juice, Worcheshire sauce, chorizo and basil in a high speed blender, blend until pureed
  • Add Hatch chili and blend until chili is pureed
  • Stir in celery seed, salt horseradish, Jim Beam Bourbon and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Pour all ingredients into a Mason jar and garnish with slice of chorizo, large sprig of basil and any hot pepper if you want more heat

The Hail Mary will be available for $10 at District American Kitchen and Wine Bar from Jan. 28 – Feb. 1. This drink will be offered on the restaurant’s patio for $6 during District’s Patio Tailgate.


False Start

False Start

The drink: False Start


  • 11/2 ounce Patron Anjo tequila
  • 3 cubes of cantaloupe
  • 10 leaves of cilantro
  • ¾ ounce of agave nectar
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • Pink peppercorn to taste
  • Soda water


  • Muddle all ingredients except soda water
  • Shake and top with soda water

The False Start cocktail will be available for $8 at District American Kitchen and Wine Bar from Jan. 28 – Feb. 1.




The Drink: Touchdown


  • 11/2 ounces of strawberry moonshine
  • ½ ounce peach Schnapps
  • 2 rings of Fresno chilies
  • 1 sliced strawberry
  • ½ sliced lemon
  • 1 ounce apple juice
  • 2 ounces of pineapple juice


  • Add all ingredients to pitcher
  • Pour over ice and serve

The Touchdown will be available for $10 at District American Kitchen and Wine Bar from Jan. 28 – Feb. 1. This drink will be offered on the restaurant’s patio for $6 during District’s Patio Tailgate.

Thirsty Thursday, thanksgiving

Thirsty Thursday pours one out for Thanksgiving

Oh, snap! It’s almost Thanksgiving, one of our favorite drinking holidays, and in anticipation of the holiday of “Second Helpings,” we’re sharing two seasonal cocktail recipes from Valley mixologists after our own hearts.

First up is The Cognac Snap from Taggia at FireSky Resort & Spa (495 N. Scottsdale Rd.), which blends fruit, spice and a nice pour of cognac. It’s not quite fruitcake in a glass, but that’s actually fine by us.

Cognac Snap

Cognac Snap

The Cognac Snap
1 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac
3/4 oz Snap Liqueur
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
Technique: Shaken, DBL strain
Glass: martini or coupe
Garnish: freshly grated nutmeg




Ready for seconds? The Pumpkin Pie Martini out of Rusconi’s American Kitchen (10637 N. Tatum Blvd.) is just like a real pie — you’re going to have to prep some filling and a crust for the glass rim. We promise it’s worth it, you guys. Just stock up on the ingredients for your real pumpkin pie prep and knock out two shopping trips in one go.

Pumpkin Pie Martini

Pumpkin Pie Martini

The Pumpkin Pie Martini

First, make the pumpkin martini base.
Pumpkin Martini Base
1 cup     pumpkin puree
2 cups   milk
1/2 cup    sugar
2tsp       cinnamon
2tsp       allspice
1tsp       lime juice

Preparation: Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Taste for desired sweetness and spice, run through a fine mesh strainer and reserve chilled.

Next, prep the pie crust rim.

Pie Crust Rim
Pie dough (homemade or store bought)

Preparation: Bake a rolled out pie crust on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper until it’s golden brown and crisp. Let it cool, then finely chop the pie crust or use a food processor to crumble pie crust very fine. Mix with sugar and cinnamon to achieve desired taste.

Now to assemble!

The Pumpkin Pie Martini
3 0z        pumpkin martini base
1 0z        vodka
1/2 0z       Frangelico

Prep: Take a wedge of lime and rub around martini glass until wet; crust your glass. Shake the pumpkin martini adjust to your desired strength and pour. Optional garnish: Top with a little whipped cream, cinnamon and toasted pumpkin seeds.


123RF.com; Copyright: pilotl39

Thirsty Thursday: Toast Pear Day at Perfect Pear Bistro

You may think you love pears, but be pre-pear-ed to get schooled in the juicy fruit this weekend. In the name of National Pear Day, Oct. 25, the folks at Perfect Pear Bistro are whipping up a mix of savory quesadillas, “pear bread,” sweet cocktails and enough dishes to make this national day feel like a holiday. Bonus: Perfect Pear Bistro is offering 50 percent off all menu items that include pears this Saturday.

Perfect Pear Bistro has locations at 1241 E. Chandler Blvd. in Ahwatukee and 9845 S. Priest Dr. in Tempe.

Extra credit: For Thirsty Thursday, Perfect Pear shared recipes for two of its fruit-inspired cocktails!

Photo courtesy of Charlotte Shaff

Photo courtesy of Charlotte Shaff

Pear Mule
What you need:
2 oz pear vodka
1/2 lime juice (appx. 1 oz)
5 oz ginger beer

-Pour over ice garnish wit lime wedge
-Serve in a copper mug




Photo courtesy of Charlotte Shaff

Photo courtesy of Charlotte Shaff

Perfect Pear Sidecar
What you need:
2 oz pear brandy
.5 oz Grand Mariner
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz pear puree
.5 oz simple syrup

-Shake with ice strain and serve up in a martini glass
-Garnish with pear slice


123RF.com; Copyright: wollertz

Thirsty Thursday: Back to School Martinis

This week, Arizona State University announced its freshman class broke its enrollment record — yes, again. Doesn’t it just make you want to put out a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils?

For this week’s Thirsty Thursday, we’re toasting all the smarty-pants heading off to college for the first time. So, parents, stop obsessively refreshing your kids’ Facebook and Instagram feeds and mix up one of these scrumptious back-to-school cocktails instead!

The Pencil Eraser by Eventup is a sweet, eraser-pink mix of lemon, strawberries, cranberry juice and vodka.

Apples for teachers are no more part of your reality! Instead, put them to use in this cocktail found by one of our favorite booze hounds — Zane Lamprey, over at Drinking Made Easy. The Apple Spiced Cocktail from American Craft Kitchen & Bar in Chicago that we think is a delicious way to put the summer blues behind you. It’s a mix of moonshine, apple spice ginger liqueur, apple and lime juices and agave nectar. Yeah — bottoms up!

Lastly, there’s nothing wrong with some school pride! Here’s a Sun Devil Gold Daze cocktail that’s a sweet and tart mix of gin, peach brandy and orange juice. Make any spirit maroon by adding a good splash of cranberry juice!

The Cove Trattoria's Blackberry Cooler

Thirsty Thursday: The Cove Trattoria’s Summer Cocktails

The Cove Trattoria, nestled among the shops at Seville shopping center (located at Indian Bend and Scottsdale roads) is a family-owned Italian joint that opened in 2002. While the restaurant’s menu contains a bit of Old World Italy, its space is outfitted as a modern eatery with a cocktail menu that boasts more than a few unique twists on classic drinks, too.

Owner Daryl Monica was looking for refreshing summer fruits to lighten his cocktail menu this season and happened on a few tasty glassfuls of inspiration while playing mixologist with a friend who happens to work in the liquor business.

These drinks — a delicious cornucopia of fruity fusions — typically cost between $7.50 and $9.50, but guests can enjoy $2 off the summer’s specialty cocktails until Labor Day.

Cucumber Margarita

Cucumber Margarita

Cucumber Margarita – $9.50
What’s in it: Cucumber-infused Chinaco tequila, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, garnished with cucumber
Tastes like: Monica doesn’t salt the rim of his margaritas, which makes this drink go down cool as the cucumber infused in this smooth summer drink. The tequila is much mellower than most margs you’ve probably thrown back. With its slightly tart aftertaste, you’ll feel quenched — and like you just can’t get enough.




Blackberry CoolerBlackberry Cooler – $9
What’s in it: Muddled blackberries, mint, simple syrup, Jim Beam bourbon, garnished with mint
Tastes like: Bourbon with a hint of mint and berry. I’m not a big bourbon/whiskey person, so the spirit always seems to stand out from other flavors in mixed drinks and slap me in the tongue. That said, this is a pretty delicious drink to sip on. The mint, grown by The Cove Trattoria, subdues the bite of bourbon.



Strawberry Lemonade. Photo by Amanda Ventura

Strawberry Lemonade. Photo by Amanda Ventura

Strawberry Lemonade – $8.50
What’s in it: Purity vodka, Luxardo limoncello, housemade strawberry lemonade
Tastes like: Summer, sugar-coated. This sweet treat, chunky with pureed strawberries in The Cove’s house lemonade is by far the best of the three cocktails Scottsdale Living tried. True to any gluggable cocktail, the alcohol content is indistinguishable. But, really, it’s just delicious sweet lemonade with a fun, pulpy consistency that makes your lips sweet as pie.

Thirsty Thursday: SOL Cocina

If you are looking for an authentic Mexican restaurant, look no further than SOL Cocina. The restaurant’s food and drinks are inspired by traditional Baja cuisine and are simply delicious. Pair the carne asada tacos, xolo tacos, or ceviche with a fruity watermelon margarita (my favorite), a classic SOL Granda Casa Noble Reposado Margarita, or the sparkling pomegranate cocktail. All of these are perfect for a late-spring night on the town!

Watermelon Margarita, SOL CocinaWatermelon Margarita


  • 5 watermelon chunks about half inch each
  • 2 oz Corralejo Blanco tequila
  • 1 ½ oz simple syrup
  • 1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice


  • In a cocktail mixing tin, muddle watermelon
  • Add remaining ingredients and shake
  • Strain over ice into a glass


Casa Noble, SOL CocinaSOL Casa Noble Single Barrel Reposado Skinny Margarita


  • 3 oz Casa Noble Single Barrel Reposado
  • 2 ½ oz lime juice
  • 1 ½ oz agave nectar
  • 1 oz soda water


  • Shake and strain over fresh ice


Sparkling Pomegranate, SOL CocinaSparkling Pomegranate


  • 1 ½ oz Grey Goose vodka
  • ½ oz St. Germaine Elderflower liqueur
  • 1 ½ oz pomegranate juice
  • ½ oz sparkling wine

Thirsty Thursday: The Unique Taste of Crudo

Micah Olsen’s award-winning cocktails are nothing short of unique for his new spring menu at Crudo. Olsen works relentlessly on each of his drinks, buying the best and freshest ingredients. Inspired by his win at the 2014 Arizona Cocktail Week’s Last Slinger Standing bartending competition, Olsen created six new cocktails that can be tried every Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 7 pm for $5.

I tried four very different cocktails that did not remind me of anything else – they are simply unique. The Bali Brew mixes spice, fruit, and coffee to create a tasty mixture. The Big Brother is much fruitier and a different take on the traditional daiquiri. Raising Arizona is an old-school Italian drink that relies on bitters for those non-sweet drinkers out there. Finally, the Fuzzy Fix is a fresh kiwi-inspired drink and my favorite.

Bali Brew


  • 1 jalapeño

  • 3 passes on a microplane of orange zest

  • 1 oz Sailor Jerry rum

  • 1 oz Monkey Shoulder scotch

  • ½ oz demerara syrup

  • ½ oz lemon juice

  • ¾ Morning Moonshine (cold-brewed coffee)

Big Brother


  • 12-year-old El Dorado rum

  • 1 oz Caña Brava rum

  • 1 oz lime juice

  • ½ oz demerara sugar

  • 4 dashes of Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Aromatic Bitters

Raising Arizona


  • 1 mulled cucumber slice

  • 2 drops saline solution

  • Pink Himalayan salt

  • 1 ½ oz Arizona Distilling Co. gin

  • ½ oz Cointreau

  • ¾ oz Lillet Rose

  • ¾ oz Campari

  • 2 dashes AZ Bitters Labs Sunshine Bitters

Fuzzy Fix


  • 1 ½ oz Pisco Portón

  • 1 slice muddled kiwi

  • ¾ oz kiwi gomme syrup

  • 1 oz lemon juice

  • ½ oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot liqueur

  • Topped off with grapefruit soda

Drunk in Love, WEB

Drunk In Love: Valentine's Day Cocktails

Are you still looking for that romantic Valentine’s Day date idea? Maybe a classy, romantic night on the town? A steakhouse with a special Valentine’s Day cocktail is the perfect choice. Both J&G Steakhouse and Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse have come up with some deliciously romantic cocktails for the occasion.

J&G Steakhouse at the Phoenician created the Fraise Sauvage cocktail. This drink is delectably pink and refreshing on the lips. It is not sugary sweet but has a bit of tartness to keep you interested and wanting more. On the other hand, Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse’s cocktail, Sweet Love, is the epitome of a chocolate-covered strawberry. With a chocolate liqueur and strawberry puree you will never have tasted anything so perfect. It is even garnished with a chocolate-covered strawberry.

Make these yourself with the following recipes or go out on the town for a lovely Valentine’s Day date!

J&G- Fraise Sauvage PhotoFraise Sauvage at J&G Steakhouse – $15


  • 1 ¼ oz Plymouth Gin
  • ½ oz Strawberry vanilla puree
  • ¾ oz Lemon juice
  • ¼ oz Simple syrup
  • 2 oz Prosecco


  • Pour all ingredients except sparkling wine into a mixing glass
  • Add large, cold ice
  • Shake vigorously
  • Pour sparkling wine into a Martini glass
  • Top the sparkling wine with shaken mixture
  • Garnish with half a strawberry on the rim

DSC_0382 (1)Sweet Love – $12 regular menu, $7 happy hour


  • 1 ½ ounces chocolate liqueur
  • 1 ounce Malibu rum
  • 1 ounce strawberry puree
  • ½ ounce Vanilla vodka
  • ½ ounce crème de cacao


  • In a shaker tin with ice, add all ingredients and shake vigorously
  • Pour into a chilled sugar rimmed martini glass
  • Garnish with chocolate covered strawberry and whipped cream in the center