Tag Archives: thirsty thursday

"Blondie" margaritas at The Barrio Queen

Thirsty Thursday: Barrio Queen Tequileria y Restaurante

July 24 is National Tequila Day, and there’s only one place you’ll find us in Scottsdale celebrating happy hour — Barrio Queen in Old Town. All tequila, mescals and sotols are half-off. You can also swipe a tequila flight for $10 and a margarita for $6.

Barrio Queen, head by renowned Chef Silvana Salcido Esperanza, just launched its Tequila Passport program at the end of June. The way it works is thus: For every tequila you try at Barrio Queen, you get a stamp in a Barrio Queen-provided passport (You know you’ll need help keeping track after a few!)

Not only does the restaurant serve some of the most delicious Mexican dishes in the Valley (with occasional French flairs) and makes its pomegranate and craisin guacamole table-side, but it also offers the largest selection of tequila in the Valley with which to wash it down.

Barrio Queen offers more than 400+ tequilas, mezcals, bacanora and sotols and a huge mix of blancos, reposados and anejos. It’s located at 7114 E. Stetson Drive, Suite 105. Happy hour is Monday to Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. (all day Tuesdays).


Here’s a margarita recipe we found in the back of our passport:

La Mula Mexicana

What you need:

2 oz. Don Julio Blanco

1 oz. lime juice

.75 oz. house ginger syrup (see below for recipe)

Topped off with Mexican Coca-Cola

To prepare:

Add all ingredients, except Coca-Cola, to shaker with ice. Shake and strain over cracked ice in highball or hurricane-style glass. Top off with 3 to 4 oz. of Coca-Cola. Garnish with lime.

To prepare ginger syrup:

.75 cup of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of water

Bring ingredients to a summer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Gently simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, then strain through a sieve and cool to room temperature.


123RF.com, Copyright: danomyte

Thirsty Thursday: ‘Marvel’ous nerd juice

Comicon San Diego is just around the corner, Phoenix!
If you were lucky enough to snag tickets to the kind of event where Dothraki, Darth Vader and various incarnations of Doctor Who creep through the halls as one giant Pop Culture du Force, we suggest you celebrate the impending awesomeness with some Comicon-themed beverages, courtesy of two San Diego hotel bars! Be prepared to be a party hero!

The Superman

The Superman

Superman, ALTITUDE Sky Lounge @ Marriott Gaslamp Quarter
660 K Street, San Diego, CA 92101, 619.696.0234, sandiegogaslamphotel.com

ALTITUDE Sky Lounge, the highest rooftop lounge on the West Coast at the Marriott Gaslamp Quarter is ready to take on Comiccon by highlighting some amazing comic inspired cocktails.  The “Superman” is a treat for an eyes as it is in flavor. Featuring Stoli vanilla, orange and raspberry vodka, white cranberry and pineapple juice and a splash of grenadine, the cocktail has the strength of Superman, but the sweetness of Clark Kent!

Thor’s Hammer, ALTITUDE Sky Lounge @ Marriott Gaslamp Quarter
660 K Street, San Diego, CA 92101, 619.696.0234, sandiegogaslamphotel.com

For those looking for a more traditional shot, “Thor’s Hammer” will be the drink for them.  Orange Vodka, Peach Schnapps and a splash of orange juice are mixed and dropped into a glass of red bull.  The shot definitely packs a punch!

Beam Me Up Scotty shot

Beam Me Up Scotty shot

Beam Me Up Scotty, RoofTop600 @ Andaz San Diego
600 F Street, San Diego, CA 92101, 619.849.1234, sandiego.andaz.hyatt.com

Just a few blocks away from the thrills, costumes and adventures of Comicon International, Andaz San Diego is offering crafty cocktails for the thousands of pop-culture aficionados attending the convention. They will enjoy the sweeping views of Downtown San Diego from the iconic RoofTop600 at the hotel while sipping on beverages inspired by the famous gaming and science fiction world.  The Trekky inspired “Beam Me Up Scotty” shot mixes coffee liqueur, crème de banana and Bailey’s, which creates a smooth and creamy beverage.

Power Up, RoofTop600 @ Andaz San Diego
600 F Street, San Diego, CA 92101, 619.849.1234, sandiego.andaz.hyatt.com

For those feeling a little tired from their adventure, the Mario Bros. themed, “Power Up” cocktail with orange flavored vodka, peach schnapps and Red Bull will give them a much needed boost to continue their four-day journey at Comicon.

Drink recipes courtesy of Chemistry PR

RA Sushi - Bombpop, WEB

Thirsty Thursday: RA Sushi Bombpop

Oh, say can you see? There’s a patriotic cocktail just waiting to turn your Fourth of July weekend into the dawn’s early light. This week’s red, white and blue-themed Thirsty Thursday comes courtesy of RA Sushi Bar and Restaurant, which will make you one of these bombastic babies for $8.

RA Sushi Bombpop!

RA Sushi Bombpop!

What you need:
Bottle of Smirnoff Ice
.25 oz. Blue Curacao
1.25 oz. Three Olives Cherry Vodka
.25 oz. Grenadine

How to make it:
Step 1: Drizzle grenadine in a sake cup and add vodka.
Step 2: Pour eight ounces of Smirnoff Ice into a 12-ounce bucket glass.
Step 3: Drizzle Blue Curacao along the inside of the glass.
Step 4: Just before serving, drop the sake glass into the bomber glass.
Tip: Serve with the remainder of the Smirnoff Ice.

RA Sushi has five Valley locations in Mesa, Tempe, Ahwatukee, north Scottsdale and Old Town Scottsdale. For information, visit RAsushi.com.

courtesy of jade bar

Thirsty Thursday: Honeydew Cucumber Sour

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain is one of our favorite places to spend a day at the spa. But that isn’t the only way for the resorts’ guests to get refreshed. Sanctuary’s newly renovated jade bar is serving up a new Honeydew Cucumber Sour ($14) with its summer menu, and we can’t wait to give it  a try on one of these upcoming triple-digit days! Cool fact, courtesy of jade bar, cucumbers can be 20 degrees cooler on the inside than the outside air.

What’s in the Honeydew Cucumber Sour:
Martin Miller’s Reformed Dry Gin
Fresh-pressed lemon juice
Honeydew juice
Clover honey syrup
Regan’s No. 6 orange bitters
Sliced cucumber

How to make it:
Mix ingredients, garnish with cucumber and sip happily.

jade bar @ Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, 5700 E. McDonald Dr., Paradise Valley, sanctuaryoncamelback.com

The not-so-secret ingredient in Bitter & Twisted's house punch is tequila!

Thirsty Thursday: Bitter & Twisted

photo 1The Luhrs Tower, aka the majestic old geezer nestled behind CityScape, aka downtown Phoenix’s first high-rise, just got a double dose of dapperdom with the grand opening of Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour on its ground floor. For those who enjoy a bit of trivia and irony, it’s said the Luhrs Tower was the nerve center of Arizona’s prohibition headquarters. Bitter & Twisted, indeed!


Phoenix has a lot of great mixologists. But Bitter & Twisted is perhaps the city’s first bar solely dedicated to craft cocktails. And rightly so — the brains behind the bar is Ross Simon, a co-founder of Arizona Cocktail Week and former winner of the Finlandia Vodka Cup and Don Julio Tequila cocktail contest.


The parlor has a loft-bar feel with high ceilings, exposed ductwork, brick walls, a large mural of a martini-clutching ladyzilla crouched over Phoenix and large windows with a street view obscured by the high-back booths within.




Seating was incredibly limited on its media preview night and the pedestrian channel between the bar and parallel high-top seating had a lot of congestion issues. The seating issue is a problem for a first-timer because of there’s no logical space of repose in which to thumb through the extensive, impressive and exciting “Book o’ Cocktails.” This is not a drink menu — it’s a pamphlet you can buy for $5 of concoctions with chapters, an index and stories behind most drinks. It’s something you want to sit down with and thumb through, then pass to the next person in your group. Each drink has a detailed description and personality. It’s quite a remarkable menu, featuring every drink you never knew you wanted conceited with house made infused spirits, tonics, syrups and other ingredients. The bar is tapped with wine and bottle beer is also served.


Disregarding libations, Bitter & Twisted is situated in an enchanting space where even designated drivers will enjoy grabbing a light snack. It has a bit of an alternative personality without being uncool and cluttered about it.


Vibe: Alternative loft with craft cocktails

Dress code: You can probably get away with wearing what the patrons of the original Luhrs Tower would have worn.

Crowd: Hipsters, young professionals, people who work nearby

Price: The average drink will cost you more than $10

Hashtag: #drinkbetter

Luci'sWineSmoothie, WEB

Thirsty Thursday: Wine Smoothie

Luci’s Healthy Marketplace is the spot to go for a conscious meal — the kind with transparent origins and packaging stamped with seals that confirm it the food choice of world-conscious people. It’s the kind of place that manages to work kale, wheat germ and healthy foodstuffs into sandwiches and breakfast burritos in all sorts of delicious ways that get past even the pickiest of lunch dates. It’s the kind of place to meet friends before a hike or invite a gluten-free, vegan bestie to dine without worry. So, the point is that, yes, while it has a liquor license and sells alcohol in its marketplace, Luci’s wouldn’t have made the cut on many lists for places to “drink.” It’s a place to be healthy, enjoy natural light and potentially get hopped up on caffeine.

On Wednesday, May 28, that all changed.

Thanks to a little frozen treat called a wine smoothie ($5.99), Luci’s is giving Phoenix a cool, refreshing way to lush its way through the summer months!

Wine SmoothieIt’s almost exactly what it sounds like. The wine smoothies are made with a vinoleche called Wineheart. Though Wineheart bottles a range of decadent flavors, the two Luci’s has available (for now) are orange creme and chocolate strawberry creme.

The 28 proof (14 percent alcohol) beverage, Wineheart, is a blend of wine and cream, so when served as a smoothie it tastes more like a milkshake than a glass of blended ice-wine. Depending on personal threshold and judgment, it’s important to know the alcoholic content is more of a fact-of-life than a flavor.

When it comes down to the two available flavors, it’s a personal preference, but the orange creme was a unanimous winner among Scottsdale Living staff. Sadly, the strawberry chocolate didn’t hit the tastebuds right.

For a smoothie a little on the runny side, ask for light ice. For a little heft and a milkshake consistency, ask for an extra scoop of ice! Either way, it’s a delicious and refreshing reason to escape the heat!Wineheart

Luci’s serves these all day long — from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Bottoms up: 1590 E. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix

You can buy your own bottle of Wineheart vinoleche for $16 at Luci’s, which, according to Luci’s distributor, is the only establishment in the market selling the vino.

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 Thursdays: Thirsty Lion

Thirsty Lion in Tempe is a local favorite for happy hour, dining, parties, and watching sports. The menu expands from traditional bar food to include delectable appetizers, entrees, and cocktails. I tried two cocktails, each paired with a specific entrée, to create a delicious meal. The Blood Orange Cosmo was packed with a sweet, orange flavor with a twist of tartness the makes the blood orange distinct. This drink complemented the smoked salmon with mango quinoa, a perfect choice for salmon lovers. The Bordeaux Drop was my favorite with a mix of cherries, citrus, and a sugar rim. This amazing drink was paired with a slightly spicy and tart kale salad and a fabulous Kobe burger. These are only a few of the fantastic items to mix and match at Thirsty Lion’s at Tempe Marketplace.

tl.bloodorangecosmoBlood Orange Cosmo
• 2 oz Absolut Mandarin vodka
• 1 oz Blood Orange puree
• ½ oz Triple Sec
• 2 lime wedges
• 1 orange wedge
• ½ oz cranberry juice
• ½ orange ring
• Chill martini glass prior to production
• Coat edge of glass with sugar rim
• Add vodka, blood orange puree, Triple Sec and cranberry juice to a mixer glass
• Cover with beaker and shake 10-12 times vigorously
• Strain into a sugar rimmed cocktail glass
• Garnish with orange wheel on edge of glass

tl.bordeauxcherrydropBordeaux Drop
• 1 oz Smirnoff Vanilla vodka
• 1 oz Smirnoff Citrus vodka
• 2 dashes Fee Bros Cherry Bitters
• 1 oz Passion Puree
• 1 oz simple syrup
• 3 Bordeaux cherries
• 3 lemon wedges
• Muddle cherries, lemons and ice
• Combine liquid ingredients into shaker and shake 12 times
• Strain into a martini glass rimmed with sugar
• Garnish with a cherry

Cocktail Woman

Thirsty Thursday: Grassroots Kitchen & Tap

Scottsdale’s new restaurant, Grassroots Kitchen & Tap prides itself on its high quality food and drinks. Owner Christopher Collins explains that he only provides the best quality items to compliment his food while also promoting a social hour (rather than a happy hour) to get locals to be social in a comfortable environment.
Collins says all of his food and drinks are fresh and simple because quality and speed are important to his guests. Be sure to try the popular Farmer’s Vegetable Chop Salad for a light dinner or the salmon or pork belly if you are a meat-eater. Pair these plates with the Pink Cougar, Cadillac Margarita or the Georgia Peach for light, fruity and fresh drinks.
All of the food and drinks were simple, yet unique, and Collins is a delight to his customers, making sure to make a presence and make his guests comfortable.

Though Collins didn’t provide exact proportions for the following drink recipes, he did share what’s in his signature spring-summer cocktails:

Cadillac Margarita:
-Homemade sour mix
-Orange juice
-Egg whites
-Camarena tequila

Pink Cougar:
-Chamomile syrup
-Grapefuit vodka

Georgia Peach:
- 360 Georgia Peach Vodka
-Appleton’s Rum
-Ice tea
-Peach puree

Old Fashioned, WEB

Thirsty Thursday: Sip on Luxury at Jade Bar

Jade Bar at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa is nothing short of luxurious. The resort is set into Camelback Mountain, perfect for toasting to romantic Arizona sunsets, and is covered with colorful, native plants accompanied by a pool, tennis courts, spa rooms and more.

Since its expansion, Elements restaurant and Jade Bar overlook different areas of the property, depending on which area you choose to dine, from a private room, open restaurant, patio, or balcony. All areas are simply beautiful. With the philosophy that the bar is an extension of the kitchen, Jade Bar offers Element’s fresh cuisine with its wine list and cocktails.

All of the cocktails are fresh, unique, and great with the Asian-inspired cuisine. Be sure to try the Cantaloupe, the Pepper Smash, or the Anejo Manhattan, which range from sweet and fruity to spicy and citrusy to a stronger classic with a twist.



  • 1 ½ oz watermelon liqueur

  • 1 ½ oz vodka

  • 2 oz orange juice

  • Splash of lime


  • Shake ingredients together and pour into a martini glass

  • Garnish with a melon ball

Pepper Smash:


  • 1/3 a pint of loose mint

  • 2 oz Krogstad Aquavit

  • ¾ oz freshly pressed lime juice

  • ¾ oz freshly extracted yellow bell pepper juice

  • ¾ oz house blended grade A maple syrup


  • Muddle mint

  • Shake ingredients

  • Pour into an Old Fashioned glass

  • Garnish with a mint sprig

    Anejo Manhatten

    Anejo Manhatten

Anejo Manhattan:


  • 2 oz El Tesoro Anejo Tequila

  • ½ oz Martini and Rossi Sweet Vermouth

  • ¼ oz Licor 43

  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters

  • 1 dash Regan’s No. 6 Orange Bitters

  • Mole Salami Wrapped Sour Cherry for garnish


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

PaddyBomb, WEB

Thirsty Thursday: The Paddy Bomb

Once a year, the words “going green” don’t refer to sustainable life choices. We’re talking about St. Patrick’s Day. When the beer taps run shades of emerald and glittery hues of Ireland are pasted up in every bar in town.

Today’s “Thirsty Thursday” can be whipped up in a pinch for this special drinking holiday.

The Paddy Bomb is just one of the many Irish themed drinks that Tilted Kilt will be serving up this St. Patrick’s Day (that’s Monday, March 17).

A crowd favorite, a Paddy Bomb turns green within seconds as Three Olives Orange Vodka and Blue Curacao are dropped into a half pint of Red Bull. The restaurant will also be offering a variety of beers on tap, Irish whiskey, shooters, bombers and brilliant bevvie’s.

On St. Patrick’s Day, the Tilted Kilt will be hosting parties across the country and will feature the Irish Hooley Menu in addition to the Tilted Kilt beauties in traditional Scottish kilts, green beer and other festivities. Visit their website for deets.

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
Pasta Brioni, WEB

Thirsty Thursday: Pasta Brioni’s New Cocktail Menu

Scottsdale’s Pasta Brioni is the epitome of a classic Italian restaurant. Over the last 23 years, it has expanded from a small bar to a classy restaurant. With its expansion has come a delicious cocktail menu comprised of a peach Bellini, strawberry basil martini, and Chianti sangria.

The Bellini

The peach Bellini is a perfectly sweet concoction of champagne, peach schnapps, grenadine with a blackberry for garnish. Inspiration struck bartender Megan after New Year’s Eve with nothing to do with all of the leftover champagne. The drink has been well-received and is very fruity, peachy, sweet and delicious.


  • 1/2 ounce peach schnapps
  • 3 ounces of champagne
  • 1 ounce peach nectar
  • 1/2 ounce of grenadine (for color)
  • Blackberry and two blueberries (optional garnish)

The Martini

Next came the strawberry basil martini, which may seem like a weird combination, but it is utterly refreshing and unique. Compared to the Bellini, the strawberry basil martini is more tart and inspired by a twist on the classic mint mojito. The muddled strawberries mix delightfully with the basil and the two strong flavors balance each other perfectly. The pretty light pink drink is a perfect party “accessory” with a sugared rim and basil leaf for garnish.


  • Fresh muddled strawberries and basil

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 ounce lime juice

  • 3 1/2 ounces of vodka

  • Sugar rim

  • Basil leaf for garnish

The Sangria

Last on the cocktail menu is a Chianti sangria. This drink has been around longer than the Bellini and martini and perfected by General Manager Charlie. The sangria has a classic fruity taste that calls back memories of Spain. Every sangria is unique to the creator and establishment, and Pasta Brioni’s Chianti sangria has a nice, deep red color and is filled with fresh fruit. The drink is very fruity, but not too sweet for the wine lover. But be sure to let the wine and fruit marinate because the longer the better!


  • Chianti wine

  • White rum

  • Pineapple juice

  • Lemonade

  • Mixed fruit – lemons, limes, oranges, and berries

  • Peach schnapps

  • Sprite

To prepare:

  • Infuse Chianti  with sliced oranges, limes and berries
  • Mix with rum and triple sec – poured over ice – with a splash of peach schnapps and Sprite.

You can make these drinks at home or have a night on the town at Pasta Brioni’s. Be sure to also try some delicious appetizers including the spinach dumplings (my favorite!) or a classic caprese salad.

Pasta Brioni is located at 4416 N. Miller Rd. in Scottsdale.

Red Sangria, Kona Grill

Thirsty Thursday: Kona Grill's Red Sangria

As one of the many restaurants at Scottsdale Fashion Square, Kona Grill has not only updated its decor to a newer and lighter feel with fantastic fish tanks, television screens playing major sporting events, and light silvery tables and flooring, but it has also updated its cocktail menu.

Kona decided to put a twist on tradition with a Red Sake Sangria. The beautiful, red

The spicy Picasso roll complements the smooth sangria.

The spicy Picasso roll complements the smooth sangria.

concoction is smooth, fruity and refreshing. There is no bite or aftertaste like a sangria mixed with brandy, but the sake makes it smooth and gives it its own flair. Since being added to the menu in July 2013, it has been the best-selling cocktail at the restaurant. This drink is perfect for patio weather and is sold by the glass or in a pitcher for four. This drink is a perfect mix with the spicy Picasso roll or the avocado eggrolls.



  • 1 bottle (750ml) Bogle Merlot
  • 8 oz Sake
  • 4 oz simple syrup
  • Juice of 3 fresh oranges
  • Juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • Juice of 1 fresh lime
  • Sprite
  • Raspberries, diced kiwi, half orange (sliced) to garnish


Red Sangria 2[3]Directions:

  1. Combine juices, simple syrup and sake into a cocktail shaker
  2. Shake and pour into a chilled glass pitcher (with ice if desired)
  3. Add Merlot, a handful of raspberries, half a diced kiwi, and orange slices to pitcher
  4. Stir, and top with sprite
  5. Sangria is best served in a red wine glass with ice, garnished with a half orange wheel


If you don’t want to make it at home, try the Red Sake Sangria at Kona Grill at Scottsdale Fashion Square during happy hour for $6.50. Other Kona Grill locations include Chandler Fashion Center, Santan Village, and City North.

Ruffino Grammy Drinks, WEB

Thirsty Thursday: Grammy-Inspired Cocktails to Sip in Style

Whether you are having a girl’s night in to watch all of your favorite music artists take the stage at the Grammy’s, or you are looking for a local hot spot to watch the most anticipated music award show of the season, here are a few cocktails from Ruffino Italian Cuisine that honor the “best of the best” in the music industry:

Twerk-tini: – In honor of Robin Thicke’s four nominations for “Blurred Lines,” twerk to the catchy song with a twerk-tini in your hand.

¾ oz Malibu Coconut Rum

¾ oz Frangelico hazelnut liqueur

¾ oz Absolut Citron

Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish the glass with a twist of lemon and a sugar rim.


Roar-garita:  - Enjoy a Grammy twist on the classic margarita by adding amaretto instead of triple sec. The unique twist will make you want to Italian margarita and “Roar” along with Katy Perry during her performance.

1 ½ oz tequila

¾ oz amaretto

Mix these ingredients along with one splash orange juice. Pour into the glass and top it off with a sweet and sour mix.


Suit & Tie-ini:  - With “Suit & Tie”up for two nominations, we are sure to see a suited-up JT on the red carpet… and this martini is guaranteed to make JT look even better (if that’s even possible!).

2 ½ oz Rain Organics Cucumber Lime Vodka

Muddle basil leaves with a simple syrup. Squeeze fresh lime into a tin and shake all ingredients together. Serve with a basil leaf garnish.


Ruffino will be showing the Grammy’s on Sunday, January 26, and serving up these Grammy-inspired cocktails along with appetizer specials from 7 p.m. to close.

Ruffino Italian Cuisine is located in Ahwatukee and is one of the East Valley’s oldest Italian restaurants. It has been serving up handcrafted cocktails and homemade pastas since the ’80s. To learn more about Ruffino Italian Cuisine, or book a dinner and cocktails, visit ruffinoaz.com or call 480.893.8544.

Cocktail Woman

Thirsty Thursday: Toast to Charity at Arizona Cocktail Week — Wristbands on Sale Now

Any regular reader knows we at Scottsdale Living love our cocktails — shaken, stirred, through a straw, out of a fish bowl; we’ll try anything once.

Our patronage of local mixologists can really add up after a drink or two, which is why we are literally counting down to the third annual Arizona Cocktail Week. (29 days!)

Once a year, Valley lushes and cocktail lovers get a smokin’ deal on their favorite poisons at the state’s finest bars and restaurants. All you need is an AZCW wristband, which are now on sale for $10.

Purchasing a wristband entitles wearers to a week (Feb. 14 to 21) of exclusive discounts (we’re talking a few bucks a drink at some establishments) at dozens of participating bars, lounges and restaurants — including The House Brasserie, St. Francis, Mabel’s on Main, Recovery Room, Hotel Valley Ho and others yet to be announced.

The perks don’t stop at the bar, either. A portion of the wristband proceeds are donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and come loaded with a $20 promotional credit for UBER (an on-demand car request service) as well as a 20-percent discount on your first ride.

Get your wristband here.

Gingerbread Martini - Sandbar, WEB

Thirsty Thursday: Gingerbread Martini

For many of us, the holiday season means carrying on traditions our families have established. One tradition I vividly recall from my childhood was the decorating of a gingerbread house. This particular tradition sometimes took place a couple times a season. In elementary school, we would save our milk cartons from lunch and use them as make-shift gingerbread houses, even though we used graham crackers to cover the walls. However, there was always the real decorating of a store-bought gingerbread house with my little brother. It was so exciting to pick out the candy we would use with hopes of eating more than what we used to decorate. Now that I’m older, it’s time for this childhood tradition to evolve and I can thank Sandbar Mexican Grill for introducing the Gingerbread Martini on its holiday drink menu.


  • 1 oz. Whipped Vodka
  • 1 oz. Skyy Ginger
  • .3 oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • .3 oz. Fireball
  • .3 oz. Amaretto
  • Dash of Whipped Cream


  1. Combine ingredients and shake
  2. Strain
  3. Pour into martini glass


Remember to share your pictures of your version of the Gingerbread Martini with us on Instagram @scottsdaleliving and #ThirstyThursday! If you don’t feel like being your own bartender, I recommend visiting one of the Sandbar’s three valley locations in Peoria, North Phoenix and Chandler (addresses below!) and having a bartender mix you up one for $9. Tomorrow night, Sandbar is hosting its Ugly Sweater Party and introducing other drinks that include a Pumpkin Patch Martini and Grandpa’s Cider (not sure what that consists of, but I’m intrigued).

Sandbar Peoria
9868 W. Northern Ave.
Peoria, AZ 85345

Sandbar Chandler
7200 W. Ray Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85266

Sandbar Desert Ridge
21001 N. Tatum Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85050

cow tipper, web

Thirsty Thursday: Whiskey Row Cow Tipper

There were not a whole lot of opportunities to see cattle while I grew up in Phoenix. However, my grandparents lived in the White Mountains and every time we drove up for a visit, we would see farms with countless cows grazing in the pastures. I always thought it was the perfect opportunity to go cow-tipping. Fortunately for the cows, I do not think my conscience would ever let me purposefully approach a sleeping animal and tip it over on its side. With that said, this Thirsty Thursday’s cocktail — The Cow Tipper — is brought to you by Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row. My thoughts on this drink are that after consuming it you’ll feel ballsy enough to go tip a cow. The drink is a cool purple-pinkish color due to the muddled blackberries and I am a sucker for any drink with muddled berries in it. Plus it comes in a mason jar! Well done, Dierks Bentley.


The Cow Tipper

The Cow Tipper

  • 1.5 oz. blackberry whiskey (Dock 57)

  • 3 muddled blackberries

  • ¾ oz. lemon juice

  • ¾ oz. simple syrup


  1. Shake the ingredients

  2. Strain over crushed ice

  3. Top off with PBR

The Cow Tipper will run you about $10, but stop in to Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row for happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and enjoy it for only $5. Whiskey Row is located at 4420 N. Saddlebag Trail #105 in Scottsdale.

Salted Caramel Martini, WEB

Thirsty Thursday: Salted Caramel Martini

Happy Thanksgiving, Scottsdale Living readers! I hope you are enjoying this precious time spent with family and friends. This Thirsty Thursday is being brought to you by the friendly faces at Sandbar. So Friday night, when you’ve had too much family togetherness and you need to get away, you can head to one of their three Valley locations to try Sandbar’s new Salted Caramel Martini for $9.

Salted caramel anything has been my thing since last winter when I was first introduced to it, so I cannot wait to mix this drink up for the holidays. If you can’t wait ’til the weekend to try the Salted Caramel Martini at Sandbar, then attempt to make it on your own with the directions below. Share photos of your creation or enjoying this tasty drink this weekend on Instagram at @ScottsdaleLiving and make sure you #ThirstyThursday!


  • 1.5 oz. Pinnacle Whipped Vodka

  • 1 oz. Rumchata

  • 3 oz. Butterscotch Schnapps

  • Dash of whipped cream

  • Rim ½ martini glass with caramel


  1. Dip caramel soaked rim in salt

  2. Drizzle caramel in crazy zigzag design on martini glass

  3. Shake and strain drink into martini glass

  4. Dot of whipped cream garnish near edge of glass

Lime Lyte, Thirsty Thursday

Thirsty Thursday: Low-Calorie Lime Lyte

This #ThirstyThursday is all about saving calories! We’re exactly one week away from the day when we will feast on a ridiculous amount of carbs, and now is the time to limit the amount you intake and fight the battle of the sweatpants. This whole week I’ll be kicking my cardio into high gear and becoming stricter on myself with the hardest rule to follow: no carbs after dark. With that said, I’ll also be changing my drink of choice. Don’t worry, I won’t compromise the deliciousness! I present to you the lime lyte, a refreshing drink with approximately 75 calories per a glass! Happy hour never tasted so good — and light.


  • 1 ½ oz. Voli Light

  • 2 oz. club soda

  • 2 lime wedges


  • Combine Voli Light and club soda

  • Serve over ice

  • Squeeze and drop limes into drink and stir

Pumpkin Pie Martini, Super Cut

Thirsty Thursday: Pumpkin Pie Martini

The holiday season is usually full of family traditions passed down for generations. This could consist of making grandma’s green beans with the bacon bits or auntie’s super-secret cookie recipe every year, but have you ever considered mixing up your holiday feast? A few Thanksgivings ago, my family traded in our turkey and mashed potatoes for enchiladas and refried beans. It was an interesting twist to our Thanksgiving dinner and fun trying something new for something that is so enriched in tradition.

If you’re not big into cooking and finding new recipes to mix up your Thanksgiving fare, then you should head over to Sapporo and try its not-so-traditional menu.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Seriously, Sara? Sushi for Thanksgiving?” But, hear me out before you hit that back button.

Chef Steven Stromberg has crafted an exceptional menu of Pacific Rim Teppanyaki and sushi that incorporates traditional Thanksgiving fixings. His Thanksgiving-exclusive menu includes orange-miso glazed duck breast,  a turkey sushi roll, teppan grilled turkey breast and ginger-pumpkin cheesecake

My favorite part of this menu, though, is the specialty drink Sapporo has crafted for this holiday season — a pumpkin pie martini.


Pumpkin Pie Martini

Pumpkin Pie Martini


2 oz Svedka Vanilla Vodka

2 oz White Crème de Cacao

¼ Cup Heavy Cream

1.5 oz Pumpkin Puree

Dash of Nutmeg

Glass is rimmed with graham cracker crumbs


If you would like to make this tasty drink at home, just combine the ingredients and serve!

In addition to the specialty Thanksgiving menu, regularly priced menu items including sushi rolls, liquid market drinks, beer and wine will also be available.

Fall Drinks

Thirsty Thursday: Holiday Drink Round-Up

With the holidays quickly approaching, it is time to start planning those festive parties. Instead of spending hours searching for tasty cocktail recipes, you just have to pick your favorite from our holiday-party-approved #ThirstyThursday drink round-up!

Holiday Sauce

Holiday Sauce

Holiday “Sauce”

What you need:
1.5 oz. Hennessy V.S.
.5 oz. Fresh Squeeze Lemon Juice
Heaping Tablespoon of Cranberry Sauce (yes, the kind you would serve with turkey)
1 dash Fee brothers cranberry bitters (optional)
Garnish: Orange twist, cinnamon sugar rim
Glass: Coupe or martini glass
Add all ingredients to a shaker tin with ice, shake until well chilled
Take the coupe or martini glass and rub the rim with a fresh cut lemon, now dip the rim in a plate of cinnamon sugar (1 part cinnamon to 1 part white sugar)
Strain the cocktail into the rimmed glass and garnish with an orange twist

Horchata Coffee Cocktail

Horchata Coffee Cocktail

Horchata Coffee Cocktail

What you need:
1.5 oz. Hennessy V.S.
1 oz. Espresso
1.5 oz. Diluted Condensed Milk (diluted 1:1 with water)
.25 oz. Grand Marnier
4 dashes Angostura Bitters
Garnish: fresh grated cinnamon and orange twist

In a shaker tin add all liquids and shake with ice
Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice
Garnish with a fresh grated cinnamon and an orange twist

Sparkling Owl

Sparkling Owl

Sparkling Owl
2 parts Owl Brew “Coco-Lada”
1 part Champagne or Prosecco
Pour into a champagne flute
Garnish with fresh dill

Owl's Toddy

Owl’s Toddy

Owl’s Toddy

2 parts Owl’s Brew “The Classic”
1 part whiskey
Apple slices

Combine in a saucepan
Heat until desired temperature. Do not boil.
Pour into your favorite holiday mug
Garnish with cinnamon stick

Fall Affair

Fall Affair

Fall Affair

What you need:
2 oz. Voli Orange Vanilla
½ oz. Lemon Juice
1 oz. Apple Cider
2 dash of bitters
Dash of cinnamon

Add all ingredients
Shake and strain

Be sure to take pictures of you and your friends enjoying these delightful drinks and share with us on Instagram @ScottsdaleLiving and use hashtag #ThirstyThursday!

Courtesy of Pivotal Public Relations

Movie Star

#ThirstyThursday: The Movie Star

This #ThirstyThursday is being brought to you by Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill. This favorite happy hour spot of mine recently introduced a new drink menu and on it sits The Movie Star. It’s a tasty margarita with an added twist of pineapple and ginger. It is light and crisp, and I guarantee you won’t be able to stop at just one.

If you have never been to Z’Tejas before, I highly recommend ordering some of their Movie Stardelicious food. Everything from the appetizers to their entrees are impeccable and you can’t forget about their homemade corn bread or the delightful cobbler! I have been a Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill customer for years and every experience I’ve had has been wonderful. Everything from the service you’ll receive, the food you will taste, and the drinks you will sip on will have you feeling like The Movie Star you are!



  • 1.5 oz Gran Centenario Reposado Tequila
  • .75 oz Domain de Canton ginger liqueur
  • .25 oz Fresh pineapple chunks
  • .5 oz of simple syrup or margarita mix
  • 2 oz Fresh lime juice


  1. Muddle pineapple and lime juice
  2. Add all ingredients with ice and shake vigorously
  3. Pour into margarita glass
  4. Garnish with a pineapple leaf and a piece of candied ginger


If that isn’t enough to tempt your taste buds, take advantage of Z’Tejas’ new happy hour. Seven days a week at all five Valley locations, people can enjoy $5 select margaritas, $2 off varietal wines and select appetizers from $5 to $7.