Crafting innovative cocktails has become a drinkable art form and for Ardi Dulaku, head bartender of SaltRock Southwest Kitchen in Sedona, Ariz., it’s this time of year in his picturesque hometown that brought out the inspiration for his new summer cocktail menu.
SaltRock, located at Kimpton Amara Resort and Spa, has been the go-to destination for craft cocktails in Sedona and their latest summer menu has been skillfully designed to keep that legacy going. Drawing from the monsoon season in the high desert, Ardi created his latest menu by paying homage to the smells, textures and vegetation one might find coming to Sedona during this time of the year.
The menu is designed to be approachable with familiar ingredients while also including playful twists like using grilled fruit to inspire summer afternoons on the patio, incorporating plums (an ingredient most mixologists often overlook) and juicing what Ardi believes to be everything you need in a cocktail already created by Mother Nature, green apples.
The following are standout cocktails from the new summer menu that were designed to take you through all the stages of the monsoon season in Sedona:
Southern Hospitality ($14)
A salute to SaltRock’s Executive Chef Logan Stephenson who hails from the South, this cocktail features Elijiah Craig, grilled peach-tarragon syrup, lemon, soda and Angostura. The grilled fruit brings out a unique taste allowing the bourbon to stand out and it also makes it a great pairing with the grilled corn dish, a favorite on the menu.
Midnight Canyon ($15)
Inspired by late night Sedona hikes and the bright, moonlit canyon, this cocktail features Edinburgh gin, plum puree, red Zinfandel, lemon, Peychaud’s and thyme garnish for an extra earthy delight.
Desert Storm ($13)
Influenced by the smell of fresh vegetation and the desert post-rain, this cocktail is clean and refreshing with a hint of wet foliage and sweeter notes. Ingredients include Kettle One Vodka, Chareau Aloe Liqueur, celery and fresh lime juice.
Spike Your Summer ($2 Add-on to Guest’s Liquor of Choice)
A personalized cocktail with your choice of spirit and a juiced Granny Smith apple for the perfect amount of sweetness with just a bite of tartness. This is everything you want in a cocktail with no hidden calories making it the perfect drink to indulge in after a Sedona hike.
To learn more about SaltRock Southwest Kitchen, visit saltrockkitchen.com or call 928-340-8803.