By Claire Spinner and Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
The Valley boasts some of the most stylish cocktails this spring in nontraditional colors, brightening the bars around town.
Owned by Scott and Melissa McIntire, The Lola (thelolaaz.com) at the Westgate Entertainment District even has a “cocktail lab,” where the staff makes all of their drinks in-house — from handmade bitters and simples syrups to freshly made purees.
“We’re trying to break the norm of what it means to be a normal bar or restaurant and really just take it up a notch,” says Melissa Idler, general manager of The Lola.
Drinks are served in pineapples, watermelons and coconuts, and some are even lit on fire with rosemary garnishes.
Here are some of the Valley’s coolest spring cocktails.
The Arrogant Butcher: The Polish Fix
Like an adult spin on a slushie, The Polish Fix at The Arrogant Butcher in Downtown Phoenix is made with Belvedere vodka, lemon juice and crushed ice and is topped with a colorful medley of muddled seasonal fruits.
Belle’s Nashville Kitchen: The Neon Moon
Housemade pea flower tea simple syrup, Tanqueray, 10 gin, freshly squeezed lemon juice and club soda.
Blanco Tacos + Tequila: Aces & Eights
Blanco Tacos & Tequila’s Aces & Eights is made with blanco tequila, Patron Citronge and a red sangria float, giving it a deep red hue.
Blue Clover Distillery: The Lucky Lady
Blue Clover’s premium distilled gin, blood orange, rose, peach, lemon juice, crème de violette and wildflower honey liquor.
Copper & Logs: Mojito
This mojito blends rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water and mint.
Cuisine & Wine Bistro: Bijou
Plymouth gin, sweet vermouth and green chartreuse.
Culinary Dropout: Pistols at Dawn
Pistols at Dawn, one of Culinary Dropout’s signature cocktails, is made with Bulleit bourbon, Ancho Reyes liqueur and ginger agave and is topped with a splash of red cabernet wine.
CRUjiente Tacos: The Swipe Right
The AZ Distilling Co. Mission vodka-infused drink is mixed with elderflower, passion fruit, freshly squeezed lemon and strawberry and topped with freshly squeezed lemon, a well-balanced sweet and tart combination.
Francine: Norma Jean and The Matador
Norma Jean is hibiscus tea-infused Ketel One grapefruit rosé vodka, cocchi rosso aperitivo, lemon and honey, finished with Francine’s Santone Prosecco. One of Francine’s signature cocktails, it is made with Mezcal Naran Espadin along with coconut-infused Cointreau, fig, Thai basil and lime.
Grill Kitchen & Bar at the Boulders Resort: Violet Voyeur
Liquor de Violette, lavender water, vodka, lemon, blueberries, sugar and egg white.
The Henry: Devil’s in the Details
The Henry’s eye-catching cocktail, Devil’s in the Details, is made with Tito’s vodka, Ancho Reyes Verde, strawberry and mandarin and is topped with small shishito peppers.
Lon’s Last Drop at The Hermosa: Pineapple Simurai
For something sweet, try this: pineapple-infused Casamigos blanco tequila, Sayuri sake, agave and burlesque bitters.
Strawberry and basil-infused Botanist gin, agave, lemon juice and Prosecco.
Mezcal Naran, mango puree, lime juice, agave, Habañero bitters and Aleppo chili salt rim.
Butterfly pea flower-infused Mission vodka, St. Germain and blueberry lemonade.
Whistlepig Piggy Back rye, Fernet Branca, amaretto, housemade marshmallow syrup, cold brew and Aztec chocolate bitters.
Marcellino Ristorante: Wild Fragola
Fresh mint is muddled and shaken with housemade strawberry syrup, lemon juice, Grey Goose vodka and Lillet. It’s served over ice and garnished with fresh basil and mint grown in Chef Marcellino’s garden.
Nobu: Pedal to the Metal
Rosa Codigo tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, orange curacao, rosemary fresno chili and garnish with rosemary/fresno chili.
OfrendA: Ready, Aim, Higher
A housemade hibiscus-pomegranate-serrano syrup is shaken with ice, Source One Vodka, serrano chilis and lime juice. It’s strained into a coupe glass and topped with Centr, a CBD-infused sparkling water.
The Sicilian Butcher: The Violette
Cocchi Americano, apricot liqueur, hibiscus and acai bitters infused with butterfly pea flower Italicus.
Los Sombreros: Mango Mezcarita
Sweet mango with dry Spanish Fino sherry, Los Vecinos mezcal and lime juice.
STK: Strawberry Cobbler
STK’s signature spring drink is Belvedere vodka, muddled strawberry, and a graham cracker crust around the rim. We’re here to say the graham cracker crust around the rim makes this drink.
Taco Guild: Osborn
This smokey-sweet margarita features Rayu mezcal, Pajarote grapefruit liqueur and fresh lime, shaken and served over ice in a black lava salt-rimmed glass.
Tarbell’s: Aye Chihuahua
Mezcal by Coyote Chihuahua Sotol, carbonated pineapple water, fresh lime and luxardo cherry.
Toca Madera: Caza Fortuna and Ghost Rider
Caza Fortunas is a blend of Don Julio 1942, habanero-infused el silencio joven, mango agave, lime and tajin. Meanwhile, mix altos plata, fresh mint, lime juice and agave for the Ghost Rider.
True Food Kitchen: The Monarch
Debuting on True Food Kitchen’s spring menu in April, The Monarch cocktail is made with organic gin, elderflower, tonic water and butterfly pea flower, from which it gets its bright, purple coloring.