We Arizonians may be famous for prickly pear and saguaro cacti, haboobs, and shunning daylight savings time, but one thing I’ve learned after living in Scottsdale for 20 plus years – we love a good drink! The cocktail industry explosion has risen to new heights in Scottsdale, with many mixologists using local ingredients – including alcohol made at distilleries right here in the Valley of the Sun.
One distillery that’s gained lots of local and national attention is Outrageous Homebrewers Social Outpost (O.H.S.O). This casual, indoor/outdoor brewing company has three Valley locations, each attached to an eclectic restaurant and boasting a dog-friendly patio. And if you’d like to try your hand beer making, you can help them make a guest batch of beer twice a week at their Arcadia location.
O.H.S.O. also brews vodka, gin and rum, with soon-to-be-released vodka flavors of horseradish, grapefruit and jalapeno! The gin is a local’s favorite and is steeped with five botanicals (orange peel, lemon peel, juniper, cinnamon and coriander).
While “researching” distilleries, I also discovered that the homegrown cocktail culture here in Scottsdale has matured far beyond basic margaritas. Today’s mixologists are the upscale versions of bartenders from yesteryear, quality craftsmanship and a bit of magic into their craft cocktails.
For your sipping pleasure, I’ve located several progressive cocktail menus that were brimming with farm-fresh and from-scratch ingredients, including house-made syrups and infused spritis, all of which will make even the most experienced cocktail connoisseur swoon.
Bloody Mary | $ 11
O.H.S.O.’s #Vodka and house-made bloody Mary mix, garnished with lemon and lime wedges, olives and a homemade beef jerky stick
Cantaloupe | $14
Tito’s Vodka, watermelon liqueur, and fresh orange and lime juices, garnished with cantaloupe balls
The Liz | $12
Milagro Blanco Tequila, triple sec, fresh lime juice and serrano vanilla simple syrup, garnished with cucumber and cilantro
Bear Witness | $11
Kikori Whiskey shaken with traumatic intent, fresh grapefruit, lemon, yuzu marmalade and pinkie peppercorn honey syrup garnished with a bushel of dill
Copper City Sour | $16
AZ Distilling Co.’s Copper City Bourbon*, Velvet Falernum, fresh grapefruit, egg whites and Mi Casa bitters, garnished with grapefruit zest
Prickly Pear Margarita | $12
Partida Blanco Tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, sweet ‘n’ sour, and prickly pear syrup, garnished with a lime wedge