Changing leaves and winter jackets seem the stuff of fairy tales to longtime Phoenix residents, but there’s one aspect of fall that locals can always count on: pumpkin-flavored everything. Come November, the sumptuous squash assumes a starring role in lattes, desserts and adult-friendly libations like this sweet and spicy fall special from Bobby-Q. Made with real pumpkin and molasses-tinged bourbon, this tasty cocktail is like holiday pie in a glass.
Apples evoke childhood memories of crisp fall nights, Halloween dunking games and homemade pies. But making cider isn’t exactly child’s play. About 20 pounds of apples are required for a single gallon – not to mention the seemingly endless days spent cleaning, crushing and pressing the fruit.
In Disney’s Frozen, Queen Elsa mistakenly turns her sister’s heart to ice. When Tanzy/iPic master mixologist Adam Seger frosts El Corazon, on the other hand, it’s no accident. Seger utilizes liquid nitrogen to instantly crystallize the cocktail’s ingredients at -189 degrees Celsius, producing a smoky dry-ice effect that’s great for parties. “[It’s] completely safe to consume,” he says. “The air that we breathe contains nitrogen.”
The 1987 cult classic Raising Arizona put several Phoenix landmarks in the public eye, from Lost Dutchman State Park to The Phoenician. Inspired by the film’s Valley-centric landscape, Crudo co-owner Micah Olson developed a sunny twist on the classic Negroni that incorporates two local cocktail products. Olson added salt and cucumber to tame the drink’s natural bitterness, just as the Coen brothers’ witty dialogue made the film’s dark themes more palatable.
Mixologist Brian Godwin might not know it, but travel guru Lee Abbamonte is his muse. At 35, Abbamonte claims to be the youngest American to have visited every country in the world, racking up 300-plus passport stamps. Similarly, Godwin packs a fair amount of globetrotting into The Enlightened Traveler, his exotic spiced cocktail at The Gladly. Inspired by the image of a turn-of-the-century steamer trunk plastered with visa stickers, Godwin mingles bold notes of clove and leather that evoke travels ranging from African safaris to Indian bazaars.
Rhubarb is more than just a pie plant. The veggie’s bittersweet taste and high fiber content make it the perfect base for Zucca Amaro, an herbal digestif first served in the courts of 19th-century Italian royalty. Amaro also reigns supreme in the Temperance Trap, a delightfully earthy libation named for its addictive nature. “It’s the Achilles’ heel of any person who is trying to drink less,” promises Clever Koi beverage director Joshua James.