photo courtesy Bitter & Twisted 2018 Cocktail Menu

First Sip: Bitter & Twisted 2018 Cocktail Menu

Written by Craig Outhier Category: Amuse Bouches Issue: June 2018
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Flash realization: Barman extraordinaire Ross Simon must have grown up wanting to publish comic books. It would certainly explain much about his fabulous drink menus at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour. Perfectly bound and meticulously illustrated, each one is a veritable graphic novel of mixology. Simon publishes a new volume every spring.

As fun as it is to read about the 80 or so cocktails in the 2018 edition (pictured above) – a fairy-tale villain theme presented as a warped ride through Walt Disney’s subconscious – it’s better to sip them. Some new Simon concoctions:

Caffe Negroni
Caffe Negroni
Simon uses sous vide techniques to infuse the humble Negroni with an eye-opening rumble of coffee flavor, which pairs beautifully with the cocktail’s bitter, pith-like Campari. Not your style? Simon has seven other Negronis on the menu. He’s a fan.

Enter the Dragon
Enter the Dragoon
Checking his “summer shandy” and “AZ collaboration” boxes in one fell swoop, Simon combines Tucson’s Dragoon Brewing Company IPA with Aperol, lemon juice and cinnamon-grapefruit syrup for a hoppy hot-weather sipper. Using the whole buffalo, as it were, he serves it in the wide-mouth Dragoon can.

The Green Chapulin
The Green Chapulin
Ross uses heavenly Ancho Reyes Verde – a green chile liqueur – to Latin-ize the classic, minty Grasshopper cocktail, blending it with crème de menthe, cream and Fernet Branca Menta. And, yes, those are chapulines on the side – or grasshoppers to you gringos.   

Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
1 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix

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