Tequila isn’t the only spirit distilled from a desert plant: The juniper berries that grow wild around Mount Lemmon and throughout Northern Arizona can actually be used to make bathtub gin.
While Linger Longer Lounge’s Sonoran Desert cocktail opts for a more sophisticated London-distilled gin, a splash of jalapeño syrup lends it a distinct Southwestern kick. GM Matthew McCullough originally designed the drink for a GQ bartending competition in Las Vegas. He didn’t win, but the Sonoran Desert remains a house favorite.
Start by pouring 1 1⁄2 oz. Fords gin and 1⁄2 oz. Fleur elderflower liqueur into a shaker tin filled with ice. Add 1⁄2 oz. lemon juice, 1 oz. pomegranate juice and 1⁄2 oz. jalapeño-ginger simple syrup, made by steeping the botanicals with equal parts sugar and water. Shake, strain and pour into a coupe glass. Garnish with a jalapeño-studded lemon twist and prepare for a tango on the tongue.
Linger Longer Lounge
6522 N. 16th St., Ste. 6, Phoenix
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