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:
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 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
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