That’s not a typo down below. This ravishingly herbaceous cocktail at The Americano in Scottsdale costs a mere $2 – and, yes, there’s a story behind the loss-leader sticker price.
Back in March, the upscale Italian restaurant was forced to close just days after its grand opening, due to the coronavirus. Rather than sulk, the staff started brainstorming. First order of business: a signature sip that would replace The Americano’s pre-pandemic $100 cocktail on the menu and herald the restaurant’s triumphant return. “So we came up with the idea of a cocktail named The Stimulus,” beverage director Nicholas Padua says. “It would be seasonal and refreshing, for the summer, and also really inexpensive.”
Building the cocktail around wit-whetting absinthe and cucumber, Padua crowd-sourced the finer points to conjure an ethereal drink that’s “transportive… something you might drink in the summer in the south of France.” Gold leaf pilfered from The Americano bakery serves as garnish, with a funny-money $100 coaster for escapist fun.
To stimulate yourself at home – but why would you want to, when the genuine article is only two bucks? – combine 1 oz. absinthe, ¾ oz. simple syrup, 1 oz. lime juice and 2 ½ oz. cucumber agua fresca* in a mixer with ice and shake. Strain into a coup over one large ice cube, and splash with Pellegrino. Zest with lime.
*De-seed and chop two large English cucumbers and blend with 750 ml of water until smooth. Strain and add a pinch of sea salt.
17797 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale