Love the ground-breaking barreled cocktails at Citizen Public House? Adopt one.
Many moons ago – 120 of them, roughly – Citizen Public House in Scottsdale pioneered the barrel-aged cocktail trend in the Valley behind founding bar wunderkind Richie Moe. One of Moe’s ingenious tricks: Coating the micro-size barrels in sea salt and letting them bake in the hot Arizona sun to simulate the harsh lashings of sea water and sun on cognac barrels strapped to the decks of old-time freighters, which massaged the liquid inside due to expansion and contraction of the wood staves. Whew. With that kind of institutional know-how, it’s little wonder CPH is now the first Valley restaurant to offer take-home barrels of Manhattans and the like to customers. The gastropub’s beverage director, Kurtis Williams, tapped one for us.
– Williams and his team start by soaking the 2-liter neutral oak barrels in water to “make the [staves] expand and stay tight,” a CPH barman reports.
– For the barreled Manhattan, the CPH team mixes Four Roses bourbon with Casa Martelletti vermouth, house-made tabacco bitters and a touch of maple syrup. The batched cocktail then rests in the barrel for six to eight weeks.
– At home, your adopted barrel will give you 12 to 16 cocktails. “And you get to keep it, which is a cool collector’s item,” the barman reports. Our suggestion: Use it to start a barreling program of your own.
– The take-home barrel will only be available through the holidays, but CPH’s barreled cocktails – including Negronis – are available at the restaurant year round.
Citizen Public House
Beer of the Month
Roses by the Stairs Brewing First Date
Hazy IPA/6.4% ABV
We try to favor stouts and other dark, malty styles in this space during the winter months, but seeing as this is one of the first canned releases from RoRo-adjacent Roses by the Stairs Brewing, which opened just last May in the old Easley’s Fun Shop space, well, newness trumps tint. Described as a “West Coast hazy,” it’s a bright, well-structured IPA that stands apart from the exquisite farmhouse styles that otherwise dominate the brewery’s product line, with scads of Nelson hops that brewer Robert Rosemann uses to evoke a certain white wine dryness. If you haven’t visited the brewery yet, First Date makes for a nice meet-cute. Available at Arcadia Premium and other fine beer stores.