Cocktails

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Here at PHOENIX, it’s no secret we love experimental cocktails. Chile pepper-infused vodka shaken with purple mangosteen liquor and topped with palo verde essence bubbles? Yes, please. (I made that up, though I expect to see something similar on Valley mixologists’ craft cocktail lists any day now.) But while we aren’t scared to participate in “Fear Factor – Cocktail Edition,” it’s always nice to return to the classics every so often.

The Negroni is one such old faithful.

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According to legend (from the soothsayers over at HuffPo), the Moscow Mule was invented in the 1940s as a way to get picky Americans to start drinking vodka and ginger beer. Before then, it seems stateside drinkers weren't fans of either vodka or ginger beer on their own. But a mash-up of the two had us singing a different tune. The Moscow Mule – just like the animal it's named for – is not simply the sum of its parts... something special happens when you mix vodka (or try gin!) and ginger beer with a healthy squeeze of lime in a copper mug. It's a magical hybrid.

We've scouted the best five mules in the Valley for your mash-up pleasure.

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The leaves on the trees may not be changing color, but the vibes of autumn are all around in the Valley of the Sun – the cooler temperatures, the Halloween decorations, the Thanksgiving recipes, the pumpkin spice-flavored everything, and best of all – the flavorful fall craft cocktails at local lounges. Here are five favorites, with nary a pumpkin spice-anything among them.

El Segundo (The Parlor): mezcal, watermelon, Apertivo Capalletti, lime, black pepper. $11
With a subtle spice pinch and smoky tones from mezcal ebbing and flowing into a soothing, mellow melon finish, El Segundo’s like an Autumn equinox of cocktails. Served with mint leaves and a thick watermelon slice garnish over lots of ice. (pictured, left)

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