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Extraordinary Elixirs

Creative Cocktails That Transform Happy Hour Into an Adult Adventure

While beer and wine are absolutely fine, why not shake up happy hour by sipping something new to you? Thanks to the Valley’s top mixology menus, there are copious cocktails out there for those seeking to experiment. The options tantalize the taste buds with the most truly unique specialty drinks.  

Some play on nostalgia, as Bevvy (Bevvy.com) in Old Town Scottsdale does with its Cereal Killer ($14). It evokes childhood memories by combining cereal-washed almond milk with Cruzan Aged White Rum, coconut, white cacao, toasted almond bitters, and tiny marshmallows that look an awful lot like Lucky Charms.

Another must for nostalgia is at Diego Pops (DiegoPops.com). Its Guava Coconut ($15), made with Ciroc Coconut Vodka, coconut water, and guava juice, is served in a baby coconut, which is sure to send guests on a walk down the memory lane of their favorite tropical vacations.

Others take a calming approach to recipe development. For example, ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho (HotelValleyHo.com) has its Purple People Eater ($16). It stars a house-made honey infused with refreshing ripe blueberries and soothing lavender. The comforting elixir is paired with Floral Botanist Gin before being topped with lime juice. Prosecco adds bubbly effervescence.

True Food Kitchen (TrueFoodKitchen.com) also offers an intoxicatingly refreshing means to stimulate the senses with its Tee Time ($14). It is made with Tomatin Dualchas Scotch, known for its delicate, candy-like sweetness. The scotch is infused with aromatic chamomile, a critical aid in digestion that also helps reduce anxiety, and then combined with lime juice and Barrow’s Intense, a liqueur made with fresh ginger.

Some of the cocktails on the menu at Cala Scottsdale (CalaScottsdale.com) also fall into this category, including Mez-Cala ($20), which features CENTR CBD sparkling water, as well as Dos Hombres Mezcal, and Liquid Alchemist ginger.

There are also those who take great pride in exposing guests to a spirit they have never heard of, let alone tasted. Count CRUjiente Tacos (CRUTacos.com) in that camp. The upscale taqueria challenges guests to get out of their comfort zones with its JapanKnees Bees ($12). It starts with silky Suntory Toki Whiskey from Japan, which gives it a subtle sweetness and spicy finish. The whiskey is enhanced with raw liquid honey that has been infused with cascade hops.

Similarly, Sushi Roku Scottsdale (SushiRoku.com) currently offers a cocktail called Sundown On Sunset ($18). In addition to gin, this beauty features Ozeki Nigori Sake from Asia, and Liquid Alchemist’s blood orange syrup. It is finished with sweet apricot brandy, lime juice, and a dash of grapefruit bitters to balance all the bold flavors.

Finally, several mixology menus simultaneously play on color, aromatics, and hard-to-get spirits. Renata’s Hearth (RenatasHearth.com) certainly falls into this category with its Los Muertos ($22). It starts with reposado tequila infused with Serrano peppers. The tequila is combined with agave and lime juice, and then activated charcoal, turning the entire potion black. Rimmed with black lava salt, Los Muertos is doused in smoke and then topped with a cloche to capture the aromatics until they arrive at the table for the reveal.

Housewife Behavior ($19) at Maple & Ash (MapleAndAsh.com) is another boozy doozy. It is made with fresh strawberry-lychee juice, Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto to add floral and botanical notes, and a Syrah float to add dimension. Expect dark berry flavors initially, but a light, bright, fruity finish with a hint of lemongrass.

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