By Alison Bailin Batz
Photo by Debby Wolvos
Marigold Maison Executive Chef Sunil Kumar is known for taking authentic, spicy Indian flavors and kicking them up a notch with innovative twists on the classics, including chicken tikka, samosas and his award-winning tandoori oven delicacies.
“From curry to cumin, the flavors Chef Kumar develops are as big, bright and bold as he is,” says Rob Holder, director of beverage and brand development at Marigold Maison. “Developing cocktails to complement – but not compete – with these flavors is a challenge, but one our Blossom Martini is more than up for.”
The Blossom Martini ($11) puts a balanced, refreshingly floral spin on the standard vodka-based libation, developed to pair with Kumar’s spicier dishes.
“We start with Grays Peak Vodka,” Holder says. “It’s our preferred choice because it’s distilled five times via a proprietary reverse osmosis process, removing any trace minerals.”
The gluten-free vodka is then combined with Bols Elderflower. “Bols has the perfect balance in sweetness and alcohol content, and the flavor really ramps up when we add fresh lemon and grapefruit juices into the mix,” Holder says.
Holder then shakes the ingredients and strains the concoction into a martini glass, which is then topped with Peychaud’s Bitters.
“Slightly sweeter and less biting than traditional bitters, Peychaud’s provides an earthy zest that complements the grapefruit tang and brings the entire cocktail together.”
Marigold Maison, 4720 E. Cactus Road, Phoenix; 602.795.0020;