By Alison Bailin Batz
Photo by Debby Wolvos
When Terry Craig opened Rhythm & Wine in 2010, his vision was to create a space where all things pop culture, culinary and cocktails converged.
“We were kitschy and rock ‘n’ roll in all aspects of our decor and menu,” Craig says. But it wasn’t working quite as intended.
“We were constantly mistaken for a concert venue,” says Craig, who was at a crossroads by mid-2018.
“After a lot of soul searching, we invested in redeveloping Rhythm & Wine to be more sophisticated and subdued,” Craig says. “But we didn’t totally abandon our rock ‘n’ roll roots. We just poured them into our ‘Rocktails.’”
“Rocktails” refers to the drink menu, which includes eight options inspired by and named after songs, as well as a sub-menu of specialty martinis called “Martini Rhapsody” in honor of Queen.
One of the most popular cocktails is the Raspberry-Pink Champagne “Float” ($11).
“This was inspired by a trip to California, where I saw a server bringing what looked like a slushy to another table,” Craig says.
With just two ingredients, the make is simple, but the flavors are complex.
“We start with a raspberry sorbet made locally by Grateful Spoon Gelato,” Craig says.
A hefty scoop is placed in a martini glass and then topped with a sparkling Brachetto d’Acqui – a red wine – from the Piedmont region of Italy.
“We use this wine for three reasons: its stark red color, its effervescence, and its natural sweetness,” says Craig, who garnishes the drink with raspberries and a mint leaf.
The flavor is bright, like spring itself, and serves as a popular palate cleanser all year long.
Rhythm & Wine, 7605 E. Pinnacle Peak Road, Scottsdale; 480.487.6999; www.rhythmandwine.com.