By Alison Bailin Batz
Distilleries are popping up all over Arizona, and with Halloween right around the corner, October is a great time to get spirited by sampling some of their spirits. Here are some to try this fall that are all treat and no trick.
Meyer Lemon Vodka
O.H.S.O. Brewery & Distillery
Distilled with sugarcane and fresh Meyer lemon peels, this bright and crisp vodka with a tart, candied finish is one of many flavored vodka options at the brewery’s Arcadia distillery operation. Though great in cocktails, its meringue undertones make it perfect neat or over ice too. $25. www.ohsobrewery.com.
CaskWerks Distilling Co.
This gin started as an exclusive offering at Scottsdale’s Citizen Public House, but proved so popular that it is now available to the masses. While it retains all of its herbaceous botanical elements, expect clear notes of cardamom and rose petals thanks to an infusion of various teas. $25. www.caskwerks.com.
Bloody Basin Bourbon Whiskey
Thumb Butte Distillery
Distilled in Prescott, this air-dried and port wine-infused whiskey has some spice – and gets its name for the nearby region that was home to one of the worst battles between settlers and Native Americans in the 1800s. It is deep and rich, just like Arizona’s (sometimes shameful) history. $45. www.thumbbuttedistillery.com.
Prickly Pear Vodka
Canyon Diablo Spirits
The colorful prickly pear is among the few flavors that truly screams “Arizona.” This Flagstaff distillery – named for a one-time town during the wildest days of the Wild West in the 1800s – infuses its homemade vodka with the prickly pear fruit while it’s in bloom, resulting in a distinctly subtle sweetness that isn’t too overpowering. $27.99. www.canyondiablospirits.com.
Papago Dark Rum
Adventurous Stills uses its own handmade equipment to distill and bottle every spirit in its lineup. Developed to complement Tiki-style cocktails or be enjoyed on its own, this dark rum bursts with candied tropical fruits and toasted coconut, tasting like a beach vacation in a glass. $32. www.adventstills.com.
Saint Anne’s Kashmir Spice Gin
After more than a decade of building its craft beer brand, SanTan Brewing Company opened SanTan Spirits, a craft distillery, in recent years. Their Saint Anne’s Botanical Spirits use a mix of traditional and unconventional ingredients. This gin, for example, features 10 Indian spices including sarsaparilla, lemongrass and star anise. $25. www.santanspirits.com.
AZ48 Resort Vodka
Located in Cave Creek, this distillery uses fresh Sedona spring water in its corn-based vodka, which is filtered five times through activated charcoal. It is exceptionally smooth and quite subtle, making it the perfect addition to a cocktail one might – as you can likely guess from the name – enjoy at a local high-end resort. $22. www.cavecreekbourbon.com.
Blue Clover Gin
Blue Clover Distillery
This Scottsdale distillery focuses on adding modern twists to its spirits. Case in point: The key botanicals in this gin are blood orange, rose and peach rather than traditional elements like juniper, coriander, anise or lavender. The result is floral yet clean and still slightly herbaceous. $22. www.bluecloverdistillery.com.