By Alison Bailin Batz
Ever wonder why so many cocktails have a hint – and sometimes more – of citrus? The acidity in most citrus works as a balancing agent in cocktails, bringing out the bitter, sour and sweet notes of drinks. So, where does citrus really shine locally? Here are some best bets for tangy temptations.
A delicious combination of pineapple-infused rum along with Don Q Gold Rum is used to add some serious pizzazz to this drink. It’s mixed with passion fruit, lime and grapefruit as well as vanilla and maple syrup to balance out the acidity. $10. www.moraitalian.com.
Virtù Honest Craft
Orange is undeniably the star here. Both fresh orange juice and orange essence are mixed with lime, passion fruit, rum and Ramazzotti – a bitter Italian liqueur. It’s then topped with prosecco. $13. www.virtuscottsdale.com.
Slo Gin Fizz
Sloe Gin, Bulldog Gin, lemon juice and simple syrup make up this classic cocktail. The addition of Fever-Tree Bitter Lemon soda works to bring out the botanical elements in the gin as well as double down on the lemon flavor. $10. www.thewomack.us.
The Diplomatic Pirate
Get your tangy Tiki on with this blend of Diplomatico Reserva Extra Anejo Rum and Plantation 3 Stars rum. The mixture is combined with a passion fruit puree, coconut liqueur and lime juice for brightness. St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram warms it up with a little spice. $14. www.selrestaurant.com.
Pineapple and lime are the stars of this cocktail. Tiki bitters is added to amp up the sharpness, and then aged Jamaican rum, Velvet Falernum and St. George California Shochu – a Japanese-inspired spirit that takes vodka to another level – round it out. $12. www.undertowphx.com.
Indigo Crow Restaurant & Bar
Sweet meets sour with this prickly pear-, raspberry- and lemon-infused cocktail. The fruits are combined with Tito’s Handmade Vodka and rosé for a smooth, bubbly beverage with some serious zing. $13. www.cavecreekcrow.com.
The Breadfruit & Rum Bar
This tropical cocktail starts with Jamaican rum, tart grapefruit and lime. It’s blended with a non-alcoholic carbonated drink called Pimento, which is known for its spice (akin to a stronger ginger ale), and then finished with star anise, which adds herbal notes. $10. www.thebreadfruit.com.
Holy grapefruit! This cocktail bursts with citrus flavor by mixing Deep Eddy Ruby Red Grapefruit vodka with freshly sliced grapefruit, mint, sweet agave and club soda. $8.50. www.saltysow.com.
Smokey the Bandito
Honor Amongst Thieves
A little sweet, sour and spice can be tasted here with the combination of smoky Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Aperol and Velvet Falernum paired with fresh lime juice, strawberry and Fresno chilies that explode in every sip. $13. www.honoraz.com.
Captain’s Grapefruit Mojito
Just A Splash
Be transported to the tropics with this zippy blend of Captain Morgan’s Grapefruit Rum and fresh grapefruit juice, perfectly balanced with fresh mint and lime and served in a just-cut coconut shell. $30. www.jwdesertridge.com.