By Alison Bailin Batz
They say that you eat food with your eyes first, and the same can be said with drinking cocktails. From alluring glasses to bold colors to from-the-garden garnishes, here are sippers that look as good as they taste.
Parma Italian Roots
Light as a feather but with an unexpected twist, the Italian Bird melds gin, elderflower, ginger beer, refreshing citrus and butterfly pea flowers, which alter the color of the cocktail to purple upon being added. $12. www.parmaitalianaz.com.
Blanco Tacos + Tequila
Made with rose petal-infused mango liqueur, organic Azunia Blanco Tequila, and lime, this cocktail is refreshingly romantic. The fastest way to a woman’s heart might still be roses and chocolate, but tequila served this seductively goes a long way too. $10. www.blancotacostequila.com.
Put on your mittens and dive into this seasonal rosé snowcone, which is made with fresh grapefruit, blackberry and pomegranate juices as well as provincial rosé. $11. www.moraitalian.com.
Mastro’s Lemon Drop
Mastro’s City Hall
Lemon-infused vodka, sweet and sour, triple sec and fresh lemon are served up and smoking over dry ice. Its sweet lemon-sugar rim is made by Little Waisted, recognizable from CNBC’s Billion Dollar Buyer. $18. www.mastrosrestaurants.com
This cocktail starts with a familiar flavor from childhood: Martinelli’s Apple Juice! It is mixed with lime juice, blood orange liqueur and Espolón Tequila Blanco, and then finished with a float of Gosling’s Ginger Beer for a pop of flavor and a hefty sprig of mint. $9.95. www.tacoguild.com.
SumoMaya Mexican-Asian Kitchen
Patrón Citrónge Liqueur, an all-natural orange liqueur, acts as the base of this fresh take on a margarita. It’s paired with blanco tequila, housemade prickly pear puree, fresh lime juice and rich honey, resulting in a tasty cocktail as potent as it is pretty. $12. www.sumomaya.com.
Equal parts delicate and stunning, Penny Lane features rye whiskey, blanc vermouth, sherry and aged calvados, which is a fruit-infused brandy from the Normandy region in France. The kicker: It also features soothing chamomile in the recipe as well as chamomile flowers for garnish. $15. www.restaurantprogress.com.
OBON Sushi + Bar + Ramen
Little-known fact: The Chiltepin is the only wild chile native to the United States. Smoky and hot, the wild flavors of Chiltepin syrup are deftly balanced in this cocktail with tangy lemon juice, muddled maraschino cherries, herbaceous gin, and blanc vermouth. $12. www.obonsushi.com.
La Rosa Dama
This Downtown Phoenix cocktail bar’s vibrant version of frozen sangria begins with sparkling Spanish cava rosé wine as well as an Italian aperitif that are combined with grapefruit liqueur and pineapple and lime juices. It is served frozen with a burnt lime wedge and grapefruit peel. $13. www.pobrecitophx.com.
Discovery Lounge at Boulders Resort & Spa
Floral and fruity, this stunner blends liqueur de violette, vodka, lemon, and blueberries. The result is smooth with a hint of tartness as well as a kick of sweetness. $16. www.theboulders.com.
Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse
Handcrafted with peach vodka, fresh lemon juice, rose water, housemade hibiscus simple syrup, and ripe blueberries, this drink is topped with fresh flowers and herbs to give it something extra. $13. www.handcutchophouse.com.