By Alison Bailin Batz
Photo by Claudia Johnstone
Nook Kitchen’s cocktail menu is part-customized takes on national trends and part-nods to classic cocktails.
Take the The Apocalypto ($12), which has the spirit-forwardness of trendy tiki-inspired cocktails and the classic flavors of a daiquiri.
It starts in a shaker with equal parts Cruzan Estate Diamond Light Rum and Sotol Coyote, an agave-based spirit made from wild agave plants in Mexico.
“We’re in the Southwest, so we wanted to give a little nod to our neighbors in Mexico rather than go down the traditional rum-heavy route,” explains Dustin Bolin, beverage director at Nook Kitchen.
Bolin then adds creamy Giffard Banana Liqueur, which pairs nicely with the rum while enhancing the rich nuttiness of the Sotol.
“Next, we make a rosemary cantaloupe cordial and add it along with a little pineapple shrub for a hit of fruity daiquiri sweetness and depth,” says Bolin, noting he often adds in something savory to balance the sweetness in his drinks, in this case, a house-made Champagne vinaigrette.
The final touches are lime, tiki bitters, ginger, allspice and black pepper. Bolin shakes and strains the mixture into a cognac tulip glass and garnishes it with a pineapple leaf and Thai basil.
“It tastes like a perfect combination between Mexico and the Caribbean: a little sweet, a little nutty and a lot like vacation.”
3623 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix; 602.651.1390; www.nookkitchen.com.