We love a classic martini as much as the next person. But there’s something to be said for cocktail experimentation. Here are a few of our favorite out-of-the-box drinks.
Think of everything you love about popcorn—so salty, so buttery, so crunchy—and now imagine the alchemy that occurs when you blend those flavors into a cocktail. That’s just what the geniuses at Bitter & Twisted have done. The $12 Redenbacher (as in, Orville) combines the aroma of sous-vide popcorn with butter-washed bourbon, brown butter syrup and bitters. The drink is served in a rocks glass with a few kernels of popcorn on the side. Movie viewing optional. 1 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix, 602.340.1924
Behold the transformative power of the butterfly pea flower. Hailing from Southeast Asia, this key ingredient in the Italian Bird, $12, at Parma Italian Roots acts as a “mood ring” of sorts, shifting the cocktail’s color from yellow to lavender. The gin-based drink also sports ginger beer, elderflower and citrus. 20831 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480.292.9900
The notes of honey, almond and clove in Cutwater rye whiskey are sublime enough to stand on their own. But at Scottsdale Tiki bar The Drunk Munk, inventive drinks are the name of the game. For the Happy Buddha ($14), bartenders blend Cutwater rye with lime, cinnamon and pineapple for a flavor profile that whisks you away to the Pacific Islands. Did we mention the cocktail is served in a Buddha statue with a tiny straw poking up from the belly? 7133 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, 480.699.8454
It wasn’t that long ago that the mojito—a minty Cuban highball—was enjoying a revival. Now, thanks to the rise of CBD, there’s a new drink clamoring for attention. At MATCH Restaurant & Lounge, sip on the CBD-inspired Bojito ($15). What it is: Cucumber vodka combined with lime juice and housemade simple syrup, then infused with mint CBD oil. The tasty concoction is topped off with fizzy club soda and garnished with mint leaves. FOUND:RE Hotel, 1100 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602.875.8080
Photography by: From top: by shelby moore/courtesy of bitter & twisted; courtesy of parma italian roots; courtesy of the drunk munk; courtesy of MATCH Restaurant & Lounge