Arizona Cocktail Week Recap

Pink Pigeon Rum Party

Arizona Cocktail Week took place February 19-25 this year. It was the first of its kind in the area and centered around Scottsdale, Arizona. The week included seminars, a grand tasting, parties, events, spirited dinners (tasting menu paired with cocktails) and local restaurants and bars were doing specials. I arrived on the first day and after a late lunch and cocktail headed to the first event which was a rooftop party at the Hotel Valley Ho.

view of the pool from the rooftop

I mingled with friends and met some new ones including the bartenders from Scott & Co in Tucson who were planning on taking over Mabel’s on Main later that evening.

Kate Grutman for Pink Pigeon Rum

Kate Grutman, most recently of Sotto in Los Angeles, was downstairs representing Pink Pigeon Rum. She made a Pink Pigeon, Luxardo Fernet and Coke drink.

Pink Pigeon cocktail

The DJ was spinning some nifty tunes which set our feet a’dancing. Ladies in pink feathers were everywhere.

Negroni Flight at Kazimierz World Wine Bar

After the Pink Pigeon Rum party, we headed out to Kazimierz World Wine Bar. They were offering a special Negroni Flight as part of Arizona Cocktail Week.

From Left to Right:

#1- Mezcal, Aperol, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth

#2- Hendricks gin, Campari, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, rosemary

#3- Bols Genever, Aperol, Ramazzotti, lemon

I favored the traditional one best with the rosemary though I liked both the mezcal and Bols Genever versions.

Then we were off to see the Scott & Co bartenders take over Mabel’s. Check out that post for more details on the cocktails.

you can probably guess what profession this car's owner works in

The next day after some much needed eggs, I hit the Grand Tasting at the Hotel Valley Ho pool.

Garrett McKechnie for Bols Genever

I ran into 1886 Bartender Garrett McKechnie representing Bols Genever. He convinced me I needed a Kopstootje which is a shot of Bols Genever and a cold beer. The bright Arizona sun must have been affecting my judgement of how much booze I could take in at this point of the morning. I tried the regular Bols and then the aged. The aged is closer to a whiskey. Their motto is “strangely perfect.” And it was.

from the Grand Tasting - some of my favorites of the day

Grand Tasting - featuring Russell Davis and Danny Ronen as Darth Vader on the left

After the Grand Tasting which was over two days, I headed over to the Absolut Sensory Experience. Read about that seminar  here. There was no caviar as there was in Portland or food from Grant Achatz as there was in the LA event but I’ll take the cinnamon.

seminars at Arizona Cocktail Week - some people need to pace themselves

I attended two seminars that day; Garden to Glass and Cocktail Culture and Trends.  I left the next day though there was another round of interesting seminars. It sounded like the spirited dinners were also fun. I wish I had done one of those or the Bols Genever crawl. I know from past experience the Bols crawls are always a good time.

I also heard the Last Slinger Standing competition between Phoenix and Tucson bartenders was really amazing with former LA bartender Shel Bourdon winning the competition for Phoenix.

There’s always next year!

Arizona Cocktail Week

© The Minty 2012