The Most Interesting Drink of 2017 (so far)

We are slightly past the halfway point of 2017 and it is safe to say I’ve just experienced the craziest cocktail of the year thus far. On our annual road trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas, my wife and I decided to roll the dice on a new restaurant off the strip called Sparrow + Wolf. This hip modern eatery is located about a mile from The Palms. The food was delicious! I ordered the Campfire Duck which was cooked to perfection. This was a decadent combination of medium rare moist duck breast topped with a smoky melt-in-your-mouth slice of foie gras. It is served atop wood ear mushrooms and a gravy-like salted cucumber, plum and duck bone broth ($22.00) But heads up – anticipate upscale restaurant portions. If you come hungry, you’ll leave hungry. But sometimes in a city full of all-you-can-eat buffets, a little moderation is a nice change of pace. 

(Our Charcuterie)

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The Drank

Now a good rule of thumb is when you see the cocktail section of the menus label “Libations”, you are in for an artisan handcrafted treat. With names like “Get Off My Lawn” and “Where There’s Smoke”, choosing a single drink to go all in on was the biggest gamble I took this weekend. The cocktail I opted for was titled “Jump The Shark ” (think Happy Days). The description read Plantation Pineapple Rum, Peanut-infused Bourbon, Banana, lime and Mint. Pretty much every major food group. Believe it or not, this was quite tasty – a great balance of sweet and tart. The subtle hint of banana added an interesting and memorable finish. Our server described this drink as ” the strongest drink on the menu”  and this gentleman was speaking the truth. Here’s the best part- this Sharknado of rum and bourbon is served in a gray and sky blue ceramic shark’s head! That alone makes this crafted cocktail worth trying. (Footnote; I learned the hard way that the ceramic shark head is “not a souvenir “)  

shark

Take a trip off the strip. The smoke filled casinos, celebrity chef restaurants and $10 Bud Light bars will always be there. Next time you’re in Vegas, grab a drink, a bite and a breath of fresh air at the Sparrow + Wolf. 

 

– AZ Survival Guide

Take off to Barrio Brewing Co.

I will be the first to admit that I had no idea there was an airport in Mesa and unless you were looking to charter a G6 you might be as oblivious to the existence of the Mesa Gateway Airport as I was. But there is a must try brewery waiting in the wings!

The phrase “Grabbing a beer at the airport” typically conjures up memories of chugging a quick over priced tasteless domestic beer prior to your zone number being announced on the Sky Harbor PA system. This is not the case at Barrio Brewing Co of Mesa. Barrio offers 12 of their own craft beer with ABV’s ranging from 4.6%-10.1%. The decor is tasteful and modern. As you sit at the solid poured concrete bar you are surrounded by a panoramic view of the tarmac and private jets.

Inspired by the sound of the Allegiant airplane soaring overhead, my wife and I decided to start with a flight consisting of the pale ale,raspberry ale, Citrazona and the grapefruit IPA. My personal favorite was the grapefruit IPA. Most IPA connoisseurs would concede that Ballast Point has set the industry standards for all grapefruit related beers. Barrio’s version measures up pretty well. Their grapefruit offering is sweet and tart. It’s has a beautiful slightly cloudy amber hue. After the 4 ounce tasting, I could not resist ordering a full pint of this amazing beer. It may be a bit too sweet to drink more than one or two of these in a single session. I would suggest following this beverage up with Barrio’s flagship beer, The blonde (4.7 ABV). This light crisp and refreshing craft ale was the perfect accompaniment to this 112 degree summer day. This golden yellow beer was perfectly carbonated and served ice cold with a slight malt finish.

This brewpub features a full food menu with all bar staples. The tequila-cilantro Buffalo wings are amazing. They start with a medium spicy kick up front with a sweet cilantro finish. The sauce is so tasty you will honestly consider eating your napkin.

This is a first class brewery I recommend adding to your itinerary.

Pricing:

All hours brewed craft beers $5

Happy Hour 2-7 PM Monday-Friday $4 beers
Growlers can be filled and purchased
$12 refills
$17 new growler purchase

Click HERE  to visit Barrio Brewing’s official site

 

– AZ Survival Guide

Your guide to arts, eats and adventures in Arizona