Get in the spirit this month by enjoying State 48 in a glass with these Arizona-made libations. No trick. So many treats!
Whiskies at SanTan Spirits, an extension of the Chandler-based brewery launched in 2015, are a point of pride as each varietal is curated from two to four years using E’Levage, a time-intensive process that allows each batch to breathe deep into the wood for maximum flavor infusion. The difference this process makes is exceptionally obvious with this, the first in the brand’s line of flavored whiskies. As the name suggests, it is meant to transport you back to your youth and remind you of that amazingly smooth caramel in a Cadbury Caramello candy bar. But, unlike the Caramello, there is no chocolate. Instead, sea salt caramel is combined with a hint of toasted marshmallow and then added together to the freshly distilled whiskey prior to proofing.
When Grand Canyon Brewing expanded to include a distillery in 2017, they knew the possibilities were endless on what type of spirits they could make, flavors they could try and product extensions they could create. By 2019, they were testing out ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages with the creation of Orange Blossom and Prickly Pear based vodkas. Today, they have five products in the market including vodka, rum and gin based canned beverages. The Orange Blossom Vodka Soda is a standout, as much for being completely sugar free as it is for its bubbly effervescence and sweet and heady flavor.
In the years since O.H.S.O. debuted its Arcadia line of vodkas – ranging from rosemary to lemon to horseradish – the nano-brewery has grown exponentially, adding a larger-scale distillery and opening sister locations statewide. This nutty offering from their ever-expanding line truly tastes like medium-roast coffee, but also has hints of caramel, toasted sugar and vanilla. Distilled from sugarcane, it is blended with cold brew coffee, which is also made in house and sourced from Infusion Coffee and Tea in Tempe.
The first-ever the micro-distillery in Old Town Scottsdale focuses on adding modern twists to its spirits. Case in point: they key botanicals in this gin are blood orange, rose and peach rather than a heaping of more traditional elements such as juniper, coriander, anise or lavender. The result is floral yet clean, and still slightly herbaceous.
“Craft” is used a lot these days. There is craft beer, craft cocktails, craft food…and the list goes on. The word itself is derived from “craeft” in Old English and essentially means strength and skilling in planning, making and executing something. At The Craftsman, they take the original meaning very seriously as every item on the restaurant’s menu is made from scratch daily from locally sourced ingredients and local vendors. They even developed their own distillation program to create their own line of spirits for their cocktails (which they also offer for sale onsite). Currently, there is a vodka, gin, rum, bourbon and coffee liqueur, as well as this – my favorite of their offerings – a barrel-aged amaro, a sweet herbal liqueur perfect for after dinner.