Bitter and Twisted Cocktail Parlour
Last week a friend was visiting from out of town and I knew which one of my favorites I wanted to introduce her to - Bitter and Twisted Cocktail Parlour in downtown Phoenix. And since I was enjoying a staycation at the Hotel Palomar Phoenix, all I had to do was walk across the street.
I love everything about this striking modern-day cocktail lounge: The beautiful space, the craft cocktails, the service, and the food (see prior interviews with co-owners Ross Simon and Chef Bob Tam).
I took Ross' suggestion of ordering a L.I.T. Up, a take on a Long Island Iced Tea cleverly served in a Coke can and LOVED it. Of course, at B&T it's a sophisticated version using Averna, port, lemon bitters, vanilla liqueur and carbonation to mimic the cola. It also packs a punch, so the limit is two. My husband's drink of choice, as always, was the Flawless Martini made with vodka. This superlative Martini is a custom blend with gin or vodka that's been chilled to less than 10 degrees Fahrenheit and truly is flawless. Our next round was a Cherry Sidecar, another Ross recommendation and a new favorite for Ernesto, and an excellent rum cocktail for me at our lovely server Nikki's suggestion.
The three of us also shared some favorites of mine: The Typhoon Chicken and Dumpling Burger, and Betelnut Pork Belly and Yum Yum Noodles:
Chef Bob recommended that I order the Lucky Eight special and I do what I'm told. It was another inventive winner - a juicy burger stacked with crispy onion rings and draped in wasabi puree and unagi sauce. And a special bonus! Although it was a Wednesday, they still had a few of the Tuesday-only High Spirited Cupcake special, a boozy but balanced indulgence that changes weekly. These are honestly the best cupcakes I've ever had and I'm a little addicted. I guess it's a good thing we live half an hour away. I think the Frostie's Noggin was the best one yet, a decadent treat involving cognac and eggnog. Follow High Spirited Cupcakes on Facebook so you'll always know what Lauren Klein is baking that week.
Some cocktails on past visits: Christopher Oaxacan (a take on the Blood and Sand with mezcal), Chocolate Sazerac, JT Manhattan, Becherovka (a Czech liqueur), The Orchard, and a Singapore Sling.
Past dishes have included the Seoul Fried Chicken with watermelon kimchi, Pretzel Burger, Momo Ramen Burger, Lucky Eight rolls, "Chish and Fips", Frito Pie, Typhoon Chicken, Dumpling Burger, Lucky Eight Buffy Burger, Headless Horseman cupcake, a cupcake with bourbon, cinnamon streusel, and a bourbon butterscotch, and the Lemon “Stay-Puft” Pie.