As we gathered around the bar, Jacob Cutino of Homeboy's Hot Sauce described his delicious Verde, made with tomatillos and poblano, habañero, jalapeño, and ghost peppers. The newest addition to the current lineup of Habanero and Jalapeño, the bright and complex Verde was the perfect pairing for The Gladly bar snacks such as Chef Bernie Kantak's crunchy chicharrónes and tangy ceviche. The Verde can be purchased at both The Gladly and its sister restaurant Citizen Public House.
Beverage Director Brian Goodwin explained the changes behind the drink menu as we prepared to sample some of the cocktails debuting June 14th. "With our giant whiskey list we have here at The Gladly, we want to represent whiskey cocktails," he said. 'We want to fly our flag a little bit higher and let people know what we’re all about." More than 60% of the list will be whiskey-based cocktails, from bold, spirit-forward libations appealing to the whiskey connoisseur, to lighter, fresher cocktails to welcome novices into this spirit world. The Gladly has long been synonymous with superlative craft cocktails and these new additions may have raised the bar even further.
Order the High Five cocktail and you'll sip on Iwai Japanese whisky balanced with riesling-cherry cordial, Mandarine Napoléon liqueur, and Lapsang Souchong black tea.
The Lion's Share mixes Jameson Irish Whiskey with Carpano Bianco, fresh lime juice, and housemade coconut syrup made by juicing coconuts to make coconut water and steeping the fibers before adding gum arabic. It will be garnished with a dehydrated lime slice and a crystallized bloom.
For Rush fans, you'll notice the clever nod to Lot No. 40 Canadian Whisky in the Today's Tom Sawyer shaken up with spiced tea syrup, Drambuie, lemon and frothy egg white.
The sultry Coffee and Cigarettes expertly blends Glenmorangie 10 Year Old with Benedictine, Turkish amaro, and Angostura bitters.
Non-whiskey fans aren't left out, however. The easy-sipping Summer Crush welcomes the season with lemongrass-infused Absolut vodka, watermelon syrup, Aperol, lime and orange bitters, served over crushed ice and spiked with a dusting of Tajín.
Housemade blackberry syrup lends its vibrant hue to the delightful Dapper Daisy, combining its sweetness with Hendrick's gin, Aquavit, pineapple and fresh lime.
And the pièce de résistance? Our group was treated to Brian's wonderful cocktail creation combining the bright vegetal notes of Homeboy's Verde with the complementary smoke of Mezcal Vago Espadin. As yet-unnamed, I'm hoping to see it appear on the menu. You should be hoping too; it's fantastic. (Update per Brian: "Ask for the 'Green Hornet' as it won't be on the menu but an insider treat! It has just the right amount of sting.")
Look for the Gladly's Summer Cocktail menu to debut on Tuesday, June 14th. Homeboy's Hot Sauce Verde can be purchased at The Gladly, Citizen Public House, and other venues and farmers markets.
The Gladly is located at 2201 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016. Phone:(602) 759-8132.