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Thirsty Thursday: The Lee Trevino from Phoenix Public Market Cafe

Lee Trevino

by: Amanda Savage

Bar Manager of the Phoenix Public Market Café, Zach Gillespie, gives us the low-down on one of his latest creations — the sweet, but spicy, and insanely refreshing, “Lee Trevino” cocktail.

AFM: What was the inspiration behind the cocktail? 

Zach: I wanted to create a drink that is a little sweet and a little spicy. I wanted something that would take people by surprise. It’s definitely a twist on a classic “John Daly” cocktail (iced tea, lemonade and vodka), which in itself is a twist on an “Arnold Palmer” drink (half lemonade and half iced tea). Once I made the drink, it all came down to the name. I figured I should maintain the golf theme that inspired the cocktail. By coincidence I was watching Happy Gilmore and I kept seeing Lee Trevino throughout the movie. That’s when it hit me; I would call it the “Lee Trevino” cocktail.

AFM: How does the drink taste? How are the ingredients balanced to create the perfect taste?

Zach: When you first take a sip of the “Lee Trevino” you taste the sweet and savory components of the lemonade, iced tea and St. Germain. This is followed by a slow, spicy sensation that comes from the habanero-infused simple syrup. Using the right balance of habanero, the drink remains refreshing, but it’s just spicy enough to make your mouth water and entice you to take another sip.

AFM: What could make this drink taste bad? 

Zach: It all comes down to the habanero syrup. If you add too much, the drink will have an overpowering habanero flavor and a sensation of spice right from the starting gate. With too much habanero syrup, you won’t get the layering effects of the different flavors. If you add too little, you won’t get to enjoy the habanero sensation and it will taste like a “John Daly” that possesses more of an herbal taste.

AFM: Can guests supplement other alcohols or mixers to create a variation of this drink?

Zach: Yes, you definitely can. I’ve supplemented gin, which my colleague Sid named “The Mulligan”. I’ve had regular customers supplement bourbon or scotch to make a spicy rendition of a “Whiskey Sour”.

AFM: Why do people love it?

Zach: I think people love it because it doesn’t possess just one flavor. Every time you taste it, your mouth experiences a sweetness that flows into a savory flavor and right as those flavors leave your taste buds, that spicy pepper sensation sneaks up on you.

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Make it Yourself: 

1oz Vodka

.5oz St. Germain

2oz lemon juice

2oz habanero simple syrup

Shake and strain over fresh ice and top with iced tea.

Follow Amanda on Twitter @Amanda_Savage

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