Tastes Like Home: This is Phoenix’s First Official Cocktail

Winner of the Spirit of Phoenix Cocktail Competition Nicole Long of Santo Arcadia and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego with Long’s winning cocktail, “The Phoenix”

In honor of the local holiday 602 Day, the City of Phoenix in partnership with Visit Phoenix and the Arizona Restaurant Association, announced the city’s first signature cocktail as part of the inaugural Spirit of Phoenix Cocktail Competition. 

The prestigious cocktail competition brought together mixologists from across the Valley to compete for the title of best cocktail. Dozens upon dozens of recipes were sent in during the submission period, but only one won the official city title. 

The bartender of the winning cocktail is Nicole Long of Santo Arcadia. Long was crowned the competition winner for her carefully crafted cocktail, The Phoenix. She currently bartends at Santo and Pecado in Arcadia. 

Long’s winning specialty cocktail features a blend of locally sourced ingredients, including homemade chiltepin mesquite honey syrup, prickly pear fruit and freshly squeezed lemons picked from her own garden. The handcrafted beverage is infused with Milagro tequila. 

Long has lived in the Sonoran Desert for nearly a decade and has loved her time in the Valley. When reflecting on the competition she said, “When I first saw the Spirit of Phoenix Cocktail Competition, I knew that my recipe had to be spicy, and I definitely wanted to use local ingredients.” She added, “The first thing I did was list out who this cocktail is for, how it can highlight Phoenix and what Phoenicians like to drink; I wanted this to be a simpler cocktail, something you could make at home or having at a barbecue with friends and family, and something you could get here in the Valley at a bar or restaurant.”

Phoenix is known for its rich culinary and cocktail scene. Ron Price, president and CEO of Visit Phoenix, said, “We recognize how imperative it is to honor our storied culinary and cocktail footprint. The city cocktail transcends mere mixology; it captures the vibrant energy of our community and the unparalleled creativity and commitment to innovation that define our city’s exceptional food and beverage scene—a celebration of the flavors and stories that make Phoenix a true gastronomic destination.”

“We were amazed by the creativity and talent of all the participants,” said Mayor Kate Gallego. “Nicole’s cocktail dazzled us with its ingenuity, expertly incorporating local ingredients that capture the bold spirit of our city. I’m excited that Nicole’s outstanding creation will be the official city cocktail that delivers an incredible taste of Phoenix to visitors and residents alike.”

William Johnson of Huss Brewing Company, Arlene Maganda of Merc Bar & Highball and Spencer Pendergrass of Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company rounded out the final four of the competition. Keep an eye out for The Phoenix as it begins to hit menus at restaurants and bars throughout the Valley.

For more information about the competition and drink visit phxcocktail.com.

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