I became a fan of craft cocktails about five years ago thanks to a little speakeasy-style bar in Tucson, Ariz., called Scott and Co.
Before I visited Scott and Co., I didn’t really know—or, frankly, think—much about cocktails beyond whether I wanted my martini dirty or not, and what type of whiskey tasted best when mixed with Coke. But Scott and Co. opened my eyes to the fact that drinks can have just as much flavor and nuance as any well-prepared entrée.
I learned that ice matters—both in shape and size. I learned that ingredients don’t have to be rote: One can create amazing syrups, bitters and spice mixtures to pair with good liquors. I learned that things like smoke and herbs and gratings and oils can do wondrous things when mixed in the right portions. I learned that truly talented bartenders don’t even need liquor to concoct delicious drinks; after all, non-drinkers deserve good cocktails, too.
In short, I fell head over heels in love with craft cocktails.
That’s why we here at the Independent decided to create Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Week: We want to spread the word about our area’s amazing craft cocktails, being created and tweaked and honed by bartenders and mixologists at bars and restaurants large and small, in every part of the Coachella Valley.
However, we also think that with good cocktails come big responsibility: All Craft Cocktail Week participants were required to agree that they would “promote safe and responsible alcohol consumption throughout the week by offering special non-alcoholic drinks, encouraging designated drivers and the use of taxis/ride-share services, and doing all (they) can to make sure customers are enjoying Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Week responsibly.”
We also think it’s important to give back to the community. That’s why at least $2 from every special cocktail offered during Craft Cocktail Week at participating bars and restaurants will be split between two amazing local nonprofits that make sure ALL of our valley’s residents never go hungry: The LGBT Community of the Desert’s Community Food Bank, and the Desert AIDS Project Food Pantry.
At PSCraftCocktails.com, you’ll find information on what this year’s Craft Cocktail Week participants are offering—and what they’re giving back. You’ll also find details on the week’s two big cocktail competitions. Keep an eye on thewebsite for updates, late-joining participants and information as it develops.
While we’re talking about cocktails, make sure to check out the debut of the Independent’s new monthly craft-cocktail column, written by Kevin Carlow.
Join us from Nov. 11-19 at these amazing bars and restaurants to celebrate the art of the craft cocktail. Enjoy.