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2018 RH Best Cocktails in America Earth Rise The Annex Flagstaff The Annex

2018 Best Cocktails in America: Earth Rise

These 10 cocktails, representing leading bar trends, were selected by editors of Restaurant Hospitality to spotlight innovation. Read on and get inspired. See all the winners >> 

Where to find it: The Annex, Flagstaff, Ariz.

Price: $15

Creator: Nick Williams

Ingredients: Bacon-washed Aviation American Gin, Cocchi Americano, orange bitters, butterfly pea flower tea

Trend: Thoughtfully themed cocktails

The Annex restaurant is near the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz. Officials at the observatory — which aided in mapping the moon for the Apollo mission — asked restaurant co-owner and chief spirits officer Nick Williams to develop a cocktail commemorating the 50th anniversary this year of the NASA moon landing.

Williams said he was listening to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” for inspiration, and he decided to create a drink that reflected the perspective of the lonely astronaut looking down on Earth, “feeling scared out there and far away from home.”

Every component tells the story: The Aviation Gin is bacon-washed — because bacon was the first food eaten in space — but it also offers some smoky salinity and a smooth texture. He adds the aperitif Cocchi Americano, because it roughly translates to “cocky American,” which seemed appropriate for the task of landing on the moon.

The orange bitters are a reference to the Tang so famously drunk by the astronauts. And the butterfly pea flower tea is frozen into the ice sphere in homage of the “Earth Rise” photo snapped by Bill Anders on the Apollo 8 mission. It’s garnished with a lemon twist, to suggest the flames of the rockets but also “the flames of human ambition,” Williams said.


TAGS: Drink Trends
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