This little Tucson cocktail is going to Paris, the food capital of the world


08 Jun This little Tucson cocktail is going to Paris, the food capital of the world

The Old Pueblo is going to the City of Lights. And we’re taking a care package …

Later this month, Tucson chef Janos Wilder will prepare a meal at the UNESCO headquarters, located just down the street from the Eiffel Tower. He’ll talk about Tucson’s recent designation as a City of Gastronomy, the only one in the United States.

He’s already come up with his menu of bocaditos: little bites like cholla buds and prickly pear that represent 4,000 years of Arizona foraging. (He’s even got a slideshow of food history that he plans to show to the 200+ officials and delegates in attendance.) But what to drink? That’s the fun part …

Last Thursday Janos held a contest at his foodie venue The Carriage House, behind Downtown Kitchen and Cocktails at 125 S. Arizona Ave. Bartenders from six local restaurants attempted to create the iconic Tucson cocktail. The winner would take home a smile and a cash prize of $500. And they are, drum roll please … The Parish!

Developed by bartenders Stephanie Kingman and Kris Carr (pictured up top), the Ahumado Fresca is a boozy take on raspados with aged Sotol liquor. This Mexican spirit is similar to Tequila, but is made with an agave-like plant called the Desert Spoon, which grows all over Southern Arizona. Sotol is prized for its gentle, vegetal flavor.

The base of the cocktail is actually a rich tamarind syrup, and the team added the “ahumado” element by smoking local honey over mesquite wood. A little lime juice rounds it out and puts a pucker on your tongue.

It’s a little ironic that the event’s attendees voted for a Southern restaurant. But The Parish is on a roll these days. In the past week, head chef Travis Peters also took home the top spot at Tucson’s annual Iron Chef competition.

To celebrate, The Parish will have the Ahumado Fresca on the specials menu throughout the weekend. The drink will run for a limited time at $9 apiece. Salud!

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