In the contemporary cocktail renaissance that envelopes the city of Bentonville it’s easy to recognize the artistry of the drink unto itself, whether inspiration comes from classics such as the New Orleans Sazerac , or nouveau masterworks boasting ingredients that include fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruit from the Farmers’ Market. Regardless, the High South is a rich locale to garner insights and inspiration for beautiful, artistically crafted adult beverages. We’ve listed a few of our favorites with recipes in tow that we know you’ll enjoy, whether you’re enjoying Culture Hour in Eleven, or perhaps creating your very own Cultured Cocktail hour at home. Live, Love, and Enjoy Responsibly..!
Sapphire Moon The Sapphire Moon Cocktail currently on the beverage menu in Eleven is my favorite drink on the planet right now. This whimsical concoction came to Eleven mixologist Daniel Swisher in a dream, boasting flavor profiles of wintry juniper, fresh orange, and the surprisingly harmonious addition of blue moon. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it…because this one is certain to KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF! Sapphire Moon Ingredients • 2 ounces Bombay Sapphire gin • 1/4 fresh orange • 1/4 ounce fresh ginger syrup • 1 ounce Blue Moon Ale • 1 orange twist
Preparation In a cocktail shaker, muddle the oranges along with the ginger syrup, then add ice and the Bombay Sapphire Gin and shake well. Gently strain and pour into a chilled martini glass, top with the beer, then garnish with orange twist.
El Sueno This is a drink that we serve year-round in Eleven simply because it’s appropriate in the autumn and winter months because of the presence of rosemary; but it’s equally delicious and appropriate in the spring and summer months because of its refreshing components via tequila, lime, and fresh cucumbers. It’s also pretty and perfect to serve in a pitcher on your back porch on a gorgeous Ozark evening with friends. El Sueno Ingredients • 2 ounces blanco tequila (Optional) • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice • ounce chilled tonic water • 10 rosemary leaves, plus 1 rosemary sprig • 6 very thin unpeeled English cucumber wheels • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
Preparation In a cocktail shaker, muddle the rosemary leaves with 3 of the cucumber wheels, the lime juice, and the simple syrup. Add ice and tequila and shake well. In a highball glass, layer the remaining 3 cucumber wheels with ice. Strain the drink into the prepared highball glass, gently top with tonic, and garnish with the rosemary sprig. *Substitute additional lime juice or lemonade for tequila to make a refreshing non-alcoholic drink. High South Manhattan Manhattans are essential to my well-being and happiness, so of course I had to construct a High South version using just a whisper of earthy sweetness from molasses, creating a new, Southern twist on an old classic that appeals to both the hardcore and nouveau imbibers in Northwest Arkansas. High South Manhattan Ingredients • 1 1/2 oz Rock Town bourbon • 1/4 oz dry vermouth • 1/2 oz molasses • dash of Peychaud bitters • thick sliver of orange peel
Preparation Measure and pour the bourbon, vermouth, molasses, and bitters into a pint glass. Add cracked ice to the glass, and stir all ingredients. Use a strainer to transfer the now-chilled liquid into a standard cocktail glass with ice. Add the orange peel and enjoy.