Local Libations

    Beat the heat with these summer drinks

    Story and Photography by Pete Grady

    With temperatures rising all of us start climbing out of our dens to thaw out and get a good stretch. It’s time to call up a couple friends and get together for some conversation and refreshment. What better place to do that than one of Eagle’s local watering holes where they’ve been hard at work these last few weeks gearing up for summer by changing menus, dusting off patio furniture and hiring additional staff. We wanted to know what five popular venues plan to offer up in the way of refreshing cocktails as we roll into those warmer months. Here’s what we found out.


    Bella Aquila

    High Desert MargaritaBella_Aquila-small1

    Created for the summer of 2011 by bar supervisor Niki Grasska, it became an instant hit and got promoted to their Giro del Italia specialty drink list where it now sells well year round. Based on Tarantula 100 Reposado Tequila, it’s a visually stunning drink with it’s bright fuchsia hue and half rim of salt gracing a frosted Omega martini glass. Did we mention that it’s delicious?

    • Tarantula 100 Reposado Tequila (100% blue agave and 100 proof)
    • Cheri’s Desert Harvest all natural Prickly Pear Cactus Syrup
    • House made fresh lime sour
    • Dash of agave nectar



    Melon-choly TiniCylosDrink-small

    Cylos is the “new guy” in town and they’ve been hard at work dreaming up some unique concoctions that will set them apart. A standout for this summer will be the Melon-choly Tini. Centered on the traditional vodka martini, bartenders Alexa and Alex each contributed to the creation of this delectable variation. The summer twist comes from a splash of melon liqueur. Sounds like a great way to settle in and enjoy their patio!

    • Vodka
    • Dry vermouth
    • Melon liquor
    • Kiwi slice garnish



    Chocolate Crush MartiniCrush-small

    Seeking to be the go-to escape from the daily grind, Crush is a newly-minted oasis in the Eagle River Business Park. Recognizing the need for a cocktail that appeals to chocolate lover’s, the Chocolate Crush Martini performs double duty as a summer refresher. Invented by erstwhile bartender, Amy Fuhrman, it also provides a pick-me-up by way of espresso. We don’t know whether to bite it or sip it!

    • 1 ½ oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
    • 1 oz Vodka
    • ½ oz Baileys
    • 1 ½ ounce Cream
    • 1 oz cold pressed Espresso



    On the VergedaVinci'sDrink--2-small

    DaVinci’s is an Eagle icon and it is bartenders like Virg that have helped make that happen. Making a few bar tending stops along his way to daVinci’s, he honed his craft and picked up recipes here and there. For summer, his On the Verge is a delightful martini that relies on the cucumber essence of Hendrick’s gin, the floral notes of St. Germain liqueur and a dash of orange bitters to make a remarkably light cocktail. Leonardo would have loved it!

    • Hendrick’s Gin
    • St. Germain Liqueur
    • Orange Bitters
    • Garnish with orange slice


    Smoky Mountain Pizzeria Grill

    Cucumber Dill MartiniSmoky_Mtn,_PizzaDrink--5-small

    As General Manager of Smoky Mountain Pizzeria Grill, Mike Stevens knows his clientele. With summer quickly approaching, it’s time to shave a few pounds to be able to slide into last year’s swim suit. He’s created just the drink to help do that. The savory Cucumber Dill Martini combines Skinnygirl Vodka, muddled cucumber and fresh dill, lemon juice and cracked pepper that makes a delicious, er…salad in a glass!

    • Skinnygirl Vodka
    • Muddled cucumber
    • Muddled fresh dill
    • Juice of two lemon wedges
    • Dash of finely ground black pepper


    The alert eye will detect a trend here. Each of these refreshers occupies a variation of the time-honored martini glass. But, there’s nothing old fashioned about the contemporary libations inside. Considering all these tasty choices, deciding where to go first could be an issue. With all summer ahead of us, problem solved…an afternoon at each of them should be easy to fit into your summer schedule!








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