Local Phoenix Home Bartender and Cocktail Enthusiast Beats Nearly 100 Entries from 10 Different States; Zonie Land Named Official Drink of Arizona Cocktail Week
After receiving nearly 100 entries from 10 different states, Zonie Land created by Phoenix home bartender and cocktail enthusiast Elliott Clark (@apartment_bartender), has won the inaugural Arizona Cocktail Week Cocktail Contest and is crowned the official cocktail of Arizona Cocktail Week.
The cocktail will be featured this month at the Counter Intuitive, an Old Town Scottsdale bar, where the final judging took place as well as at several events during Arizona Cocktail Week, which is held February 17-24 in Scottsdale.
Zonie Land is made from locally sourced mesquite-smoked whiskey, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, orange and lime juices, almond-based orgeat syrup, and pineapple syrup, garnished with a sprig of mint.
According to Clark, when he moved away for part of his collegiate years after growing up in Arizona he jokingly referred to Arizona as Zonie Land, a place he grew up but reluctantly called home.
“As time passed, and as I grew up I came to find Arizona has a weird way of nestling its way into your heart. The place I once wanted to escape turned to a place I now find myself settling and laying down roots,” said Clark. “ This cocktail represents my journey. I crafted Zonie Land to taste like a home I no longer wish to escape.”
Arizona Cocktail Week’s Cocktail Contest gave bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts a chance to create one-of-a-kind cocktail with a Southwest theme. The cocktail must have included a chili pepper and all entries were judged based on originality/creativity, appearance, aroma, taste and balance
Arizona Cocktail Week, now in its sixth year, is a week-long celebration of the craft of the cocktail that includes everything from parties, spirit tastings, and educational seminars, to cocktail competitions, drinks specials and dinners.
The vast majority of the main events take place at the Hotel Valley Ho, in downtown Scottsdale, and in the general vicinity of the hotel. Events are also planned at various locations in downtown Phoenix and in Tucson. Restaurant activations are planned throughout the week in the Phoenix Metro area.
Arizona Cocktail Week is the premiere cocktail event of the Southwest, celebrating cocktail culture and fine spirits through fun, interactive events, educational seminars and tastings, competitions and cocktail dinners throughout the state of Arizona. Now in its sixth year, Arizona Cocktail Week was founded in 2012 as a result of Arizona’s growing cocktail culture and need for awareness in the community as it relates to spirits and the craft of the cocktail.