Tucson has been slow to jump aboard Arizona Cocktail Week, which runs Saturday through next Friday.
Only two businesses - Umistar and Casino del Sol Resort - are participating in the second-annual statewide event that promotes the art of mixology.
Most of the events are in the Phoenix area, starting with a cocktail carnival from 6-10 p.m. Saturday at Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho, 6850 E. Main St. The next evening, Valley Ho hosts a Bathrobes & Bathtubs Mexican Fiesta-Evening Pool Party at 7 p.m.
Mostly, though, the festival is devoted to bars, restaurants and resorts showing off their best cocktail prowess, and cocktail connoisseurs getting those creations for half-price.
In Tucson, that means getting Casino del Sol Resort's Thymecop - made with Martin Miller's gin, pineapple thyme syrup, yellow chartreuse and fresh lemon - for $5 in the hotel's bar by mentioning Arizona Cocktail Week. And mention the week at Umistar to get the Asian-fusion restaurant's Lo Pan cocktail - coconut and green tea-infused rum with fresh lime, Demerara and absinthe - for $4 .
Casino del Sol is at 5655 W. Valencia Road, and Umistar at 2502 N. Campbell Ave.
Tucson is the only city outside Phoenix participating in Arizona Cocktail Week.
"We're trying to get Flagstaff involved as well. It's only the second year," said festival spokesman Riley Kissee.
Several top Tucson bartenders, including Casino del Sol's Aaron DeFeo, will be at Mabel's on Main, 7018 E. Main St., in Scottsdale on Sunday for the second annual Tucson Takeover.
More info at arizonacocktailweek.com
- Cathalena E. Burch