All About Azuñia, A True Organic Tequila

Image via Azuñia Facebook

Image via Azuñia Facebook

We are known to mix it up with a variety of spirits here at Twisted Grove, one of which is Azuñia Tequila. Hot off the heels of a recent pairing dinner with the agave libation we thought we’d share with you a little more information about one of our favorite, and truly organic, tequilas.

All About Azuñia
Grown in the Jalisco Valley, this field-to-bottle craft tequila is the exclusive export of Agaveros Unidos de Amatitán, and its second-generation, family-owned-and-operated Rancho Miravalle estate. A powerful force in the tequila world over the last two decades, this hand-harvested tequila is made with 100 percent pure Weber Blue Agave, grown in the Jalisco Valleys, an area which offers the perfect growing conditions due to its soil and climate.

Azuñia Process
Agave spends between eight and 10 years in the fields before it is harvested. At its peak ripeness, when sugars at at an optimal level, the agave is hand-harvested, then, the organic agave is traditionally roasted in clay hornos for up to 36 hours. This roasting process ensures depth of flavor and authenticity. Unlike other tequila brands, Azuñia never uses commercial yeast to speed up the fermentation process. And why would they? Yeast is naturally produced over the five to seven day fermentation process. Next, it is finished with an open-air fermentation process then bottled in small batches on the premises.  

Drinking Azuñia
Whether you are inclined to sip a Mexico Mule, our take on the iconic Moscow Mule with an agave twist, or if you prefer a sipper like our Sweet and Spicy, with tequila, Grassroots sour, jalapeno agave and cayenne-salted rim, there is no wrong way to enjoy Azuñia Tequila at Twisted Grove. Now, #letsgettwisted.

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Twisted Hour, Brunch Service and Late Night Dining: Twisted Grove Is Now Open in Phoenix

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It’s here! After much anticipation the new Twisted Grove location is now open. Taking up residence in the Biltmore neighborhood, at cross streets 32nd Street and Camelback Road, Twisted Grove Phoenix was a project Chris Collins had been dreaming about for sometime. "Ever since I first opened Twisted Grove in Scottsdale two years ago, I've been looking to bring it to the neighborhood where I grew up." said Collins. The new, stylishly-designed space will feature a few new additions, like brunch service, complete with a champagne station and late night dining. Here’s the scoop on Twisted Grove Phoenix.

Twisted Hour
Happening daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Twisted Hour is our take on happy hour. During this time we offer up discounts on some of your favorite noshes, like a selection of bruschetta boards, freshly shucked Pacific Northwest oysters and crowd favorite, picnic chicken. Additionally, Twisted Hour features $4 16-ounce craft drafts, $6 Twisted Shandies and $7 fine cocktails and glasses of wine, sure to put a smile on your face.

Late Night Dining
We’re offering up a handful of crowd favorites on our late night dining menu, from a variety of stone oven flatbreads to meatball sliders on brioche. Our bar crew will also be pouring up craft cocktails that pair perfectly with the new late night menu, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Brunch
Our crew is pulling out all of the stops to satisfy thirsty brunch goers. On the weekends we’ll offer a champagne station and Bloody Mary bar where guests can customize their favorite brunchtime cocktails. The weekend brunch menu will feature savory favorites like our Cowboy Short Rib Hash and Crab Cake Benedict as well as eats to satisfy your sweet tooth, like Sweet P’s French Toast, with whipped butter, powdered sugar atop an ice cream base.

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Dandy Shandy: The Origins of Beer Cocktails

Mixing spirit or juices with beer has long been common practice, but how did this popular libation come to be?

Born in Britain
From across the pond and here in the United States, some variation of the modern day shandy has been sipped and enjoyed the world across for centuries. Historians commonly trace the shandy back to 19th century Britain when a drink called The Rich Man’s Sandy Gaff was widely sipped by the population. This shandy was a mixture of both champagne and ale. And for those who could not afford bubbly, ginger beer or lemonade was a common substitute. Others cite that shandy first made its debut during the reign of Henry VIII, as historians claim that the King of England came up with the concoction as a tonic. While its origins are certainly murky, one thing is clear. The shandy has widespread staying power. Across the globe drinkers have created their own variations of shandy, including in Germany, where radler is commonly enjoyed.

Shandies, The Twisted Way
We’ve put our own twist on the shandy. At Twisted Grove we offer five different varieties of the libation. Our Southern Style is made with an amber ale, brandy, lemonade and is sweetened with a touch of peach. The Homegrown features locally-brewed Four Peaks Sun Bru in addition to vodka and grapefruit. Made with Founder’s Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale, the Dark & Shandy is a stronger sipper with rum and ginger beer. Our Blueberry Lemon combines Bell's Oberon with St. Germain, blueberry and lemon as its name illudes. And finally, the Victory Lap with Prima Pils, Patron, lemon, agave and jalapeno round out our list of shandies with a bit of regional flare and no shortage of southwestern kick.

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Fresh and Sustainable Seafood, in Arizona?

The state of Arizona is not exactly synonymous with fresh seafood. More like Sonoran Desert cactus, red rocks and desolate deserts. We are a landlocked state after all. But the tides are changing thanks to Chula Seafood. Here’s how this San Diego-born seafood distributor is changing the seafood landscape and delivering from boat-to-plate, right here in Arizona.

About Chula

Established in 2009 in San Diego by the Heflin family, this family-owned and operated fishery specializes in commercial fishing and wholesale distribution. And lucky for Arizona residents, Chula Seafood began delivering fresh fish to the desert in 2015. Each Monday Jon Heflin fuels up for a drive to California to pick up an assortment of fish directly from the Chula facilities twice per week, fished from the decks of Chula, a custom-built harpoon boat. This haul supplies local restaurants across town, and their own brick-and-mortar shop in Scottsdale, with a recurring supply of fresh fish.

Common Ground and Chula

There are a variety of great Arizona restaurants that are currently working with Chula Seafood at this time, two of which include Twisted Grove and Grassroots. The next time that you order a poke dish from Grassroots or our So-Cal Swordfish, you can take a bite and know that what you’re enjoying is not only fresh but sustainably-sourced, too.

Our Approach to Fresh Ingredients

At every point possible we prefer to use only the freshest ingredients and locally-sourced products, like organically grown greens, in our kitchens, here at Twisted Grove, and across all of the Common Ground Culinary concepts. This method fits with our from-scratch model and gives our guests an authentic dining experience, because who doesn’t prefer fresh, local ingredients?

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5 Summer Season Vegetables We're Excited About

Summer is nearly here, and with the new season’s arrival comes a host of summertime veggies. Vegetables in season right now include radishes, beets, bell peppers, zucchini, rhubarb and more. We’ve selected a few of our favorites, and have listed where you can find these summer-fresh ingredients in many of our dishes.

Arugula: A nutritious alternative to standard iceberg lettuce, arugula is a leafy green that can be used in a variety of dishes. We like to pair it with housemade pasta noodles, cucumber and a whole host of other fresh ingredients to make our iconic salad.
On the menu: Twisted Noodle Salad

Cucumber: Summertime brings joy, and joy to the garden with cucumber. Great in a range of cuisines, and tasty when prepared in hot or cold dishes, the cucumber is a favorite of ours. It also makes a lovely cocktail garnish.
On the menu: Sunny Cobb Salad

Garlic: This seasonal vegetable kicks up the taste in a variety of dishes, including one of our favorite appetizers.
On the menu: Charred Brussel Sprouts

Corn: When it comes to summertime barbecues and seasonal warm weather cuisines, corn is a culinary staple. Cooked on the grill, boiled or sweetened, no summertime meal is complete without this yellow, tall-growing vegetable.
On the menu: Angry Bird Flatbread

Carrot: This colorful summer vegetable packs a punch when it comes to nutrition. Whether prepared as a snack and paired with a cold dip or used as a garnish in a hearty entree, we’re thankful for this summertime vegetable.
On the menu: Gnocchi and Short Rib

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4 New Spring Cookbooks to Add to Your Shelf

Looking for a good spring read? Forget the crime drama or latest political bio, opt for a cookbook instead. Here at Twisted Grove you may have noticed that we have a thing for cookbooks. You can thank Chris Collin’s for that. From our take-a-book leave-a-book bookshelf that greets guests in our entryway to the cookbooks peppered around the restaurant, there’s always one in sight. And lucky for us, and cookbook fans far and wide, this spring marks the release of dozens of new cookbooks, here are four that we especially liked.

 

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

Writer and chef Samin Nosrat has taught everyone, from middle school kids to professional cooks, how to cook using her philosophy. Now, she’s here to teach you, with Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking. Nosrat explains the whys and hows of good cooking, and with 150 illustrations by Wendy MacNaughton, cooks, no matter what skill level, can easily follow along and cook up something great.

Critics say: "Just reading Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will make you a better cook, adept at seasoning, balancing, understanding what it really is you’re doing and why... Make room on the bedside table—and the countertop."
—Bon Appetit

 

On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen

Authored by Jeremy Fox of the Napa Valley Michelin-starred restaurant, Ubuntu, On Vegetables raises the bar for vegetarian cooking. Fox’s recipes highlight the flavors and textures of seasonal produce through creative cooking methods and thoughtful ingredient combinations. The cookbook contains 160 approachable recipes for home cooks to enjoy.

Critics say: "Jeremy Fox brings his expert knowledge of vegetables to his first book."
—Food & Wine

 

Back Pocket Pasta: Inspired Dishes to Cook on the Fly

All you need is a few pantry staples to elevate your dinner game. Author Colu Henry offers inventive flavor combinations in Back Pocket Pasta and for each and every recipe, a beautiful photo. Back Pocket Pasta also features a guide to easy-drinking wine and cocktails that can be paired with the recipes found in the book.

Critics say: "A beautiful, oversized volume dedicated purely to pasta and its breezy ease."
–Saveur

 

Day Drinking: 50 Cocktails for a Mellow Buzz

Our list wouldn’t be complete without a nod to cocktails. Day Drinking: 50 Cocktails for a Mellow Buzz has just the drink, no matter the occasion. By using ingredients like beer, wine, vermouth, sherry and a selection of flavorful liqueurs, the drinks are not only easy on the alcohol, they are easy to make, too. Whether you’re brunching or celebrating something special, Day Drinking has the cocktails covered.

Critics say: “This fun and easygoing cocktail book serves up an intriguing mixture of unique and classic low-alcohol cocktails for anyone to enjoy at any time of day.”
—Booklist  
 

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The History of Happy Hour

At Twisted Grove, we do things a bit differently. Instead of “happy hour” we have “Twisted Hour.” Essentially it’s our “twist” on the common afterwork social hour. But one day, over drinks, we started to wonder… “Where did happy hour come from?” So, we did a little research.

Tracing the Term Back
The term “happy hour” can be traced back decades. The set of words comes from 1920s American naval slang, in fact. The “happy hour” was a slice of time on a ship when sailors could partake in a variety of different forms of entertainment to break up the monotony of life on the sea. Often this included wrestling matches, boxing bouts and other athletic activities that were intended to boost morale among the sailors.

Prohibition and Happy Hour
The term originated and was being used in America’s driest time -- prohibition. From 1920 to 1933 manufacturing, transporting and selling spirits was prohibited and punishable. But that didn’t stop the American people from imbibing. People began to gather in secret at home or at unassuming speakeasies to indulge in illegal cocktails. It wasn’t long until the naval term “happy hour” was used to describe these prohibited drinking gatherings.

Happy Hour Today
Decades later, throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the term became seemingly more commonplace in the American vernacular. And, in the mid 1980s “happy hour” was adopted by the hospitality industry as a time designated for food and drink specials. But not everyone is happy with “happy hour.” There are over 20 states that have banned restaurants and bars from selling discounted spirits during a fixed period of time. But lucky for you, Arizona is not one of them.

For the Twisted Hour menu click here.
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