Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

50 Shots of America–Arizona

This is the one that Karyn’s been looking forward to!


Copper TopAs with much of the southwest, what is now known as Arizona was first claimed by Spain, and then Mexico, before becoming known as Alta California. After that it was all kinds of shuffling as the CSA and USA differed on what to call it and where it’s boundaries really were, ending once and for all when it became the 48th state on February 14, 1912–do you think Oregon was jealous?

The Grand Canyon State wasn’t a popular place to live (unless you were in copper mining or cotton) until after World War II. What made the difference? Air conditioning. Suddenly that “dry heat” was much more bearable and became quite the place, mid-century, to retire to and escape those harsh winters of the Northeast and upper Midwest. Though now the state’s popularity is putting a strain on the water reserves–guess the monsoons of the winter and summer just aren’t enough to keep the water table up!

Another thing Arizona has in common with Florida (the first being a major retiree population)? It’s the home of the Cactus League, hosting more than a dozen MLB teams for spring training every year (in Florida it’s the Grapefruit League).

Copper Top

3/4 oz Gold Tequila
3/4 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Orange Liqueur

Combine all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass and shake like your serving drinks after dark in the darkest saloon in Tombstone. Strain into a chilled cordial glass–it’s hot out there!–and sip away your fears.

It makes sense that The Copper State has it in abundance–even the state Capitol building has a dome on it made with enough copper to make almost 5 million pennies! And I’m not sure if the state still produces citrus like they used to, but past is present when it comes to cocktails. I’d suggest using a Cointreau or Grand Marnier in this recipe–you want the smoothness that regular Triple Sec is not exactly known for, especially in such a small drink.

Jennifer Walker
Jennifer Walker

  1. Jennifer

    The drink looks and sounds divine. I was imagining something with prickly pear juice or concentrate but this is more sophisticated.

    Arizona does still have a citrus industry — grapefruits, oranges, lemons but we had several days of teens temperature which may have cut the growing season short.


  2. Karyn,

    I’m sure a slice of prickly pear would be a great garnish!

    One thing I try to do with my cocktails–especially these small ones–is to keep them streamlined and accessible. Some of my larger drinks might have 5 or 6 ingredients and a few extra steps but I want people to be able to try them at home and keeping my ingredients universal helps do that.

    I’ll keep an eye out for the prickly pear juice, though… now you’ve got me curious!

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