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(12/19/2016 Update: The Traveller Bar is no longer available in Tucson.)
Classic cocktails are essentially antique at the Traveller Bar in the front lobby of Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, 7000 N. Resort Dr, 7 – 9 p.m. (Fridays only) through December 30.
The menu features eight cocktails with their year and book of origin listed. With recipes dating from 1862 to 1937, the cocktails all have a rich history.
Original versions of vintage cocktail books are locked away in the display cases of the tiny pop-up bar, which is scheduled to head to New Orleans next.
While holy mixology grails such as the first-edition print of the 1862 cocktail bible The Bartender’s Guide by Jerry Thomas serve as decoration behind the glass, electronic versions are available for browsing pleasure on the electronic tablet at the bar.
A glimpse of the historical texts are worth it alone for history nerds, but the cocktails themselves are accessible for a variety of palates.
The Gin Fix served at the Traveller Bar is based on the version from The Bartender’s Guide. It features gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and raspberries from the Thomas recipe to provide a refreshing, easily drinkable cocktail.
Bitter-appreciative drinkers can order the Sombrero from the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book by W.J. Tarling. Tequila is shaken with French Dolin dry vermouth and Italian Punt e Mes vermouth for a balance of sweetness, bitterness, and herbaceousness.
For something simple-yet-complex appropriate for winter, order the Revolving Door from the 1929 book Here’s How Again by Judge Jr. The Traveller Bar’s take features Old Overholt rye whiskey, lemon juice, and grade B maple syrup for a robust maple depth and earthy amber hue.
Negroni-lovers can try something similar with the Lucien Gaudin from the 1929 book, Cocktails de Paris, presented by RIP. Like a Negroni, it starts with gin and Campari, then adds dry vermouth and Cointreau for a drier, warming cocktail.
A small food menu with $15 southwestern and Spanish-influenced bites such as Ceviche and Charcuterie & Cheese is also available. Since the Traveller Bar is only available two hours a week through its last day on December 30, just make sure not to lose focus on the cocktails.
For more information, visit thetravellerbar.com.