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Bars & Nightlife Featured Food, Restaurants & Dining Fara Illich December 21, 2012

The list was made. We checked it twice. You decided whose spirit is nice.
Or, rather, whose spirit is the nicest.
The District - Santa's BelliniThat distinctive honor goes to the District American Kitchen and Wine Bar’s Santa’s Bellini. Their jolly seasonal cocktail was selected by the public over 15 other specialty cocktails created for the Downtown Phoenix Partnership’s first annual Spirits of the Season cocktail competition.
“What could bring more holiday cheer and festive camaraderie to downtown Phoenix than a spirited cocktail competition?” said Katie Brashear, complex director of public relations for the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel which houses the restaurant.
The winning cocktail features made-in-house cranberry compote, simple syrup, a splash of Frangelico Hazelnut Liquor, topped with Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine and garnished with mint.
The Most Spirited Holiday Cocktail of 2012 award will be presented to District American Kitchen and Wine Bar’s bartender Matt Tobey, who created the drink, at a special happy hour at 6 p.m. tonight at the restaurant.
Guests are encouraged to sample Santa’s Bellini for $10 while enjoying favorite happy hour snacks including The District Hummus, Schreiner’s Bacon Wrapped Dates and Baked Macaroni and Cheese, each is available for $4.
“Our team is delighted to know that Santa’s Bellini has been named The Most Spirited Cocktail of 2012! It was fun to see such a variety of creative holiday cocktails. We certainly look forward to participating in next year’s competition, too,” Brashear said.
With nearly 700 votes cast, this specialty seasonal cocktail competition was an intense battle. The four runners up were (in order): the “Winter in Rio” Dulce de Leche Martini at Province, the Winter Wizard at Copper Blues, the Pumpkin Smoretini at ICON Lounge and the Wild Turkey Cranberry Cobbler at The Duce.

Other participating restaurants include The Strand Urban Italian, Legends Sports Bar & Restaurant, Thai Basil Signature Downtown, Majerle’s Sports Grill, Networks Bar and Grill, Seamus McCaffrey’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, Kincaid’s, Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails, Hard Rock Café, Frank Murray’s Turf Irish Pub and 1130 The Restaurant.
All cocktails will be available through New Year’s Eve.

For all things Spirits of the Season, including maps and cocktail descriptions, visit