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  • Writer's pictureDiana Brandt

UnderTow Turns One

Pic Credit: Elliot Clark

Following a successful year-long journey to bring exotic drinks and tropical tiki flare to this thirsty port-of-call, the owners of UnderTow (3620 E. Indian School Rd., 602-753-6504) are pleased to announce this award-winning lounge is setting sail on an all-new adventure. Launching on Sunday, September 10, UnderTow will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a new handwritten, hardbound menu brimming with 38 handcrafted cocktails (including 25 all-new recipes), plus expanded hours (now open daily) and a new happy hour offered Monday through Friday (4 - 6 pm). And new, improved nautical special effects for this subterranean bar carved into a former oil change garage bay and designed to resemble the cargo hold of a centuries-old clipper ship, including digital TV portholes that make it seem like the ship is sailing across the open ocean.

Founded by Jason Asher and Rich Furnari of Barter & Shake, a Phoenix-based hospitality company specializing in the food and beverage industry, UnderTow was an instant hit when it launched in August 2016, including earning a prestigious

"Best New American Cocktail Bar"nomination from Tales of the Cocktail

, an annual event in New Orleans that's considered the Oscars of the beverage industry. Located beneath Sips Coffee & Beer Garage, Asher and Furnari partnered with Sips owner Travis Radevski to open UnderTow, while Wesley James served as the architect/designer, and famed California- artist, Danny "Tiki Diablo" Gallardo hand-carved the tiki décor.

According to Jason Asher, "UnderTow was inspired by a classic clipper ship designed to move people and goods quickly across the oceans, but also built to stand the test of time. But this second journey tells an all-new chapter, and our menu is pulled from the captain's field journal of the stories, adventures and new flavors he discovered along the way." Telling the story of a young stowaway from Shanghai who hitches a ride to America aboard the UnderTow, the new menu features a mix of classic and modern twists on traditional tiki cocktails, and showcases exotic imported goods such as Asian citrus and teas, tropical orchid flowers and a globe-straddling collection of rums and other fine spirits.

Menu highlights include returning favorites such as the signature Smoking Cannon served with fragrant cinnamon smoke, plus restored classics such as the kitschy-cool Lei Lani Volcano, a multi-island rum blend infused with coconut and shaken with pineapple, lime and guava, that was originally served at the Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World (and is available in a souvenir UnderTow coconut mug for an additional charge). Plus all-new creations such as the fluffy, tangy and delicious First Mates Delight made with butter-washed 12-year-old Nicaraguan rum. But the real showstopper is the new Mallory's Treasure, brimming with 18-year-old agricole rhum and Japanese whisky, and served tableside in the Captain's crystal glass with an oversized diamond-shaped ice cube.

Seating 30 guests in a cozy, wood-planked and ship-shape setting, UnderTow guests will also enjoy the soothing sounds of Exotica music, which will become more vibrant and energetic throughout the evening and into the early morning.

Starting on September 10, UnderTow will be open Monday though Thursday (4 pm to midnight), Friday and Saturday (4 pm to 2 am) and Sunday (2 to 10 pm). Located at 3620 E. Indian School Rd. (beneath Sips Coffee & Beer Garage), call 602-753-6504 or visit for more information. Or follow the UnderTow's voyage on Facebook & Twitter @drinkundertow and Instragram @undertowphx.

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