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PHOENIX Magazine Editors’ Picks for December 2021/January 2022

A sneak peek of what’s inside the latest edition of our sister publication. Read the full stories and more by picking up a copy of PHOENIX, on newsstands now, or go to phoenixmag.com.

Something to Do
Local-Only Holiday Gift Shopping

Hey, we like Macy’s and Saks too—but nothing beats a locally made holiday gift. Find a whole slew of them in the 2021 Local Gift Guide in the November-December issue of PHOENIX, from BARCOA agave spirt tasting boxes to Duck & Rose body tinctures to locally tailored Western threads from Valley designer West Major (pictured). More than 40 gift ideas in all, which should satisfy the needs of all but the most prolific amateur Santas. phoenixmag.com/local-gift-guide

Something to Drink
The Gripe’s Egg at Grey Hen RX

Grey Hen RX is one of three cocktail concepts at mixology mastermind Jason Asher’s Century Grand in Arcadia Lite—and if it’s holiday spirit you’re lacking, this New Orleans-inspired apothecary bar has the cure for what ails you. Consider The Gripe’s Egg, a fantastically festive concoction that brings both eggnog and banana bread to mind. Inspired by the classic flip cocktail, which combines a spirit with sugar and a whole egg, the Gripe’s Egg mingles the butterscotch, burnt sugar and molasses notes of ghee-infused Plantation O.F.T.D. rum with nutty, yeasty Oloroso Sherry and tropical banana liqueur to conjure cozy sensations of fireplace chats and Christmas cheer. Holiday spirit: attained. 3626 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, (602) 739-1388 (text only), centurygrandphx.com 

Somewhere to Go
Hotel Telluride 

Winter has come, and the mountains are calling. Answer them with a ski trip to majestic Telluride, Colo., conveniently perched on the Arizona-facing underside of the Rocky Mountains, resulting in a drive that’s four to five hours shorter than trips to Vale and Aspen. Our pick for boutique lodging: The Hotel Telluride, which offers a host of seasonal packages for guests. “We have a ‘Crack a Coors’ package,” spokesperson Kerry Koepping says. “We summit Mt. Wilson, the icon of Coors Light, and crack a Coors upon reaching the summit.” Another popular package, “2 Picks and a Prayer,” takes guests ice climbing. The boutique, European-style hotel “is one of a kind,” Koepping says. “The people who come back love the intimate nature of the lodge.” thehoteltelluride.com

Someone to Know
PHOENIX  Hiking Czar Mare Czinar 

To celebrate the release of our second hiking guide, The Hike Book: Weekend Warrior Edition, just in time for the holidays, here’s a chat with author Mare Czinar, head of production at Cities West Media and Citizen Hiker columnist. 

How does this book compare with the first?
The pandemic stoked interest in hiking and put damaging pressure on the old standard routes. My objective was to direct hikers away from the masses and onto Arizona’s alternative offerings. Ever hear of the Wickiup Mesa system in Rimrock? How about the Blowout Wash Community Trail System in Cottonwood or Enchanted Hills Trail Park in Tucson? 

What are your favorite winter hikes?
Perennial favorites are Blue Wash-Camp Creek Falls in Tonto National Forest, Elephant Mountain Loop in Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area in Cave Creek and anything in Phoenix South Mountain Park. 

Can you talk about trail preservation? You’re active in groups that champion this cause.
While feedback for the hike books has been overwhelmingly positive, one criticism is that promoting “secret” trails is destructive. This is a thin, short-sighted perspective. Having more trail choices is actually a good thing.

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