50 Shots of America–Arizona

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.

Early in its history, Arizona’s economy relied on the “five C’s”: copper (see Copper mining in Arizona), cotton, cattle, citrus, and climate (tourism).

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