Spirit Cruises 2019 Leaderboard

Beyond Suraya's Lebanese Cuisine: An Inside Look At Their Cocktail Menu

Fishtown's Suraya, which has recently taken Philadelphia's dining scene by storm, may have some of the best food in the city — but don't overlook their inventive and unique cocktail menu, created by head bartender Aaron Deary.

Suraya, owned by Roland Kassis and his sister Nathalie Richan (who are also at the helm of Cafe La Maude), was created and is run in partnership with Greg Root, whose eponymous restaurant brings European flavors and a diverse wine list to Frankford Avenue. (Nick Kennedy of ROOT, a partner as well, is also the executive chef at Suraya.) The concept is a return to Kassis' Lebanese roots — he left Beirut at the age of 14, but before that, he watched his grandmother cook flatbreads with ingredients like za'atar, all of which you can find on Suraya's menu.

The drink menu, which has an entire section of arak based cocktails (a colorless aperitif with an anise flavor which is often called "The Milk of Lions"), features drinks that use Middle Eastern spices and flavors, and is quite unlike any other cocktail menu in Philadelphia. Every cocktail is named after the work of Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese poet, writer and visual artist, whose work Deary was reading when he created the menu.

As for the creative ingredients, Deary, who also ran the bar at ROOT, says, "first I had to learn about Lebanese ingredients, and then I wanted to highlight different flavors that people don’t see in cocktails very often so I could introduce them to different spices and herbs." 

No detail, no matter how small, goes overlooked at Suraya, and Deary and his bar team are serving up some of the most creative cocktails in Philadelphia, all of which pair beautifully with the spices, themes and flavors of the food menu. Check out the cocktail menu below, and next time you stop in for stuffed grape leaves or kibbeh naya, be sure to ask which cocktail pairs best with your favorite dish.

Lace & Linens
Elderflower, saffron sugarcube, bitters & bubbles

The Prophet
Knob Creek rye, roots rakomelo, jallab, bitters & orange blossom water

Builders of Bridges
Pineapple-baharat shrub, vodka & Fevertree ginger beer

The Tempest
El Dorado 12 Year rum, éclat-contratto, rhum barbancourt, chocolate bitters & urfa-vermouth

Sand & Foam
Espolon Blanco tequila, yuu baal mezcal, pistachio, sea asparagus, lime & rose water

The Poet
Bluecoat gin, génépy, cucumber, za'atar, limon omani & aquafaba

Arak Cocktails

The Nightingale
Arak ramallah, apricot, contratto, almond & bubbles

The Last Watch
Knob Creek bourbon, massaya arak, meletti amaro, clementine, black cardamom & Ceylon tea

The Golden Belt
Bluecoat Barrel Finished gin, Toki, Laphroaig, turmeric, burnt honey, coriander & arak

Photos via Drink Philly

Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
East Passyunk Restaurant Week is Back for its Seventh Year, February 25-March 8

East Passyunk Restaurant Week is Back for its Seventh Year, February 25-March 8

From Monday, February 25 to Friday, March 8, East Passyunk Restaurant Week is returning for its seventh year a...read more ›

by Drink Philly Feb 21, 2019
Rebel Taco is Now Open at The Bourse With a Full Menu of Margaritas, Tequila Drinks, Tacos, & More

Rebel Taco is Now Open at The Bourse With a Full Menu of Margaritas, Tequila Drinks, Tacos, & More

D.C. import Rebel Taco is now open in The Bourse, Old City's newest fine upscale food hall. ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Feb 20, 2019
SPONSORED
Drink Philly's 2019 Wine & Chocolate Social Recap (PHOTOS)

Drink Philly's 2019 Wine & Chocolate Social Recap (PHOTOS)

Toasts were made, sweets were shared, and good times were had at the Drink Philly Wine & Chocolate Social held on Friday, February 15....read more ›

by Drink Philly Feb 20, 2019
The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

Here it is - the definitive list of Philadelphia's best cocktail bars....read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 13, 2017
Snow Day Specials and Bars Open in Philadelphia

Snow Day Specials and Bars Open in Philadelphia

It's a snow day here in Philly! Keep checking back, as updates will be posted all day. ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Feb 20, 2019
Haagen-Dazs is Making Booze-Infused Ice Cream

Haagen-Dazs is Making Booze-Infused Ice Cream

Step aside, after dinner drinks - Haagen-Dazs is releasing a line of spiked ice cream....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Feb 19, 2019
Take a Tequila Tour Through Mexico on Jose Cuervo's New 'Tequila Train'

Take a Tequila Tour Through Mexico on Jose Cuervo's New 'Tequila Train'

If you love tequila and traveling in style, you're in luck - Jose Cuervo has a new all-you-can-drink tequila t...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Feb 19, 2019
Philly's Best Happy Hours: Red Owl Tavern's Later Happy Hour from 7-9 PM, $6 Wines, $5 Beers, & Half-Priced Snacks

Philly's Best Happy Hours: Red Owl Tavern's Later Happy Hour from 7-9 PM, $6 Wines, $5 Beers, & Half-Priced Snacks

This time, we're highlighting Red Owl Tavern, which sits adjacent to Old City's Hotel Monaco and features pict...read more ›

by Drink Philly Feb 12, 2019
Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Whether it's for the holidays or you have a special birthday coming up, Philadelphia has some amazing options when it comes to event spaces. ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 26, 2018
SPONSORED
Audrey's Apartment Party 2018 Recap Photos
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close