Spirit Cruises Summer 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:
 
Forsythia, Christopher Kearse's Newest Restaurant, is Now Open in Old City with a Full Bar

Forsythia, Christopher Kearse's Newest Restaurant, is Now Open in Old City with a Full Bar

Christopher Kearse may have shuttered Will BYOB on Passyunk Avenue, but that's because he's got a brand new sp...read more ›

by Drink Philly Aug 28, 2019
Best Bars for Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2019

Best Bars for Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2019

Whether it's to enjoy the first warm breezes of spring or the unexpected sunshine of a crisp day in fall, Philadelphia is full of great places to drin...read more ›

by Drink Philly Apr 11, 2019
Di Bruno Bros Rittenhouse Adds Serious Cocktail Program to Their New Wine & Pizza Bar Upstairs

Di Bruno Bros Rittenhouse Adds Serious Cocktail Program to Their New Wine & Pizza Bar Upstairs

Alimentari, the new bar & cafe upstairs at Di Bruno Bros. in Rittenhouse Square, has rolled out a new craft co...read more ›

by Drink Philly Aug 12, 2019
SPONSORED
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
Eat Gourmet Hot Dogs & Drink Great Beer at Dogs on the Deck at Royal Boucherie, August 14

Eat Gourmet Hot Dogs & Drink Great Beer at Dogs on the Deck at Royal Boucherie, August 14

On Wednesday, August 14 from 6 PM - 8 PM, head to Royal Boucherie's upstairs patio for the second annual Dogs ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Aug 8, 2019
Northern Liberties' 2nd Street Festival is Celebrating Its 11th Year, August 4

Northern Liberties' 2nd Street Festival is Celebrating Its 11th Year, August 4

Northern Liberties' annual 2nd Street Festival will return for its 11th year on Sunday, August 4 and will span...read more ›

by Drink Philly Aug 2, 2019
Join Us for the 4th Annual Drink Philly Summer Cocktail Social, August 21

Join Us for the 4th Annual Drink Philly Summer Cocktail Social, August 21

After an amazing three years, Drink Philly and Diageo are joining forces to host the fourth annual Summer Cock...read more ›

by Drink Philly Jul 31, 2019
The Second Annual Wands & Whiskey Cocktail Competition Will Raise Money for PAWS at Cherry Street Pier, July 30

The Second Annual Wands & Whiskey Cocktail Competition Will Raise Money for PAWS at Cherry Street Pier, July 30

On Tuesday, July 30 from 7 PM - 10 PM at Cherry Street Pier, have a magical evening at the second annual Wands...read more ›

by Drink Philly Jul 27, 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
Independence Seaport Museum After Hours Lets You Drink While Exploring the Museum with Waterfront Views

Independence Seaport Museum After Hours Lets You Drink While Exploring the Museum with Waterfront Views

There's a new place to drink on the Delaware Waterfront - the Independence Seaport Museum has opened a new bar...read more ›

by Drink Philly Jul 24, 2019
SPONSORED
View all Articles

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

Close