Inspired Cocktails in Scottsdale

Well-mixed drinks in a city where bartenders are as celebrated as our great chefs

7111 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
A contemporary take on a traditional pub, Citizen Public House is known for its craft beers, classic and modern cocktails, and interesting pub grub. Snacks include bacon-fat popcorn and a beer fondue made with the local Kilt Lifter brew. Main courses like short ribs with a coffee rub and pan-seared scallops with grits are hearty and delicious. The spot is beautiful, too, with mahogany furniture, oversize leather booths, and a large stainless steel–topped center bar. Speaking of the bar—Citizen Public House is a good spot to tip one back with the locals. Because the bar supports Arizona brewers and wineries, you’ll find Four Peaks Hop Knot IPA and Pillsbury Wild Child white blend on the list, along with wines from Caduceus Cellars and Dos Cabezas.
5700 East McDonald Drive
Jade Bar regularly tops the local “Best Of” lists for places to drink. It’s a modern, cocktail-focused bar with sips like the Old Fashioned Whiskey, bourbon, simple syrup, bitters and citrus oils, and the Honeydew Liverthump made from gin, fresh lemon and honeydew juice, and sliced cucumbers, among other things. It’s the kind of place where bartenders are called mixologists and it actually means something. For a drink with a view, take it outdoors to Edge, the fashion-forward patio bar that juts out just below Elements restaurant.
7135 E Camelback Rd #125, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
It’s funny that Culinary Dropout bills itself as being the “rebel child” in Fox Restaurant Concepts’ family of restaurants because there’s nothing too rebellious about this place. It’s obvious that everything in it – from the fashionably grunge décor to the uniform-free staff – is planned. But that’s not always a bad thing. Culinary Dropout does nightlife well with a selection of local and seasonal beers as well as standout cocktails like the Jalisco Flower (tequila, elderflower and sparkling wine).
7353 E Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
You can go to AZ 88 before a night out, you can go to AZ 88 after a night out…heck, AZ 88 could be your night out because no matter when you visit, the martinis are always good and the crowd is always entertaining. It definitely draws in a trendy crowd with its rotating art displays and stark-white furniture (and for the love of all that’s holy, just try to ignore the mirrored bathroom walls!). There’s a long list of signature martinis like the very girly, but very good French, made from Absolute Kurrant vodka, Framboise, and pineapple juice.
5200 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018, USA
The Mix Up Bar is from Kim Haasarud, founder of beverage consulting company Liquid Architecture, and Paul McCabe, the new executive chef at Royal Palms Resort’s T. Cook’s restaurant. Most of their ingredients are locally sourced for a garden-to-glass lineup of Arizona bitters, vinegar from a nearby producer, and fresh produce and herbs grown in the T. Cook’s garden. Seasonal cocktails like The Great Grape Escape and south-of-the-border-inspired tequila gimlets accompany bar snacks such as buffalo chicken oysters, lobster corn dogs and smoked potato croquettes. If you’re looking to sip something unique to Arizona, try the Mediterranean White from Page Springs Cellars. The winery and vineyards are located about 2 hours north in Oak Creek, on the road up to Sedona.
5532 N Palo Cristi Rd, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253, USA
The Hermosa Inn, first opened in 1936, has the kind of history that a cowboy keeps under his hat. With 43 rooms and casitas spread across six acres of Arizona desert in the upscale Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley, the inn was originally the home and studio of cowboy artist Lon Megargee. A $5.5 million renovation completed in March 2017 updated the hotel for the modern era. It still retains a historic feel, but without the possibility of escape it had when Megargee, a welcoming host clearly uninterested in background checks, built a tunnel from the main building to the stable in case a visit by the sheriff made it necessary for less law-abiding guests to execute a quick getaway. But then, with Camelback Mountain as a backdrop, few guests nowadays are in a hurry to leave.
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