5 Weird (and Tasty) Cocktails in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Top Lists

Heather Hoch
Distilling gin tableside is no big deal at Citizen R+D.
If you find yourself with a Jack and Coke in hand this summer, you're not doing it right. In the wonderful world of cocktails, weird is the way to go. Whether that means you stumble into the back-alley entrance of a speakeasy or you take your drink muddled, shaken, and flambéed into Flavor City, the humdrum of long summer days is sure to be broken by some alcoholic experimentation.

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Heather Hoch
The G + T at R + D is unlike any other you've had.
Citizen R +D's G + T
One of Phoenix's best mixologists, Richie Moe, takes crafting unique cocktails to the highest level at Citizen R+D. In the back alley behind Scottsdale's Citizen Public House, there's a staircase. Read the posted rules, call upstairs, and pray they have room for you in the small, 20-person lounge. Once you're in, you can pick from a wildly inventive cocktail list that uses ingredients like a popcorn tincture and pearl dust. The classic gin and tonic is a delicious spectacle at Citizen. Distilled tableside using a double boiler, 100-proof vodka, juniper berries, and other fresh ingredients, $17 will buy you two glasses' worth, served with Fever Tree tonic and a lime.

Heather Hoch
Palo Verde Lounge's Pickle Shot (or the Tijuana Hooker)
If the exclusivity of a Scottsdale speakeasy turns you off, never fear. Even dive bars keep it weird by using leftover ingredients. That's where one of the best shots in town comes in. A shot of crappy well tequila with a half-shot pickle juice chaser might sound disgusting, but the brininess of the juice completely cuts the burn of the tequila. Plus, you can spice your pickle shot up with hot sauce, thus getting the disturbingly named Tijuana Hooker. PV's pickle shot runs $3.50 per go, so you might find yourself under the table quickly.

Location Info


Citizen R+D - CLOSED

7111 E. 5th Ave., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Music

Lon's at the Hermosa

5532 N. Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music


3603 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Palo Verde Lounge

1015 W. Broadway Road, Tempe, AZ

Category: Music

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My Voice Nation Help

The G+T at Citizen R+D is awesome, definitely something everyone should try, especially if they think they don't really like gin.  That being said, I've always found it a little odd that they don't make their own tonic, given their propensity to make everything else.  Either way, still great.

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