10 Best Cocktail Bars in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Hooch, Top Lists

BarCrudoTongueTied.JPG
Heather Hoch
Bar Crudo might leave you tongue tied with this cocktail.
In the wake of Black Friday madness and family dinner drama, we could all use a strong drink. You can easily up the merry ante with some truly craft concoctions courtesy of the city's best bars and bartenders. While the mixology craze is saturating the scene in other places, it's an up-and-coming art in Phoenix. However, we can show you 10 of the top places in the Valley that stir, shake, and muddle to impress, whether you're trying to treat your own taste buds or maybe find a place to wow those persnickety in-laws.

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Heather Hoch
Crudo
Regardless of whether you're craving a classic cocktail done right or an inventive new drink to add to your imbibing repertoire, Bar Crudo can oblige you with craft spirits and handmade and infused syrups and tinctures. Mixologist Micah Olson curates the bar menu at the Arcadia restaurant with a culinary mind toward pairing flavors and creating balance. Drinks like the Tongue Tied ($11) transforms mezcal with strawberry, lime, lavender tincture and Luxardo Abamo Amaro into a smoky, tart masterpiece, while the Milano Gimlet ($11), made with gin, Fernet Branca, grapefruit, basil and cinnamon syrup, seeks to showcase the spirits heartier herbal qualities. Like the food menu, Crudo's cocktail menu strives to be the standard in town for all other menus to live up to.

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Heather Hoch
Jade Bar
When we said mixology was a big deal in other scenes, we meant it, and one of the biggest deals on the mixology scene in any town today is Ryan Magarian. Some of Phoenix's biggest cocktail contenders were trained under his tutelage when he came to Jade Bar the first time. Recently, he did a massive overhaul on Jade Bar's cocktail menu to accompany the renovation of the bar's interior at the Sanctuary resort. His mission was to create the iconic Arizona cocktail experience, and with crisp, clean, and refreshing drinks like Shiso Sexy ($14) with shiso leaves, vodka, Yellow Chartreuse, lime juice and chilled green tea, we certainly think he's on the right path.



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Heather Hoch
Mabel's on Main
This Old Town Scottsdale hangout has been a stronghold for the craft cocktail scene for the past four years. While the Aaron May-owned lounge and bar adopts the barkeep knowhow and den-like atmosphere of a Prohibition-era speakeasy, they ditch the kitschy gimmicks and stick to making delicious drinks. Much like Jade Bar, Mabel's has become a proving ground for bartenders around the city to strut their stuff and eventually go on to mix up their own menus elsewhere. The simple drinks usually pair three to five ingredients, proving that if you know a lot about combining flavors, you can do a whole lot more with a whole lot less.

Location Info

Barrelhouse American Kitchen & Cocktails

2050 N. Alma School Road, Chandler, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Virtu Honest Craft

3701 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Lon's at the Hermosa

5532 N. Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails

2 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Cowboy Ciao Wine Bar & Grill

7133 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Windsor

5223 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Citizen R+D

7111 E. 5th Ave., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Music

Windsor

5223 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Mabel's on Main

7018 E. Main St., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Music

Crudo

3603 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
16 comments
Gina Nova
Gina Nova

Awww! I like a good cocktail!

Judy Sasaki
Judy Sasaki

Gina ...I thought of you when I saw this article.

Cee80
Cee80

So disappointed to see that the majority of these "Metro Phoenix" bests are actually in Scottsdale. Phoenix and Scottsdale are not the same cities - each have unique market interests and clientele. It's really too bad that more and more articles (here and elsewhere) about Phoenix are naming the city "Phoenix/Scottsdale." 

And below comments beg the question - what about Merc Bar? Shady's? Even Lux Central? Too bad there was such a hipster dig against Windsor. I don't know if I've ever seen a bartender there wearing a bow tie, and most of the diners I encounter there tend to be middle aged or in family groups. Service has always been friendly, regardless of whether I was wearing Urban Outfitters or Land's End turtlenecks. 

Enough, New Times! Treat Phoenix and Scottsdale as the separate spaces they are, and stop trying to label design conscious spaces frequented by young people as "hipster." Let's move on to something more relevant for our diverse communities, shall we? 

Juan Roque
Juan Roque

My house. Full stock of tequila, vodka, Fireball, wine and beer.

Cindi Tracy Aune
Cindi Tracy Aune

The Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails at the Hotel Palomar. Very creative, attentive bartenders, great Whiskey selection and good food if you are so inclined.

Becky Hanlon
Becky Hanlon

Hot Habby at the Vig Uptown. Best margarita I've ever had anywhere in my whole life.

Trevor Tyree
Trevor Tyree

Ive had dates cheaper than those drinks!!

Chris Van Ostapuk
Chris Van Ostapuk

Now my favorite is now taco guild... cheap drinks but they never cheap on the ingredients.

sophistic
sophistic

Merc Bar?  How is that not on this list?

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