Explore Phoenix-Scottsdale

7 of Arizona’s Best Craft Cocktail Bars

Pace yourself for some terrific tipples at restaurants and lounges throughout Arizona.

Pace yourself for some terrific tipples at restaurants and lounges throughout Arizona.

Phoenix

Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour: The liquids menu is a 24-page book that includes a “market price” page (drinks relying on fruits and herbs from farmers markets), lots of historical notes, and a chart plotting cocktails by their strengths and levels of adventure. CityScape, 1 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix, 602.340.1924

Crudo: Farm-fresh ingredients, homemade syrups and infused-in-house spirits are emphasized in such drinks as the 1951, containing Tempe-distilled bourbon and grapefruit-cinnamon syrup, and the Pickled in Pisco, garnished with pickled black grapes and lemon sherbet. Gaslight Square, 3606 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, 602.358.8666

Scottsdale

Virtu Honest Craft: The drink offerings are every bit as creative and inclined to change-ups as the food menu at this tinker-happy restaurant. The national press has noticed, and Virtu is a finalist in a “best new bar” election set up by Food & Wine magazine. 3701 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, 480.946.3477

Virtu cocktails
Grapefruit bitters, rhubarb liqueur and champagne foam are among the Virtu bar’s standard supplies. (©Awe Collective)

Citizen Public House: Drinks are so central to the Citizen concept that the bar is the centerpiece of the dining room. Dapper ’tenders mix manly elements like Irish whiskey, tawny port, tobacco bitters and Guinness foam (the Im-Port) or milder pear vodka, ginger liqueur and rock candy (the Citi-Zen) with equal ease. 7111 E. 5th Ave., Scottsdale, 480.398.42080

Confiagration Nation cocktail from Citizen Public House
“Conflagration Nation”—a cocktail designed by Brandon Casey of Citizen Public House for a mixology challenge issued by the Smithsonian National Museum (©Awe Collective)

Tempe

Salut Kitchen Bar: Pick your poison from a half-dozen drinks containing absinthe (a liqueur historically maligned as a madness-inducer), or mount a mule made with ginger beer, lime juice and muddled cucumbers. 1435 E. University Dr., Tempe, 480.625.3600

Litchfield Park

Litchfield’s: Toast the sun’s setting in the West Valley with a vibrant pink prickly pear margarita. The Wigwam, 300 E. Wigwam Blvd., Litchfield Park, 623.935.3811

Flagstaff

Brix Restaurant & Wine Bar: In addition to wines spanning Arizona to Australia, this restaurant pours a mean red-wine margarita and a Don Juan made with Plymouth gin, cucumber, mint and a habanero tincture. 413 N. San Francisco St., Flagstaff, 928.213.1021

Tucson

Agustin Kitchen: Gentle craft cocktails include a vodka-coriander martini and a rum-raisin “cobbler,” while an especially fiery margarita features roasted-pepper tequila and a jalapeño tincture. 100 S. Avenida del Convento, Tucson, 520.398.5382