From hand crafted creations to over-the-top concoctions, Phoenix’s noteworthy cocktail scene is not to miss. Ranging from intimate, themed speakeasies to complete, immersive experiences, there’s plenty of options for those craving more than just a good drink. Whether you’re looking for a romantic outlet or a unique adventure, these top-shelf Valley outposts will do the trick. Expect impressive menus, amazing ambiances and delicious ingredients.
Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
This downtown Phoenix bar is housed inside the state’s former Prohibition Headquarters and has been nationally recognized as one of the best in the country. Most recently it was named among the Top 10 “World’s Best Cocktail Menu” and Top 10 “Best American High-Volume Cocktail Bar” in the 2019 Tales of the Cocktail. Their book-sized menu features a wide range of options, all using premium spirits and fresh fruits and herbs. Aside from outstanding craft cocktails, the lush locale serves up fun food like the Ramen Burger and Hurricane Popcorn.
One of the Valley’s newer establishments, Little Rituals has already gained a popular following. The cocktail bar is located inside the Residence Inn by Marriott Phoenix Downtown on the fourth floor. Here you can expect a variety of 30 cocktails showcased in a photo album-style menu separated into sections like Daily Rituals, or everyday-type of drinks; Delicious Rituals, more unique citrus-shaken drinks; Cooling Rituals, a collection of heat-battling sips for warm summer days and more. Plus, there’s a delicious globally inspired lounge menu to curb hunger.
Anyone who appreciates a hip tiki bar will love Undertow. The speakeasy bar is located in Arcadia underground at Sip Coffee & Beer Garage and is a full sensory experience in an intimate space inspired by an old-world ship. All seatings are 90 minutes in length and with limited room, reservations are highly recommended. Once aboard the “ship,” where elements like tiki-carved pillars and cargo boxes fill the space, guests can enjoy tiki-style cocktails using a variety of spirits. The menu is the book that tells the fictional story of UnderTow. Depending on what “chapter” the bar is on depends on what menu is available, but can always be viewed in advance. Aside from sip-worthy creations, special effects and sound add to the tropical ambiance.
From the same folks behind Undertow comes a turn-of-the-century-inspired cocktail experience. With a Roaring Twenties, Gatsby-era type of vibe, bartenders are decked out in suspenders and a glam ambiance fills the lush space. Guests can grab snacks from roaming dim-sum style serving carts or order from the full menu. All seatings are limited to 120 minutes. For a truly unique experience, visit Platform 18, a Presidential Pullman-inspire train car within Century Grand. Seating just 36 guests at a time, the 90-minute journey resembles being on board a moving train. Scenery whizzes by in the “windows” while a small central bar churns out creative drinks. Separate reservations are required for Platform 18 and strongly encouraged.
Honor Amongst Thieves
Another speakeasy, this Central Phoenix destination is located above Stock & Stable via a rear staircase. Themed after the swanky 1950’s, the bar focuses on bold cocktails using unique flavors. The 80-person lounge is dark and moody with sultry elements like velvet couches and a wooden bar. Menu items include unique drinks like the Still Smokin’, a mix of mezcal, green chartreuse, velvet falernum and lime. For those looking to play it more simple, the bar also offers beer and wine.
An outpost of the New York City location (no longer in operation) that opened in 1993 on Mercer Street in SoHo, the Phoenix location impresses. A romantic, dress-to-impress vibe, dark wood and low lighting make this cocktail lounge a must for a swanky night out. The locally loved haunt is great for classic and creative cocktails plus small bar bites. To find it, guests can head to the Esplanade in the Biltmore area and look for a golden plaque near a door that serves as the entrance to the lounge.