Love potions: These hotspots turn up heat on Arizona’s cocktail industry

Lifestyle | 26 Jan |

The perfect drink is like the perfect date. First, its visual beauty strikes you. Then, you are entranced by its perfume. Finally, you are delighted to find it equal parts sweet, tart and spirited from start to finish. Looking to fall in love? These slingers of spirits are changing the game when it comes to perfect drinks. Allow us to be your mixology matchmaker with these love potions:

Don Woods’ Say When. (Photo by Alcott Creative)

Don Woods’ Say When

Perched atop Rise Uptown, a locally owned boutique hotel from the mind of Bitter & Twisted founder Ross Simon, Say When diverges from tradition by offering a menu themed around Spritzes and High Balls. Each has a retro-era presentation to help make you feel more 1972 than 2022 for a drink or two.

Plaza Bar

This little piece of heaven located on the patio of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is equal parts swanky, sleek and endlessly chic. The centerpiece of the venue is a massive square outdoor bar, which is elevated a few steps above the main fire pit seating, making it standout day and night.  The cocktail menu offers something for everyone, all divided into chapters, making it exceptionally easy to digest (or swallow). 

BARCOA Agaveria

This two-level bar in downtown Phoenix is a shrine to heritage agave spirits from Mexico. The Cantina at BARCOA is a casual spot for affordable classic cantina cocktails, shots, and bottled cervezas. Down in the basement, though, is the main bar. It is dark and sexy featuring an elevated craft cocktails built by co-owner Nicholas Fiorini, who also owns Sidecar Social Club, another local gem.

Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour

Since opening in 2014, the radical bar has won both critical and popular acclaim for its innovative, from-scratch cocktail program that is presented in a whimsically packaged in an illustrated “Book o’ Cocktails” that changes annually. How high concept is it? There are five types of house-made ice alone, from hand-carved ice balls and punchbowl-ready “super cubes” to shaved ice and crushed nuggets.

The Americano

The Americano

With celebrity chef Scott Conant in the kitchen, you better believe the talent behind the bar is all about setting the bar for fine dining drinks in the desert. Always changing, there are only two things that remain on the menu as constants: quality and craftsmanship. The most recent menu was one for the record books, complete with black lights and translucent skeleton leaves.

Francine

This new Scottsdale staple tells the story of the French Riviera, where the owner was born and raised, through cocktails while complementing each dish.  It also takes exceptional pride in offering seasonal ingredients in each cocktail, including those under the radar like papaya, sumac, plum and even Fresno chili shrub. 

Jade Bar

Under the leadership of Christiaan Röllich, Jade Bar at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort is back at the forefront of cutting-edge cocktail couture in the Southwest. The Bar Chef: Handcrafted Cocktails author brought in his signature homemade syrups, bitters and wild mixes when he took over, marrying them to the resort’s high-end collection of spirits in a truly special way.

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