National Cocktail Day is March 24. National Gin & Tonic Day is April 9. National Martini Day is June 19. National Tequila Day is July 24. National Rum Day is August 18. You get the idea!
One of my favorite guilty pleasures is going to a restaurant, grabbing the menu and skipping right past the food options to the handcrafted cocktail section. There’s just something about a perfectly mixed drink that makes for a great evening out. The term “crafted cocktails” has become a popular description for cocktails that mix traditional spirits, house-made ingredients and other thoughtfully curated elements into signature perfection. Making a crafted cocktail is both art and science, as it focuses on flavor notes and high-quality ingredients. Check out these restaurants and bars for some of the best Tempe cocktails.
108 E. University Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (602) 612-7871
Alter Ego serves elevated fusion cuisine expertly executed by executive chef Ken Arneson. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and also offer inventive hand-crafted cocktails. Sip your selection and enjoy your food in the gorgeous interior space, on the outdoor patio, or order from their rooftop lounge, Alibi.
Happy Hour at Alter Ego: Monday–Friday, 3–6 p.m.
Happy Hour at Alibi: Tuesday–Friday, 3–6 p.m. (closed Mondays).
601 W. University Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (602) 391-3889
Tempe’s local micro-distillery, Arizona Distilling Company, captures Arizona’s rich history and culture with each glass. Billed as “traditional distilling with an outlaw spirit,” this distillery is dedicated to manufacturing premium, small batch craft spirits. The crafted cocktail list will leave you to answer two questions: Vodka, gin or whiskey? Then, shaken or stirred? Lucky for you, Arizona Distilling Company specializes in all of the above.
Hours: Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday 4–10 p.m.; Friday 4 p.m.-12 a.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-12 a.m.
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Happy Hour: Wednesday–Friday, 4-6 p.m.
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy. #1220, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 658-1600
Eat, drink and be happy at Bar Louie. Known for its contemporary casual dining and bar experience, Bar Louie at Tempe Marketplace is home to the Fizzy Lizzy and the Bourbon and Spice — among other new house favorites — while their margaritas, sangrias, and mojitos are nothing short of exceptional.
Happy Hour: Monday–Friday, 4–7 p.m.
31 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 912-4052
Handcrafted cocktails are delicious, but handcrafted margaritas are in a class by themselves! And Barrio Queen at Tempe Marketplace has an entire menu dedicated to handcrafted margaritas. If you want to test your margarita limits, we dare you to try the Death’s Door margarita, which encompasses Habanero, jalapeño, & Chile de árbol Infused Tequila, Ancho Reyes, Azuñia, Agave Nectar and Fresh Lime Juice. Warning, this drink is not for the faint of heart!
Happy Hour: Monday–Friday, 2–5 p.m.
1221 E. Apache Blvd., Suite #104, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 564-1089
Open since February 2023, Chic Chef 77 is Arizona’s first Black-owned wine bar. But don’t let the “wine bar” title throw fool you: Chef Nik Fields has curated an exciting and sophisticated concept that includes a variety of music-inspired crafted cocktails, too. Notorious is her version of a classic Sidecar, Wu-Tang is the Chic Chef Mai Tai, and Old Dirty Bastard is, you guessed it, her spin on a dirty martini — and this is just the beginning of the playlist. The theme continues across appetizers, entrees, desserts and live music.
149 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 240-1601
Check out the drink menu at Culinary Dropout for a wide range of crafted cocktails. From cocktail classics like margaritas, sangrias, mules and more to Culinary Dropout favorites like the Deviant Behavior that features Ketel One Vodka, strawberry, lemon, and Shock Top Belgian White. Enjoy your cocktail with some of the delicious food offerings, or you can take it next door to The Yard and challenge your friends to a game of ping-pong or cornhole.
Happy Hour: Monday–Friday, 3–6 p.m.
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 350-9160
Along with amazing sushi and Japanese dishes, this popular restaurant in Tempe Marketplace serves up delicious signature cocktails that just happen to be photo-worthy. Try the very fun to say Tiki Tiki Shinjuku, made with Bacardi, Grey Goose, pineapple juice, orange blossoms, almonds and rose water, with Blue Curacao.
Happy Hour: Monday–Friday, 3–6 p.m.
730 S. Mill Ave., #102, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 314-2337
Built to be a haven for lovers of bikes, Pedal Haus Brewery brings together European-style crafted beers and cocktails. The Haus Margarita and the Peacemaker Paloma give you just the right amount of liquid courage to crush anyone in a game of cornhole, ladder-ball or ping-pong.
Happy hour: Monday–Friday, 3–6 p.m.
7660 S. McClintock Drive, #104, Tempe, Arizona 85284 | (480) 590-6755
The Peppermill is more than just your typical steakhouse. It has a full-service bar with specialty cocktails ranging from their signature Vanilla Fashion to the Sidecar and Elder Gimlet. Also, check out their classic steakhouse dishes and not-so-classic inspirational entrees.
Happy Hour: Tuesday–Friday, 3–6 p.m.
1128 E. Baseline Road, Tempe, AZ 85283 | (602) 777-1757
The Porch is known for fun and fabulous cocktails. From frozen floats to giant hand-crafted sharable cocktails, this place knows the recipe for a good time. Whether it’s brunch, lunch, dinner or late-night, the best way to enjoy your perfectly manicured cocktail is from a seat on the wraparound patio, which has an oversized chair, oversized games and tire swings. It’s a must for cocktails and happy hour!
Happy Hour: Monday–Friday, 3–6:15 p.m.
20 W. 6th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 361-6644
Sip and play all day at Snakes & Lattes! From coffee cocktails to crafted classics, Snakes & Lattes combines the art of mixology with the joys of playing board games. Enjoy food and drinks alongside a library of thousands of playable games, old and new.
Happy Hour: Every day, 2–6 p.m.
20 E. University Drive, #204, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 550-7801
Looking for a change of scenery to go with your happy hour? Society by EVO might just be the place. This upscale, high-energy dining (and drinking) concept pairs secret garden vibes with swanky touches (check out the chandeliers) for an overall refreshing aesthetic — and we haven’t even gotten to the cocktail menu. The Floor is Guava, Passion Be Thy Name and Beach Please round out the carefully curated menu. No matter what you decide on, your tastebuds are in for an adventure.
Happy Hour: Sunday–Thursday, 4–6 p.m. | Reverse Happy hour: Wednesday, 10 p.m.–12 a.m.
96 S. Rockford Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 967-0020
Spinato’s has out-of-this-world pizza and even better crafted cocktails. Pretty Ugli and It’s Peachy are both must-trys. But, then again, they’re all delicious. Pair your specialty cocktail with house favorite, Mamma’s Signature Pizza. Choose between thin crust, Sicilian crust, or the calzone option. Not a pizza person? No problem. Their menu includes salads, sandwiches and pasta dishes galore.
Happy Hour: Every day, 2–6 p.m.
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., #1041, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 968-2920
From signature cocktails to modern classics, Thirsty Lion at Tempe Marketplace is a crafted cocktail connoisseur’s dream! Choose from their robust selection of handcrafted cocktails, including the Raspberry Drop or the Blood Orange Margarita.
Happy Hour: Every day, 3–6 p.m.