Nightlife

Signature Tempe crafted cocktails

One of my favorite guilty pleasures is going out to a restaurant, grabbing the menu and skipping right past the food options and straight 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 and other specific elements that are carefully thought out and “crafted” into perfection. Making a crafted cocktail is combination of art and science, as it focuses on flavor and high quality ingredients. Check out these restaurants and bars for some of the best Tempe cocktails.

Americana Tempe 
350 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 699-2018

Known for burgers, beer and brunch, Americana has an extensive menu that includes a cocktail list like no other. Pick from the Bellini’s Flight where you can choose from four flavors, drink an endless amount with “Almost Bottomless” Amerimosa’s, or try one of the many beer or coffee cocktails.

Happy Hour: Everyday, 3-7 p.m.

Bar Louie
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy. #1220, Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 658-1600

Eat, drink and be happy at Bar Louie. Known for their contemporary casual dining bar experience, Bar Louie at Tempe Marketplace is a must! The Dirty and Louie’s Cosmo are among the house favorites, while their margaritas, sangrias, and mojitos are nothing short of exceptional.

Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 4-7 p.m.

Cotton & Copper
1006 E. Warner Rd. #113, Tempe, AZ 85284
(480) 629-4270

There are things in life that simply just work better together. For instance, peanut butter can only be enhanced by jelly, macaroni can’t be enjoyed without cheese and cocktails are best when crafted by Cotton & Copper! This modern public house proudly nestled in the neighborhood of South Tempe, brings crafted cocktails to the forefront. Their menu is primarily comprised of crafted cocktails, so you will be in good hands with plenty of options.

Happy Hour: Tues-Fri, 3-6 p.m.

Culinary Dropout at the Yard Tempe
149 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 240-1601

Check out the Vices menu at Culinary Dropout for a wide range of crafted cocktails. From their “Light and Easy” section, where you can choose from one of the various cocktails that are as easy on the eyes as they are to drink.  Or you can choose from one of the many classics under the “Classic Dropout” section and experience your old time favorites with a Dropout twist.  Enjoy your cocktail with some of their delicious food, or you can take it next door to The Yard and challenge your friends to a game of ping pong or cornhole.

Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 2-5 p.m.

Culinary Dropout Tempe

Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row
640 S. Mill Ave. #120, Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 794-1477

Experience a night of crafted cocktails and country music at American gastropub, Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row. Whiskey Row has everything from amazing food to 50+ crafted beers and specialty cocktails that make for a great evening out!

Happy Hour: Mon-Fri,  4-7 p.m.

Ghost Ranch
1006 E. Warner Rd. #102-103, Tempe, AZ 85284
(480) 474-4328

South Tempe is quickly making a name for itself as the best place to get a handcrafted cocktail and I could not agree more!  Hands down the best crafted cocktail drink has to go to the Prickly Pear Frozé ‘Rita from Ghost Ranch! As the staff would describe it, “it’s a frozen margarita that fell in love with a glass of cold rosé and had the most perfect, well-balanced, cocktail baby”. I mean, after that description, how could you not try it?!

Happy Hour: daily from 3-6 p.m.

The Handlebar Tempe
680 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 474-4888

Tempe’s contemporary American beer garden, The Handlebar Tempe offers a bunch of craft cocktails including the Orange Crush, one of it’s most popular.  This dreamy concoction is made with Tito’s, vanilla syrup, lemon juice and Orange Red Bull and tastes just like an Orange Dreamsicle.

House of Tricks
114 E. 7th Street, Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 968-1114

Who doesn’t want to sip on a cocktail while sitting in a beautiful, vine-strewn courtyard? Sounds like pure bliss to me! Tempe’s local favorite, House of Tricks, is known for their wine selection, but don’t be fooled, their cocktail selection are just as impressive. From seasonal cocktails to altered classics, House of Tricks is a soothing alternative to the hustle and bustle of Downtown Tempe.

Happy Hour: daily from 4-6 p.m.

Kabuki Tempe
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 350-9160

Kabuki Japanese Restaurant

Along with amazing sushi and Japanese dishes, this popular restaurant in Tempe Marketplace serves up delicious signature cocktails that just happy 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. Other favorites are the Lei’Lani with gin, lime and pineapple juice and the Forever Young aperitif.

Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 3-6 p.m.

La Bocca Urban Pizzeria and Wine Bar
699 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 219-9510

La Bocca Urban Pizzeria and Wine Bar is a sophisticated spot on Mill Avenue that offers numerous selections of handcrafted cocktails. La Bocca is equipped with a full bar of top shelf liquors, imported liqueurs, herbal extractions, aromatics and scintillating spirits. Try their house specialty cocktails like the Desert Oasis, Icelandic Mule, Pisco Sour, or even their famous house-made Limoncello.

Happy Hour: daily from 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Pedal Haus Brewery
730 S. Mill Ave. #H102, 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 gives you just the right amount of liquid courage to crush anyone in a game of corn-hole, ladder-ball or ping pong.

Happy hour is from 3 to 6 p.m. daily. 

Tempe Public Market Cafe
8749 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284
(480) 629-5120

Colorful murals and a diverse menu take your senses on a ride at Tempe Public Market Cafe. With vibrant backdrops, your crafted drink is going to pop delivering a mouthful of flavor. Check out drinks like the Melo-tonic or Schrute Farm when you stop in for their awesome happy hour. Happy hour drink specials daily, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Drinks at Tempe Public Market Cafe

Thirsty Lion
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 dream! Choose from their robust selection of handcrafted cocktails like the Spicy Ginger Mojito or the Blood Orange Cosmo. Happy Hour: daily from 3-6 p.m.

Alicia Kentz
Written Alicia Kentz

Alicia is an ASU Alumna and Tucson native who is unapologetically herself. When she is not sharing her passion for Tempe, she is a devoted dog mom and reality TV enthusiast who has a weakness for charcuterie boards and wine!