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 going 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 both 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.

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 Fizzy Lizzy and the Bourbon and Spice are among the new house favorites, while their margaritas, sangrias, and mojitos are nothing short of exceptional.

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

Culinary Dropout at the Yard Tempe
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 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, 4-5 p.m.

Culinary Dropout Tempe

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 Vodka, 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 menu is just as impressive. From seasonal cocktails to altered classics, House of Tricks is a soothing alternative to the hustle and bustle of Downtown Tempe.

Treat yourself to Happy Hour at Tricks, a soothing alternative to frenzied crowds. Enjoy “Hours of Tranquility” every afternoon from 4 to 5 PM at their outdoor bar.

House of Tricks Sangria de la Casa

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 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: Mon-Fri, 3-6 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 cornhole, ladder-ball or ping pong.

Happy hour: Monday-Saturday, 3 to 6:30 p.m. (dine-in-only)

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 Raspberry Drop or the Blood Orange Margarita.

Happy Hour: 3-6pm Every Day & 8:30-Close Friday & Saturday

Arizona Distilling Company
601 W. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281
(602) 391-3889

Tempe’s local micro distillery, Arizona Distilling Company, captures Arizona’s rich history and culture with each glass. Known as the “traditional distilling with an outlaw spirit”, this distillery is dedicated to manufacturing premium, small batch craft spirits. Their crafted cocktail list will leave you to answer one question, do you like your cocktails shaken or stirred? Lucky for you, no matter your preference, Arizona Distilling Company specializes in both! You just have to decide on your vice; vodka, gin or whiskey, and Arizona Distilling will take care of the rest.

Hours: Sunday – Thursday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday 4 p.m.-12 a.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-12 a.m.
Happy Hour is from 4 to 6 p.m.

The Golden Pineapple Craft Lounge
2700 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85282
(480) 590-5703

Located at Mill Avenue and Alameda, a few miles south of downtown, The Golden Pineapple serves Baja Mexican style food with a focus on creative cocktails and craft beer. From classic favorites like margaritas and daiquiris, to new and exciting concoctions, The Golden Pineapple is a crafted cocktail lovers dream!  Keep an eye on their menu as they feature new drinks and food on the reg!

Happy Hour: Tuesday-Friday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Golden Pineapple in Tempe credit Mark Lipczynski
credit Mark Lipczynski

Alter Ego
108 E. University Dr., 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 on your cocktail and enjoy your food in their gorgeous interior space, on their outdoor patio, or order from their rooftop lounge, Alibi.

Happy Hour: Every Monday through Friday from 3-6pm enjoy our 5-6-7 Happy Hour special with $5 drafts, $6 well drinks, and $7 wines. Pair that with $2 off appetizers.

Snakes & Lattes
20 W. 6th Street, Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 361-6644

Sip and play all day at Snakes & Lattes! From coffee cocktails to crafted classics, Snakes & Lattes combines the fun of drinking a cocktail with the joys of playing a board game. Enjoy food and drinks alongside a library of thousands of playable games old and new.

Happy Hour: Everyday 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; $2 off Draft Beet, Cocktails, Draft Wine & Shareables; $3 Well

The Peppermill
7660 S McClintock Dr., #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, to the Elder Gimlet. Also, check out their classic steakhouse dishes and not-so-classic inspirational entrees.

Happy Hour: 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

The Porch
1128 E. Baseline Rd., Tempe, AZ 85283
(602) 777-1757

The Porch is made for fun and fabulous cocktails. From frozen floats to giant hand-crafted sharable cocktails, this place is made for a good time. And, the only way to enjoy your perfectly manicured cocktail is to sit out on the outdoor patio which has an oversized chair, oversized games, tire swings and a wonderful u-shaped patio wrapping around their restaurant. It’s a must for cocktails and happy hour!

Happy Hour: Monday – Friday, 3 to 6:15 p.m.

Alicia Griffith
Written Alicia Griffith

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!