Dining Guide | The Bourbon Boom: 7 of the Best Bourbon Drinks in Scottsdale
Every so often, everything old is new again, as they say. Perhaps while some are looking to find the next best thing, the more resourceful folk know that trends come and go but there are some things that never lose their gleam. There are also pop culture influences; Carrie Bradshaw had her Cosmos, James Bond his martinis and Don Draper and his ad exec pals have their bourbon. Whether you are looking to have your bourbon paired with your meal or somewhere within the creation of your dish here are some suggestions on how to add a little piece of Americana to your night out.
7 of the Best Bourbon Drinks in Scottsdale
7575 E. Princess Drive| Scottsdale| 480.585.2694
With Bourbon in the name of the restaurant, you would expect to have a bounty of Bourbon options, and you would be spot on. Offering 19 different Bourbon varieties and their mixologists follow a strict code; using only the highest quality ingredients. Quality cocktails take time, so plan accordingly and savor all of the craft that goes into the glass before you. You’ll find that the servers and bartenders are well versed in all their offerings and can quickly make suggestions based on your menu choices.
Citizen Pubic House
7111 E. 5th Ave.| Scottsdale| 480.398.4208
Everyone knows that Citizen Public House has created an upscale public house eatery in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale with amazing food and exemplary service. The eclectic and diverse specialty cocktails, while available during all dining hours, are truly celebrated during CPH Social Hour, their take on happy hour. Settle in, nosh on some bacon popcorn and enjoy any one of their barrel-aged cocktails. The Boulevardier is frequently featured during their social hour and is certainly a solid drink. For a more adventurous cocktail, order the Midwest Manhattan. This cocktail is a blend of Russell’s Reserve bourbon, maple syrup, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth and tobacco bitters. The sweet flavors of the maple syrup contrast against the tobacco bitters resulting in a smooth, velvety finish.
5550 E. Lincoln Drive| Scottsdale| 480.948.5170
Known for their popular summer cocktail classes, El Chorro is set to feature an American Whiskey class in the mix this year. The class will include a bar side meal and discussions on the makings of a perfectly crafted cocktail, as well as some education and history on American Whiskey. These classes offer an intimate setting and instruction that you can use for years to come in your own home.
Kazimierz World Wine Bar
7137 E. Stetson Drive| Scottsdale| 480.946.3004
Though Kazimierz may not offer an extended menu, the items that they do offer are the perfect pairing for a few drinks with friends. The majority of the menu items can easily be eaten with one hand, ensuring room for a cocktail in the other. With a focus on wine in the name, you might not expect to find craft cocktails, but Cocktologist Ryan Richardson is working hard to ensure you’ll always be pleasantly surprised. Mondays have Ryan teaming up with a guest bartender and collaborating on a themed cocktail list. One standout cocktail available is the Tom Ford, comprised of Arizona Distilling Co. bourbon, Absolut Peach, fresh lemon, prickly pear infused honey syrup and just a touch of quinine. The result is a not-too-sweet, crisp and sexy cocktail.
Mabel’s on Main
7018 E. Main St.| Scottsdale| 480.889.5580
The interior of Mabel’s brings to mind the speakeasy of the ‘20’s, all the way up to the hidden door leading to a private room. The menu is petite but heavy on variety and unexpected flavors. The bar staff here are well versed in all the realms of alcohol and will have no issues walking you through the nuances of the different bourbons available. If you’re looking for a unique and sexy cocktail, belly up to the bar for The Old Western. A delightful balance of Copper City Bourbon, sarsaparilla syrup, and AZ Bitter Lab Mas Mole Bitters creates a complicated but approachable combination of complex flavors and layers.
3831 N. Scottsdale Road| Scottsdale| 480.945.6697
The newly revamped Pink Pony got a complete aesthetic makeover that has carried over onto the F&B menu as well. The bar is busy creating custom infusions to keep patrons with a particular palate happy. Among those infusions is a Coffee Bourbon, which created a rich earthy flavor to the traditional flavors of bourbon. This infusion is used in their take on the Boulevardier, a cocktail that dates back to the 1920’s. The cocktail is traditionally tart and silky, so the addition of the coffee infusion mellows out the tartness and creates a drink that makes the perfect drink for a long talk with a good friend.
The Last Drop
5532 N. Palo Cristi Road| Paradise Valley| 602.955.7878
The Last Drop at Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn is much more than a hotel bar. It strives to be a place for relaxation, revelry and a touch of education. The focus on creating cocktails using locally grown ingredients is taken to next level status with the on-site garden that resident mixologists have to select from. There is also a focus on using local liquors and beers when possible. One of their house specialties is their Buffalo Peach Smash. Using Buffalo Trace Bourbon peach, blackberries, ginger and lemon juice bring a lightness and summertime feel to the traditional bourbon peach cocktail.
This article was originally featured in the May 2014 issue of So Scottsdale Magazine.