Summer in Downtown Phoenix means spectacular sunsets, popping pool parties and some pretty toasty temps. Luckily, downtown is a treasure trove filled with creative cocktails to help cool you down when temperatures are on the rise. With more than 190 bars and restaurants, and countless cocktails to choose from, finding the perfect pour can be daunting. But never fear — we’ve done the legwork for you, and found seven creative cocktails you’re going to want to try.
Frosé / NCounter*
Frosé at NCounter. (Photo: Lauren Potter)
Just when we thought a glass of rosé couldn’t get any better, NCounter went and proved us wrong. The breakfast, brunch and lunch spot opened last September bringing a wondrous concoction known as frosé (frozen rosé) — it’s a slushie for adults. Frosty, refreshing and just the right amount of sweet, this is kind of the drink of our dreams. Feeling fancy? Ask to add a float of Chambord (raspberry liqueur) for a little extra.
Boba Tea / Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
Boba tea cocktail at Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails. (Photo: Lauren Potter)
One of Taiwan’s most famous culinary exports has made its way to Downtown Phoenix in cocktail form. Boba tea, or bubble tea, is a cold milky drink served with large, chewy tapioca balls. It’s not usually spiked, but Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails take this drink to the next level with a tea-infused Tito’s vodka, coconut milk, cinnamon syrup and chai flavors. It’s garnished with a torched cinnamon stick, grated nutmeg and a sprig of mint.
Mango Heat Margarita / Match Restaurant and Lounge*
Mango margarita at Match Restaurant and Lounge in Found:Re Hotel. (Photo: Lauren Potter)
Want to drink and dine in an art gallery? You can at at Match Restaurant and Lounge. Located at boutique art hotel Found:Re Phoenix, almost every wall at Match is hung with enthralling works by local artists. We like Match’s mango heat margarita for its creative twist on the Mexican favorite. Made with jalapeno tequila, mango puree and a salted chili rim, it’s a winner for those who like a hint of heat with their sweet.
Chin Music / M.O.B. Social Club
Chin music cocktail at M.O.B. Social Club. (Photo: Lauren Potter)
If you’re looking to get away from the crowds to enjoy a more intimate, exclusive atmosphere, you might want to check out M.O.B Social Club. The members only bar is the first of its kind in Downtown Phoenix, and is located on the penthouse floor above Hanny’s (they’re separate businesses). We love the chin music cocktail with Irish whiskey, fernet branca, lemon and strawberry. Bonus: For the month of August, M.O.B. Social Club is waiving the membership fee (regularly $250) for all new members.
Caipirinha / Hanny’s
Caipirinha cocktail at Hanny’s. (Photo: Lauren Potter)
For pre-concert cocktail or late night drink and eat, Hanny’s is a downtown favorite. The former department store has a sophisticated vibe with leather seats and cool granite tabletops. It’s also got some pretty creative touches (creepy dolls in the basement, anyone?). We love the caipirinha cocktail — it’s as pretty as it is refreshing, with muddled lime, cachaca Brazilian rum, agave and a pink rock candy to stir in some sweetness.
They may be known for custom burgers, but we’ll let you in on a little secret: The Counter serves spiked shakes. Our favorite is the orange creamsicle. A throwback to the icy confection of our childhood, this shake is cold, creamy and blended with just enough orange flavored vodka to help you unwind after a long day at the office. Other spiked shake flavors include red velvet cake, chocolate mint as well as a spiked root beer float.
Canonball Rum / Bitter & Twisted
Canonball rum cocktail at Bitter and Twisted Cocktail Parlour. (Photo: Lauren Potter)
World-class cocktails are always on the menu at at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour — and its canonball rum cocktail is no exception. With macadamia and banana toffee nut flavors, and a splash of concentrated cold brew coffee, this cocktail will take you on a trip around the world to Hawaii… and you won’t even have to leave Downtown Phoenix. *Indicates business is a member of Phoenix Community Alliance.