Immediately upon the advent of fall, cool nights lend themselves to delightful dining and toasting amongst colleagues, family and friends. Cocktail parties are glamorous and relatively inexpensive, if orchestrated correctly. If you’re a first-timer, no need to fear: Much of the decision-making belongs to the venue’s events manager. They are more than happy to take you step by step through the process to ensure that the cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are tailored to your specifications.
Counter Intuitive – Back Room
In the space adjacent to Cowboy Ciao, CI offers a backdrop for imbibing and revelry. Looking to balance your list of cocktail and menu options? No problem. Counter Intuitive’s notable mixologists embrace thematic menu transitions, and will design a well-thought-out concept for your event. This venue is full of mystique, with a private entrance that offers a speakeasy feel. Operable walls give access to the latter, making for a fluid flow between a private reception and the best seat in the house at – you guessed it – the bar!
Address: 7133 E. Stetson Dr., Ste. 4, Scottsdale
Cocktail Reception: 0-150 guests
Culinary Dropout at the Yard – The Patio
Ready to get amped up? Culinary Dropout’s “Little Gastro Rebel Child” features an industrial indoor and outdoor space showcasing the ultimate patio experience customized with a gaming area, cozy booths and mahogany bar. Rejoice at the sound of live music as you parade through the soulful veranda, fresh cocktail in hand. Party reception menus are priced per person, as well as per plated selection.
Address: 149 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe
Cocktail Reception: 40-80 guests
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort – Elements Deck
Delight your senses as you sip libations under the stars on Sanctuary’s serene Elements Deck overlooking extraordinary views of Paradise Valley. During cocktail hour, hors d’oeuvres are customizable, with trays offering selections of hot or cold bites served alongside craft cocktails (25 bites per plate). The resort’s Jade Bar mixologists keep up with cocktail trends and use fresh, organic produce as their inspiration for their Jade Signature Cocktail menu. Explore innovative Asian-inspired cuisine and experience the comfort of home in a luxe desert oasis. (Full disclosure: I am employed here.)
Address: 5700 E. McDonald Dr., Paradise Valley
Cocktail Reception: 40 guests
The Gladly – Whiskey Room
Take a front row seat beneath industrial lighting fixtures at one of PHOENIX magazine’s 2014 Best New Restaurants, brought to you by the team behind Citizen Public House. You will surely experience the finer things, with more than 230 whiskies and a New American-inspired menu offering guests premium three-course meal options. Make yourself at home – the spacious floor plan allows for fluctuation between the semi-private patio, bar and fully private banquet room with bar. Fresh artisan cocktails, glasses of wine, bottles of beer and even, for special occasions, whiskey barrels are available. Your group is private, the service is memorable and the bar is stocked, of course.
Address: 2201 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
Cocktail Reception: 60-90 guests
Please enjoy responsibly.