The Best Cocktail Bars in Tucson

Tucson offers locals and visitors a very exciting and bubbly welcome and stays here. Each cocktail has its own distinctive taste, and the local Tucson twist to it is worth trying. In recent years the bar scene has grown a lot with local ingredients, breweries, and great agave-based spirits. There are some unique and cool bars here that you won’t find anywhere else, like Portal, which literally takes you to another place! There are some laid-back places while others are more sophisticated. Please scroll down to see the list we have compiled for you.

6. The Owl’s Club Bar Tucson

Located in a 1920s building, The Owls Club is a Western bar with an envious amount of whiskey options, a wine list, a humble beer list, and a few cocktail options. It’s expensive and cozy and perfect for a date night. It is located in the former Brings Funeral Home but has now been transformed into a sophisticated and elegant space. There’s dark wood furniture, low lighting from the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, and windows decorated with stained glass. This sets a certain kind of mood that you would look forward to. 

You can sit on the patio by the fireplace and grab one of the cocktails for yourself. You will find cocktails on the menu are ‘Tin Lizzy’ – which features gin, ruby port, genepy, honey, and seltzer and is bubbly and sweet. Another option is ‘Burro Brava,’ which mixes Blanco tequila, mezcal, ginger, lime, mint, absinthe, and seltzer. It looks good and tastes even better. The cocktails are $9 a glass. Their signature whiskey is ‘Aspirational West’ and is sweet with herbal absinthe; you better try it. Happy hours are from 5 to 7 pm every day that they’re open. 

Drop by anytime between 5 pm to 12 am from Tuesday to Sunday with your friends, family, or loved ones. The bar is rustic with lots of wooden accents all around you. There is even a grand piano sitting in one part of the bar. The place reflects the lifestyle of the Tucson bachelors in the 1900s as they held lavish parties. 

5. Sidecar Bar Tucson

A fresh and bright neighborhood bar, Sidecar is where everyone knows you and maybe your drink too! It’s the perfect place for a solo night out, a date, a meeting, or get together. Bring whoever you want with you or just be by yourself. The bartender will welcome you with smiles. Grab a seat at the bar or one of the plush seats at a table by the window. A whole wall is made of leather patches that represent a brick wall. The deep dark tones go well with the lime green sofas. On one side runs the bar with its marble top and bottles displayed behind it. The owner can tell you the story behind each bottle, from the farm to the bottle. 

Imagine a drink called Iced Chicken Soup. Yes, it exists here at Sidecar. There’s Canadian whiskey, ‘bouilla,’ which is chicken broth, rosemary syrup, lemon juice, and egg white. It’s shaken well and served in a long glass. You have ‘Broyled Chicken’! Drink it cold and be surprised. The bartenders will pretty much mix up anything for you. If you’re a whiskey person, then get that. Their list is full of classic drinks with a contemporary flair to them. Sit on the bar, listen to jazz, and maybe try out ‘Some dark some stormy,’ ‘Cosmonaut,’ or ‘Rye Hanky Panky.’ 

They have about five servers in total. So everything seems familiar around here. The place gets jam-packed on weekends, with everyone standing all around. Only about 70 people can fill up the space in total. If you have a bigger party, then definitely get a reservation beforehand. Your experience will be fulfilling, and you will leave the place after gaining knowledge about your drink. 

4. Kon tiki restaurant & lounge Tucson

Named one of the best bars in America, Kon Tiki has been serving drinks and food since 1963. The place survived the downfall of tiki bars and stands firm to date. It spreads the spirit of aloha and is a kind place. It has the most extensive collection of Milan Guanko carved tikis and assorted island curios. There are lots of tiki cocktails and comfort food you can try out. It is located on a busy street and has malls and office buildings all around it. 

There is a tiny mosaic pond by a garden by the front. You can walk over it by a small bridge and go inside the bar. The place is dark and mysterious, and most of its decor is still original from when it was built. There are bamboo dividers along each table, so you feel more at ease. There is lots of bamboo and no windows inside the place. On the back is what used to be an aviary which is now converted into a back patio. Lights illuminate the space from every side and set a great mood. 

The crowd is mostly college students who pack up the place most evenings. However, it gets pretty crazy when that happens. Better to visit in less rushy hours to soak in the decor and enjoy the music more. They serve pupus, which are appetizers, and some Polynesian-inspired dishes as well, like barbeque ribs. There’s also fish and crab. Lobster and shrimps are available, fresh from the sea. If you fancy tacos, then drop by on Taco Tuesdays. 

There are cocktails with vodka, gin, and whiskey bases. The mixed drinks include the ‘Devil’s Triangle,’ their take on a Bermuda triangle. Their rum mixes have a lot of options. A must-try is the ‘Kon Tiki Mai Tai’ inspired by the outlying islands. 

4. Sky bar Tucson

The bar is solar-powered during the daytime and an astronomy bar by night. The place is inspired by the Southwestern sun and nighttime starry sky. The place is fun and also educational. Those under 21 can drop by before 4 pm without supervision; afterward, they would need someone older to be with them. You can study or work here during the daytime, and in the evenings you can have a good conversation with a cocktail in one hand. The place focuses on giving back to the community and those in need. They have helped out a lot of NGOs, shelters, schools, churches, and other foundations that aim to help others. 

You might want to grab one of the telescopes on the patio and look at the beauty the universe has to offer you today. They even have astronomers available on the spot to help you navigate your way through the constellations. The place also hosts events like team trivia, skyrocket, karaoke, the Jessica Micheal’s show, open mic, throwback Thursday with a Dj, and local artist performances every Friday and Saturday. 

Their cocktail menu has drinks with some fun, astronomy-inspired names. These include ‘Golden Sunrise Mimosa,’ ‘Lunar Lemonade,’ ‘Cosmic Mule,’ and ‘Starry Night.’ The ‘Golden Sunrise Mimosa’ features house vodka, peach schnapps, grapefruit juice, and a splash of fresh lemon juice, topped with champagne. Happy hour is every day from 4 to 7 pm. They also offer wine, beers, and virgin cocktails. Their cosmic jello shots and galactic jungle juice are famous, so you must try them out.  

You can order pizza from next door, the Brooklyn Pizza Company; they also have calzones, pastries, and bagels. You can grab a latte, cappuccino, americano, or espresso while you work.

3. Highwire Lounge Bar Tucson

Highwire Lounge is a cocktail bar in the heart of Tucson. They specialize in molecular mixology, and every drink is served in such a picturesque and unique way that you think twice before ruining its beauty. They do pearl shots which are vodka shots served in spoons. These come in unusual flavors like pop rock and even candy flavors! The place is now available to be booked for parties, receptions, yoga classes, and some fun entertainment, however, you would like! 

The drinks menu has some yummy mimosas like ‘Molecular Mimosa,’ which you can get in strawberry, mango, or peach flavor; there’s also the ‘Glitter Bomb Mimosa,’ which has some cotton candy in it! Get a mimosa tower if you’re a bigger group. Cocktails include ‘Hibiscus Cooler,’ ‘Cucumber Smash, and ‘Sweet Thai Chili Mary.’ The latter is a concoction of Drakes organic vodka and Highwire Thai chili bloody mic with Thai basil and poached shrimp garnish. A delicacy that your palette will savor. Their signature dishes include ‘Pearl Shots,’ ‘The Contortionist,’ ‘PB and Jealous,’ ‘Center Stage,’ and ‘Waffles and Coffee.’ If pinnacle whipped vodka, lime juice, white grape juice, pop rocks, and cotton candy sound amazing, then get ‘The Contortionist.’ Otherwise, try out what sounds appealing to you but try out their pearl shots. They’re tried and tested! There are three wells for the bartenders to prepare their drinks! A dream for them. 

The brunch menu has some yummy pancakes, eggs, and frittatas. Salads, shareable, sandwiches, and mains are on the menu if you fancy those. There’s an indoor Dj and outdoor live music simultaneously. Events include Disney-themed karaoke, muscles and mimosas, bingo night, and summer luau brunch! You can be a part of it if you choose to. The space itself has a big glass window front which lets in daylight and a view of the street. 

2. Portal Cocktails Bar Tucson

The place in itself is an experience, and it aims to create an inspiring experience for the patrons of craft beer and drink lovers. The place is classy, chic, and has a super luxurious feel. Lines are running along the whole space, which directs your eyes to the inside of the room. A glass kaleidoscope stands at the end, reflecting the entire space. The name itself inspires interior design. The place is like a cavern that feels like a portal into another world. The place is described as ‘somewhere where you can find intimate connections to others. Tell us that does not sound inviting!

The lighting is indirect and creates this subtle glow which gives a sexy mood to the place. The colors change sometimes, and so does the aura of the space. The wooden and concrete furniture is also in dark tones, so everything goes together perfectly here. There are very few seats at the bar itself; other tables are scattered around the space with some plus sofas. There’s a whole bookshelf-like library of all the spirits offered here. The corridor directs the customers towards the bar. The seating is 30 to 40 people at max. So it is very exclusive. 

The place is open Sunday to Thursday from 4 pm to 12 am and Friday and Saturday till 1 am. They offer quickies like ‘Penasco’ or nightcaps like the ‘Espresso Martini.’ Other than that, there are modern classics like ‘Pornstar Martini,’ ‘Portal Cosmopolitan,’ and ‘Saturn.’ The ‘Saturn’ features gin, passionfruit, falernum, lemon, and orgeat. Just don’t have too many of these; you might see stars. Their original drinks include the ‘Portal Daiquiri,’ ‘Hairtoss,” Kiss the Ring,’ and ‘Goldmember.’ The latter mixes bison grass vodka, rye whiskey, ginger liqueur, and bitters. You must let your taste buds have a treat! There is also a long list of spirits like agave, gin, vodka, rum, cognac, and whiskey. 

1. Red Light Lounge at The Downtown Clifton Bar Tucson

The Red Light Lounge is the perfect date night spot for a romantic evening. Come here before the sun sets and grab a drink to watch while enjoying the view of Armory Park. It sits inside the hotel but is open for everyone whether or not you’re staying there. There is sitting indoors and outdoors as well. The ceiling is wooden with black leather stools sitting on the concrete floor. The patio also has seating and a courtyard-like feel. 

The place features local and regional beer, spirits, and wines to go with Tucson cuisine, which is fantastic! Their artisanal fry bread is a big hit amongst all of the customers. There’s the ‘Elote fry bread’ and ‘Chorizo fry bread.’ The former retails at $10 and has ingredients like corn, chipotle crema, cilantro lime aioli, queso asadero, queso fresco, cilantro, and spicy greens. The latter has chorizo, tangy hibiscus pickled onion, and a sunny egg. The bread holds the toppings together really well. Other food options include quesadillas, caesar salad or wrap, cauliflower tacos, riblets, and flautas. 

Their house cocktails are named ‘Bunkhouse Martini,’ ‘Smoking on the Beach,’ ‘Summerhaven,’ and ‘Night Cap.’ for a fruity taste, try the ‘Smoking on the Beach,’ and you will taste tequila, smoked pineapple, Campari, orgeat, rum. The ‘Night Cap’ has mezcal and cacao bourbon in it. So get that if you want a more potent drink. Their prices are better than those around the area retailing at $8 or 9 per cocktail. They also have some classic options along with margaritas. You can also get red or white wine with your food or beer that’s on tap or a bottled one.  

Conclusion

Whether it’s a post-work drink or one with a lover, a cocktail bar is always a great option. There are so many different types of bars available around you in Tucson. Go to Portal if you want intimate conversation and a more secluded experience. Red Light Lounge is the perfect date spot. Some fantastic local dishes are served here, along with beers, wines, cocktails, whatever you prefer. The vibrant nightlife in the city is alive every night!

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