Century Grand In Phoenix Named Best Cocktail Bar In The US By Tales Of The Cocktail

If you're a cocktail lover, Arizona should be next up on your travel list because the Century Grand in Phoenix was just named the best cocktail bar in the United States. The award is given out by the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, a non-profit that supports the cocktail industry through events and education. Since 2007 it has hosted the Spirited Awards for workers, bars, and products in this space, and this year marked its 17th award season, which recognizes exceptional bars internationally. While many smaller awards were given out, from Best New Bar to Best Hotel Bar, the top award of Best Cocktail Bar was taken home by the Century Grand.

The Century Grand opened in 2019, and has quickly gone on to earn a variety of accolades, including being named one of the top 50 bars in North America by World's 50 Best. It features a unique setup, with three different bars under one roof, all inspired by turn-of-the-century concepts. Platform 18 is based around the motif of an old Pullman rail car, Grey Hen Rx is modeled after a New Orleans apothecary, and UnderTow serves tropical drinks in a nautical setting. In addition to winning Best Cocktail Bar, it was also nominated for Best Bar Team, which was won by Happy Accidents in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Phoenix's Century Grand cocktail bar has three rooms with rotating themes

The three bars offer immersive experiences tied to each's inspirations of time and place. Platform 18 invites guests to follow a prohibition-era railroad tycoon/bootlegger in Louisiana, where screens simulate passing scenery outside the railcar. Visitors of UnderTow will be temporary passengers aboard a spice-trading clipper ship, and those visiting Grey Hen Rx can have a "chemist-concocted" sipper while watching Nola-style burlesque. Naturally, the cocktails are tailored to each experience, with Platform 18 featuring 30s-inspired cocktails and era classics like the Clover Club, Grey Hen Rx serving New Orleans favorites like the Sazerac, and Vieux Carre, and UnderTow highlighting rum-based drinks. Each experience is scheduled at 90 minutes long, and reservations are highly encouraged.

The Century Grand's collection of bars is the brainchild of Jason Asher, who helped found Barter & Shake Cocktail Entertainment, a hospitality group with multiple establishments around Phoenix. In addition to their themes, his bars are known for their elaborate cocktails and extensive menus, which teach the history of the locations by which they're inspired. One example is a Thai-themed cocktail with coconut gin, chili oil, lemongrass, and ginger, which highlights the contributions of Southeast Asian immigrants who helped build early railroads. But don't expect to always get the same thing when you visit, as the owners switch themes each year and develop whole new cocktail menus. So if you want to enjoy Century Grand as it is right now, make your reservations soon.