Jade Bar in Paradise Valley: Happy Hour Report Card

The Spot: Jade Bar 5700 East McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley 480-948-2100 www.sanctaryoncamelback.com

See Also: Mixology 101 at Jade Bar: Bartending Basics With a Double Shot of History

The Hours: Happy Hour is offered daily from 4 until 7 p.m.

The Interior: Since Jade Bar's remodel last year, the plush Sanctuary resort bar has become an even nicer spot to enjoy a craft cocktail. Big, comfy upholstered chairs face toward the large glass wall, providing a relaxing spot to take in the Camelback Mountain views. You can also sit at the bar and watch the top notch bar crew mix up different creations or take a seat on the peaceful patio while the weather still permits.

The Food: Bad news for deal seekers, Jade Bar's "The Pour" happy hour specials is limited to pourable offerings--drink specials only (though an all-soup happy hour is a totally great idea). While the bar currently offers nightly specials Monday through Wednesday, which include $2 sliders, $2 oysters, and $1 wings, we stuck to the regular menu of bar snacks and appetizers, just in case you visit on a Thursday or Friday. Bar snacks, which include biscotti-like cheddar bacon crackers with a sweet and tangy tomato jam, are reasonably priced at all hours for $5.

For appetizers, you're looking to spend anywhere between $3.50 for an individual oyster or $25 for an artisan cheese board. Upscale options like fire roasted bone marrow ($11) and steak tartare with a sunny side up egg ($16) mingle with classics like chicken wings ($12) and hummus ($9). The eggplant and black bean hummus, which came with pita and vegetables, had a great consistency, but was in desperate need of salt. Similarly, the chicken liver mason jar's texture was near perfect, but the flavor was a little underwhelming. Luckily, it had the help of accompanying salt, pepper, and pickled onions to kick it up a bit.

The Drink: The cocktails are really the reason to go to Jade Bar. Master mixologist Ryan Margarian curated the menu, which includes twists on old favorites and incredibly balanced flavors. Each cocktail is $8 during happy hour, which includes the weekly special. Lighter, fruitier drinks like the champagne laced Botticelli or the punchy Cantaloupe are great for sipping on a sunny afternoon. However, serious liquor lovers will love the Buffalo Trace whiskey Old Fashioned and the Anejo Manhattan, which has a Southwestern twist by adding orange liqueur and tequila. Did we mention that the Manhattan has a salami garnish?

Other happy hour drink specials include $6 glasses of wine and $5 Bitburger German Pilsner or Duvel drafts.

The Conclusion: If you're looking for somewhere swanky to relax with a great cocktail and a beautiful desert mountain view, Jade Bar's happy hour is the place to do it. However, Jade can't get top happy hour marks in our book because they don't regularly discount food and even the drinks discounted to $8 each would still be pricey for most budgets. If they knocked a couple bucks off of each, the happy hour could become a great one for locals and hotel guests alike.

Grade: B+

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