Aug 18, 2022 - Food and Drink

Ride the rails with some fancy cocktails at Century Grand in Phoenix

Two cocktails on a small circular table
A Desiré Street Market, left, and a No Body, No Crime from Platform 18 at Century Grand. Photo: Jeremy Duda/Axios

I've driven past Century Grand hundreds of times and had no idea it was even there.

Yes, but: My wife and I went there recently for her birthday and I found out what I'd been missing.

The big picture: The building at 3626 E. Indian School Road seems fairly nondescript, but inside, it is, as my wife described it, "Disneyland for adults."

  • Century Grand houses three unique bars, each with its own fun theme.
  • One of the bars, Grey Hen, looks like an old-time New Orleans apothecary, while UnderTow is a nautically themed cocktail bar.

What happened: We went to Platform 18, which looks like the interior of an old-school Pullman train car, complete with a stack of antique luggage and steam that rises near the entrance.

  • The "windows" are digital screens that make you feel as though you're on a real train by showing a moving landscape of snow-covered fir trees in Colorado.

What I tried: I started the evening with a No Body, No Crime, made with bourbon, rum, salted plum, orange oils, cassia bark, toasted sesame and Thai basil, which cost $18. If you like an Old Fashioned, you'll like this.

  • I also ordered a Gentlemen's Heist, made with cognac, Amontillado sherry, rye, passionflower bitters, mustard seed, orange oils, Cardamaro and a garnish of rosemary, which our server lightly singed with a flame to release the aroma. It had a delicious, buttery taste. I've never had anything quite like it.

1 tip: The cocktail menu is very gin-heavy.

1 sweet thing: They've got boozy ice cream desserts like the Last Word Ice Cream, made with gin, green chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, lime, cream and eggs, with a wafer of absinthe waffle cone.

Of note: The bars at Century Grand are reservation-only and they are not free.

  • Grey Hen has an epic whiskey selection, so I'm going to have to go back sometime.
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