Happy Hour

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Reds Restaurant

Recommended Libation: St. Germain Cocktail, $10
Drink More, Pay Less: Daily drink specials; $5 wine on Wednesdays

Two of our favorite bartenders, Dyanna Sells and Val Milenkovitch, work at Reds Restaurant, and when they recommend a drink, we know it’s going to be good. The St. Germain Cocktail combines a few of our favorite things including Lunetta Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine that we first discovered at Reds. The elegant cocktail, served in a champagne glass with a lemon twist, also contains St. Germain Elderberry liqueur and sparkling water. It’s perfection in its simplicity; a great celebratory drink or, as Dyanna says, the quintessential brunch beverage.

Speaking of brunch, the second runner-up at Reds is the Rise and Shine featuring Ketel One Citron vodka, Or-G liqueur, grapefruit and orgeat syrup. If you like grapefruit, you’re going to love this drink: It’s like liquid grapefruit with a powerful punch. The cocktail is garnished with a cherry and lemon and lime wedges. With the first sip, the cocktail is sweet, and then the tangy grapefruit flavor and the vodka kick in.

The bar and lounge at Reds has long been a locals’ hangout. It has an upscale feeling with the blown-glass bar back that resembles red-rock strata and two big community tables lit with votive candles. There’s also live music every night from 6 to 9 p.m.

Reds Restaurant at Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa, 2250 W. SR 89A in West Sedona (928-203-4111)

The Blue Bar at Sound Bites Grill

Recommended Libation: Cosmic Blue, $10
Drink More, Pay Less: Mondays, 5 p.m. to close, football night with beer specials; Tuesdays, 5 p.m. to close, $5, $7 and $9 martini specials; Wednesdays, 5 p.m. to close, $5 drinks; Thursdays, 5 p.m. to close, wine tastings

When you walk into Sound Bites Grill, which opened its doors in June, you’re greeted with a huge photo of the cover of Madonna’s True Blue album and another wall-sized image of New York’s Radio City Music Hall. The waiting area is decorated with framed photos of musicians who’ve performed on Sound Bites’ stage. But directly behind the hostess stand is the Blue Bar where the house cocktails are – you guessed it – a spectacular shade of blue. The best-seller, says Bar Manager Aaron Baron, is the Cosmic Blue, and we can’t disagree with popular opinion. Served in a beautiful blue martini glass, the drink is a combination of blueberry vodka, açaí berry vodka, Triple Sec, blue curaçao and just a dash of lime.

Aaron says the cocktail menu is a work in progress, but in keeping with the grill’s music theme, many of the drinks have lyrical names like the Stevie Ray Rita, one of the best prickly-pear margaritas in Sedona. Instead of making the cocktail with prickly-pear syrup like most bars do, Sound Bites makes its margarita with prickly-pear puree, and you can taste the difference. And the Emerald City – made with several different types of rum, blue curacao, pineapple juice and Sierra Mist – takes like Hawaii in a hurricane glass.

The Blue Bar at Sound Bites Grill, 101 N. SR 89A at The Shops at Hyatt Piñon Pointe (928-282-2713)

View 180 at Enchantment Resort

Recommended Libation: Sedona Sidecar, $12
Drink More, Pay Less: Locals’ loyalty program coming soon

Enchantment Resort’s new lounge, View 180, offers up just that: a panoramic view of brilliant blue skies and tranquil Boynton Canyon. Inside, the lounge boasts a fireplace, brick walls, community tables and comfy leather chairs facing floor-to-ceiling windows that are frequently wide open during warmer months. Outside on the lounge’s terrace, relax on couches and chairs that face the red rocks. In the evening, enormous pillar candles are lit and, if it’s chilly, gas heaters provide warmth.

Despite its unfair reputation, Enchantment Resort welcomes locals to its restaurants, says Kevin Maguire, director of food and beverage. The resort will soon offer a locals’ loyalty program that will include discounts on drinks and food. After a long week at work, we love to drive out to Enchantment on a Friday or Saturday night to listen to live music at View 180, nibble on charcuterie and cheese plates, and sip a Sedona Sidecar. Made with dark rum, Grand Marnier, lemon juice, simple syrup (made in house) and garnished with an orange twist, the cocktail is served in one of the sexiest pieces of stemware we’ve seen. The glass is rimmed with cinnamon and sugar, which gives the cocktail a cozy, wintery taste. Sit back in an oversized chair with one of these babies in hand, and psyche yourself up for the holiday season.

View 180 at Enchantment Resort, 525 Boynton Canyon Road (928-282-2900)

MORE SEDONA FOOD AND DRINK: Wine tasting rooms, best pizzapizza in Old Town Cottonwood, barbecue restaurants, deserts, local beers, hamburgers, bed & breakfast inns, best Sedona cuisine, Sedona bars, clubs and nightlifegourmet dining, Sedona restaurant listings

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