Scottsdale, Ariz.’s innovative new cocktail bar may share some of the trappings of the speakeasy fad (like a hidden entrance and a posted list of house rules), but the similarities end there. Just up the fire escape from its sister gastropub (Citizen Public House), Citizen R+D is as much a science lab as it is a craft cocktail lounge.
Mixologist Richie Moe makes his creations table-side with a hefty shot of theatre—expect fire, froth and plenty of dry ice. For the Black Blazer, Moe tosses a flaming concoction of Jameson whisky and molasses back and forth from shaker to shaker. My gin and tonic—the gin is distilled at our table in what looks like a three-way cross between a hookah, Bunsen burner and coffee grinder—had a refreshing Indian twist, thanks to the coriander seed and cardamom among the 11 aromatics (Moe says it took six weeks of experimentation to nail the blend).
You’ll want to applaud the entire production—just as we did.