Comfortably elegant, Donovan’s cozy bar is one of my favorite spots. Leave the hot summer temperatures behind as you step into a cool, dark oasis with a very civilized Happy Hour. It’s not often a high-end steakhouse such as Donovan’s offers all 18 of their $15 “Specialty Cocktails” discounted to $8. There are also $5 beer and $6 wine by-the-glass specials. It’s a nice bonus to find extended and weekend hours. Donovan’s Happy Hour is currently 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Cocktails here are a generous pour, and a perfect way to start is with a steakhouse classic such as a Donovan’s Manhattan with George Dickel Tennessee whiskey or Donovan’s CEO Classic, the popular gin or vodka martini with blue cheese-stuffed olives. If you’re a whiskey fan, you might choose the Whiskey Smash with Bulleit Rye, lemon and mint, or the Maker’s Stone Sour with Maker’s Mark Kentucky bourbon and a bit of sweet-and-sour from marmalade. Tequila more your style? The Margarita Martini mixes up Tres Agaves tequila with agave nectar and lime. You’ll also find the 007 Vesper made famous by James Bond in Ian Fleming’s “Casino Royale.”
For something refreshing, try the Cucumber Cooler with Hendrick’s (a gin infused with cucumber and rose petals) muddled with fresh cucumber. The John Daly with Carolina Sweet Tea vodka and lemonade, or the Perfect Mojito with rum, lime, mint and club soda go down just as easily. Another appealing cocktail from the list is The Italian Peartini combining St. Germaine (elderflower liqueur) with Absolut Pear vodka topped with a bubbly float of Prosecco. A personal favorite is the simple and clean Ten Fresh with Tanqueray No. 10 gin, lime juice and simple syrup. With 18 cocktails on the Happy Hour list, there’s something for everyone and plenty of choices to keep you coming back again and again.
Donovan’s has only one special food item for Happy Hour, but it’s not a discounted appetizer… it’s a free prime steak sandwich. Yes, free.Available between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., platters of these delicious sandwiches are unlimited. Prime tenderloin is simmered and shredded, moistened with au jus, and combined with mushrooms, caramelized onions and peppers, piled onto toasted buns, and sliced into mini sandwiches. It’s the perfect accompaniment for an oversized martini.
An extensive cocktail selection and free steak sandwiches in a luxurious relaxing atmosphere equals a perfect Happy Hour for me. Cheers!
3101 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Open Daily – Except Sunday
Happy Hour 4pm – 8pm
FEATURED COCKTAIL: Manhattan
There is some dispute over the origins of the Manhattan. One popular story is that it was invented for Lady Randolph Churchill at the Manhattan Club. Most agree, however, that it originated in the 1800s in NYC and was a cocktail made with rye whiskey, Italian vermouth, and Angostura bitters, garnished with a maraschino cherry or lemon zest. Bourbon, less assertive than rye, has recently become more popular. This classic drink lends itself to many variations, using different bitters, vermouths, or garnishes.
Article and Photos by Christina Barrueta
Originally Published in Arizona Vines and Wines Fall 2012 Issue