The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, one of Colorado’s most iconic restaurant groups, is excited to unveil new changes to its six restaurants, starting with a greatly expanded bar menu. While the Rio’s backbone will always be its delicious, made from scratch food and the mighty Rio Marg, the company also took into account newer dining and drinking trends to ensure a dynamic, unrepeatable experience for its guests.
“The Rio has been a sanctuary for our diners for almost three decades, and as a progressive company, we’re always evolving and looking to incorporate new food and drink preferences into our menus,” said Rio Founder Pat McGaughran. “The new specialty cocktails and bar menu will provide another layer of enjoyment to the Rio experience that will keep people coming back. And, as a Colorado-proud company, we’re excited to offer some of the state’s best craft beer and spirits.”
As one of its largest menu updates since the restaurant’s inception, the new bar menu includes Colorado microbrews, an intriguing selection of hand-crafted cocktails, 14 new tequilas, and top shelf wells including vodkas, whiskey and rums. The Rio culinary team recently traveled to Mexico to take classes from Chef Rick Bayless to learn of new techniques and ingredients to incorporate into recipes. They have also added new food items to the bar menu ranging from $3 to $8 dollars, including savory shared plates like Tropical Guacamole, Crispy Jalapeño Caps, Grilled Pork Flautas, Steak and Seafood Empanadas and Ceviche.
Known for its famous Rio Margs, the restaurant is proud to officially introduce a long-awaited “Skinny Margarita”, which is a delicious, yet low calorie combination of Patron Silver tequila, fresh orange, lime, and lemon juices, Cointreau, and a splash of soda water. They have also added the “Coin Margarita”, a combination of Cuervo Platino, Contreau, and fresh lime juice, and the Ricky, which is a frozen Rio Marg and Corinita—a mini Corona beer turned upside down in a margarita.
In addition, they have added several new specialty cocktails including a Cucumber Rum Mojito, Agave Martini, and The Perfect Storm, which is a refreshing take on the highly popular “Moscow Mule” with lime, ginger beer and Herradura Reposado. The Rio has also reinvented several favorites including, the Ranch Water—a combination of El Tesoro, soda water and fresh lime and the Paloma, a vibrant mix of Herradura Silver, soda and grapefruit juice. All cocktails are priced between $7 and $11 dollars.
The famous Rio vault will add 14 new types of tequila and be among the state’s finest, featuring more than 50 variations appealing to everyone from the amateur tequila drinker to the connoisseur. In fact, the Rio is Jose Cuervo’s largest on-premise account in the country. The wide range of tequilas vary in price from mid-level Blancos, Reposados, and Anejos to small batch exclusives like Jose Anniversario and 1800 Collecion—two selections that are $250 per 2 oz pour. Additional new selections include: El Tesoro Blanco, Corzo Silver, Hornitos Silver, Espolon Silver, El Jimador Reposado, Casa Noble Repsosado, Corzo Reposado, Clase Azul Reposado, Kah Reposado, El Jimador Anejo, Casa Noble Anejo, El Tesoro Paradisio extra Anejo, De Leon Silver and De Leon Anejo.
“The Rio beverage team had a lot of fun coming up with what we feel is the perfect Rio cocktail menu, enhancing what we have always offered, and not taking too much attention away from the Rio Marg,” said Chris Jumper, the Rio’s Food and Beverage Director. “We believe this menu is highly approachable and will appeal to our long time Rio loyalists as well as new patrons just embarking on their first Rio experience.”
In addition, The Rio is making changes to its food presentation that will elevate the overall dining experience, including upgraded table settings, flatware, glassware, chip bowls and table cloths.
The Rio Grande is a 27 year-old Colorado restaurant with six locations along the Front Range, including Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, Greeley, Park Meadows and Steamboat Springs – each having an experience all of its own. Known for its legendary Rio margarita that has a limit of three, scratch Mexican food, and an unrivaled patio scene, the Rio is one of the area’s most famous establishments.
“Colorado has wholeheartedly embraced the Rio, and the vibrant culture has helped make the restaurant what it is today,” said McGaughran. “We have enjoyed a level of success and acceptance in this community that we could not have imagined in 1986 when we first opened. Now, more than two decades later, we are thrilled to provide an updated Rio experience.”