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Summer Cocktails of Denver- And Where to Find Them

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Summer heat has found the Mile High City, perfect weather to enjoy a refreshing cocktail on a restaurant patio or in the comfort of your own home. Amid imaginative mixologists sweeping the nation with creative concoctions, Denver has its own original drinks to offer this summer. From light and fruity to rich and creamy, there is no better way to beat the heat than sipping on one of these sweet or savory mixed drinks. We bring you 8 cocktails in Denver to enjoy this summer; mix them up yourself or have the bartender of these establishments do it for you.

Unicorn Tears
Unicorn Tears Courtesy of The Corner Office

Unicorn Tears

In the heart of the city, The Corner Office is a perfect crossroads to enjoy a summer cocktail. With lively patio, cool interior vibe and creative cocktails, the atmosphere is perfectly primed to enjoy a chilled martini. Steps from 16th Street Mall, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and minutes to many of the destinations of the Mile High City, The Corner Office is perfect for happy hour or afternoon sips alike.

Where to find it: The Corner Office.

How to make it:

Ingredients-

1.25 oz Lillet Rose

.5 oz Bombay Sapphire east

1 oz Lemon simple syrup

1 oz bottled flat water

Splash of Creme de Viollette

Method:

Make lemon simple syrup by bringing 2 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil. Take off heat and add one cup Lemon Juice. Let cool and run through a strainer. Add all ingredients into a martini shaker. Stir and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

 

Orange Crush
Orange Crush Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Denver

Orange Crush

Where to find it: ELWAY'S Downtown

ELWAY’S Downtown is home to a plush patio space and recently reimagined bar and lounge. Famous for the Denver Bronco’s Quarterback, John Elway, the Orange Crush is perfect any season. Light bites and flat screen TVs make for a perfect place to catch a game or enjoy a cocktail before heading to Coors Field to catch a baseball game.

How to make it:

Ingredients-

2 oz Ketel One Oranje

1/2 oz Patron Citronge

1/2 oz Blue Curacao

Splash of orange soda

Splash of orange juice

Splash of simple syrup

Squeeze of lemon

Method:

In a shaker, add ice, vodka, Citronge, orange soda, orange juice, simple syrup, and lemon squeeze.  Shake and strain into martini glass.  Sink blue curacao to bottom of glass.

California Fresh
California Fresh Courtesy of The Cruise Room

California Fresh

The Cruise Room is one of Denver’s favorite bars; shaped like a wine bottle the martini list is expansive. The first bar re-opened after prohibition, the unique atmosphere and knowledgeable bar staff make for an entertaining evening. Ambiance lighting and crafted cocktails are a must while visiting this downtown bar.

Where to find it: The Cruise Room

How to make it:

Ingredients-

Muddled strawberry

Art in the Age Rhubarb

Muddled pineapple

Fresh lime

Simple Syrup

Method: Combine ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and serve.

Magical Mystery Mojito
Magical Mystery Mojito Courtesy of Hard Rock Cafe Denver

Magical Mystery Mojito

Mojitos are on everyone’s mind come summer; the light mint flavors of this icy-cold refreshment quench the thirst even on the hottest days. Perfectly located on 16th St Mall, Hard Rock Café overlooks the pedestrian thoroughfare for people watching on the mall or enjoying a summer cocktail with friends at the Denver Pavilions.

Where to find it: Hard Rock Cafe Denver

How to make it:

Ingredients-

3/4 oz Monin Cucumber Syrup

8-10 Mint leaves

1 1/2 oz Hendrick's Gin

1/2 oz St Germaine Elderflower Liqueur

1 oz Lime juice

Garnish- Mint sprig and cucumber spear

Method: Muddle mint and cucumber syrup. Add gin, elderflower and lime juice and shake with ice. Pour into glass then top with splash of Sierra Mist, mint sprig and cucumber spear.

English Empire
English Empire Courtesy Second Home Kitchen + Bar

English Empire

One of the most popular tucked away patios in Denver is found at Second Home Kitchen + Bar. Cooler climes and artistic food and beverages alike can be found in this Cherry Creek North locale. A comfortable courtyard is prime for after work or a late-night cocktail. Complete with firepit and outdoor lounge space, the indoor bar is equally chic and a popular Denver spot.

Where to find it: Second Home Kitchen + Bar

How to make it:

Ingredients-

2 oz Appleton Estate White label rum

1/2 oz Pimm's English Herbal Liqueur

2.5 rhubarb puree

1 oz pineapple juice

Dash of Peychaud's Bitters

Candied lime

Method: To make the rhubarb puree, combine 3 cups of 1/4in sliced rhubarb, 1.5 cups of sugar, 1.5 cups of water and the juice of two whole lemons in to a blender and blend until pureed. Double strain to remove all the pulp. Pour rum into a shaker tin. Add Pimm's English Herbal Liqueur followed by the rhubarb puree and pineapple juice. Shake all ingredients together. Strain over ice into a high ball glass. Garnish with candied lime.

The Nutty Professor
The Nutty Professor Courtesy of Grand Hyatt

The Nutty Professor

For something a little more hearty, head to Pub 17. The recently renovated hotel is one of the most elegant spaces in Denver, boasting new interior spaces that rival larger cities in sophistication and style. The Nutty Professor is a impeccable option for stout lovers, as this “hop tail” is based on the smooth Ska Buster Nut Brown Ale.

Where to find it: Pub 17

How to make it:

Ingredients-

3 oz Ska Buster Nut Brown Ale

1 oz Frangelico

3 oz Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout

Method: Combine ingredients in glass and serve

Bicicletta
Bicicletta Courtesy of Panzano

Bicicletta

After a bike ride through the city on Hotel Monaco’s Kimpton Bikes the Bicicletta, a refreshment named after Italian men who favor the cocktail, is thirst-quenching in the Italian atmosphere of Panzano. While the hotel would not condone guests riding after enjoying this flavorful drink, the spin on the drink is certainly popular alongside the artful dishes of Chef Elise Wiggins at the popular downtown restaurant.

Where to find it: Panzano

How to make it:

Ingredients-

1 oz Aperol

1 oz Campari

1 1/2 oz Pinot Grigio

1/2 oz or top with orange soda

Garnish- orange zest

Method: Build in a Collins glass over ice

Twist & Shout
Twist & Shout Courtesy of Hard Rock Cafe Denver

Twist & Shout

Back at Hard Rock Café Denver, this cocktail is more of a dessert in and of itself. With the sweet and creamy body mixed with the crunchy and salty bacon topper, who wouldn’t opt for one of these after a meal? Cooling down with this “adult milkshake” is just one of many ways to enjoy Denver during this summer, with several music and art festivals peppering the calendar.

Where to find it: Hard Rock Cafe Denver

How to make it:

Ingredients- 

2 oz Guinness Draught

1 oz Bacardi OakHeart spiced rum

1/2 oz Dark Creme de Cacao

1/2 oz Chocolate syrup

1/2 oz Monin salted caramel syrup

2 scoops Vanilla ice cream

Garnish- Whipped cream, caramel syrup, chocolate syrup, heaping spoon of extra crispy bacon crumbles

Method: Blend all ingredients together and pour into glass.  Garnish with whipped cream, caramel syrup, chocolate syrup and bacon crumbles.

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