The Angry Mule at the ViewHouse, photo by Lindsey Bartlett

The Angry Mule at the ViewHouse. All photography by Lindsey Bartlett.

What: A new Spring Moscow Mule and Cocktail menu is now being served at ViewHouse. The menu includes surprising twists on an old favorite, the Moscow Mule. Plus, get an inside taste of some decadent small plates prepared to compliment the new drinks.

Where: ViewHouse in LoDo at 2015 Market St, Denver, CO

When: The Spring Moscow Mule and specialty drink menu runs now until the end of the season.

Pros: Head Bartender Mark Ross has a Moscow Mule for every type of drinker, whether it be adventurous or traditional. Chef Jose Guerrero prepares casual dishes with upscale, lavish taste. ViewHouse and its dynamic atmosphere caters to every type of Coloradan.

Cons: The ghost-pepper cucumber infused vodka packs a serious punch. If you aren’t well versed in hot food, this one might be too spicy for you. Also, some drinks are blended so well, the untrained tongue would not notice the booze. Enjoy in moderation as such complex drinks should be sipped slowly.

It’s that time of year again, when fresh Spring and Summer ingredients make their debut on the drink menu at ViewHouse. This popular LoDo spot soars above other rooftop bars in Denver in innovation, trends, and creative execution. 303 Magazine was given an exclusive sneak peak of ViewHouse’s Spring Moscow Mule cocktail menu. These lively cocktails will surely get your taste buds ready for the season.

Mark Ross (left) and Head Chef Jose Guerrero (right)

Lead bartender Mark Ross (left) and Chef Jose Guerrero (right)

Three creative minds behind ViewHouse are Director of Operations Brad Manske, lead bartender Mark Ross, and head Chef Jose Guerrero. The three humble industry leaders develop ideas for the bar, the kitchen, balancing the ideological with the attainable. Ambitious and perfectionists are two words that come to mind. All elements work together to create the seamless ViewHouse experience.

This same perfectionism is working in their favor on the new menu. Mark Ross is a master of his craft and Chef Guerrero a beast in the kitchen. They, lead by Manske, are dedicated to sustainability and local Colorado products. Finding the freshest ingredients makes their work a constant challenge. Chef Guerrero put it perfectly as he explained the best part of the job:

“Creative freedom, being conscious of what we’re putting out. We make sure everything we do put out aligns with our concept and our pillars. We really stick to the local, organic, fresh. It’s our advantage. Brad, Francoise, they are constantly challenging me. We can do better, they push me. At the end of the day, complacency is a lonely pool. It’s fun to be challenged.”

I picked the mind of Brad Manske, learning all about his unbelievable passion in process. Manske loves experimenting with infused liquor. His dedication and work with local distiller Spring 44 out of Longmont has greatly paid off. Manske tweaks and perfects new infused recipes each day. The cocktail program now has blueberry vodka, pineapple tequila, ghost-pepper and cucumber vodka, and orange vodka. Not for the faint of heart, Manske modified the ghost pepper recipe from a brutal 20 chile peppers down to just 1. Talk about dedication.

ViewHouse Specialty Cocktails

ViewHouse Specialty Cocktails (from left to right) The Spicy Mamacita, the ViewHouse Lemonade, and the Blue Wave.

The menu contains more than just Moscow Mules. Here are some knock-out signature drinks worth trying. The first is the Blue Wave. Perfect for summer, this unique drink boasts fresh blueberries, Viewhouse infused blueberry vodka, Blue Curcacao, simple syrup, and a splash of Red Bull. One could get lost the Blue Wave’s drool-inducing presentation in a tall, sleek glass with a purple hue and fresh blueberries layered throughout. Next, we have the ViewHouse Lemonade. This is perhaps one of the most popular drinks that they serve all year long. This lemonade is wickedly sweet, smooth, and strong. You can rely on ViewHouse to make the lemonade from scratch on the first floor bar. It is just too delicious.

Now enter the mule parade. The ViewHouse Mule is the safest bet with classic flavors. This popular drink is made with a subtle cucumber infused vodka on top of more fresh cucumber, Goslings ginger beer, a spritz of lime, lemon, and mint. It is cool, calm, and a nice starting point before the adventurous concoctions to come next. To pair with a small plate, I’d suggest Chef Guerrero’s homemade pan-co encrusted, Prosciutto Mozzarella Sticks. The richness in the combination of cheese and prosciutto are divine and compliment perfectly with the coolness of the ViewHouse Mule. You see ViewHouse’s mission in the cohesive tastes and ingredients from both.

ViewHouse Mozerella Sticks and Mules

ViewHouse Prosciutto Mozzarella Sticks and Mules.

I was next blown away by the Strawberry Moscow Mule. The presentation of Ross’ drinks are always surprising. The pink and textured color of the strawberry mule make it a one of a kind drink. Ross also prepares the drinks so fast, it looked like magic. In this mule, you’ll taste freshly chopped strawberry, mint, ginger beer, Montoya local Colorado Rum, plus a dash of lime Red Bull. The most delicious twist on a mule I’ve had in ages. Must try. 

I would pair the Strawberry Mule with Chef Guerrero’s fresh Kale Salad. It is an absolute treat for a light, unique summer entree. Flavors go from notes of spiciness in the tangy roasted peanut vinaigrette dressing, to a sweet and acidic crunch in the Granny Smith apple. The kale was the perfect catalyst for the intense and rich flavor with fresh julienned cabbage, crisp cilantro, scallions, and topped with chopped peanuts.

ViewHouse Kale Salad

ViewHouse Kale Salad.

Each handcrafted dish and cocktail has its own show-stopping presentation. Next, we wake our taste buds up with the Angry Mule. Ross and Manske have created their own version of a Fireball liquor with an even tastier ViewHouse infusion. The Angry Mule uses their own barrel-aged cinnamon whiskey mixed with Angry Orchard Cider, fresh juices, and apple liquor. It is then topped with a flourish of stacked green apple and a cherry on top. It is cider meets Moscow Mule perfection.

My final favorite drink worth trying is the Paloma Mule, with Patron tequila garnished with lime, salt on the rim, plus a unique Grapefruit Juice, Ginger beer, and fresh squeezed lime combination. Ross called it the poor man’s margarita as it is a take on a classic Spanish tequila and grapefruit juice drink. Anything but poor, this flavor combination will make you forget everything you know about Moscow Mules.

My plate to pair with the delicious Spanish Paloma Mule is Chef Guerrero’s Tacos Trio. I savored the tender Carne Asada Tacos, but the trio also comes in Mahi Mahi, Carnitas, and Chicken. Manske explained that they get all their meat from local Red Bird Farms. Guerrero served a delicious yet minimalist taco that even the best Mexican restaurants in town can’t parallel. The creativity truly shines through with every dish. Bravo, ViewHouse. Bravo.

Be sure to check out the Moscow Mules and wide array of cocktails in the new outdoor Cabanas completed just a few weeks ago. Stay tuned for 303 Magazine’s coverage of the Grand Opening on ViewHouse 2.0 in the DTC area this July!

 ViewHouse Carne Asada Tacos

ViewHouse Carne Asada Tacos.