Nothing says springtime like a refreshing patio sipper, and Denver bars and restaurants are full of them this season. Whether you like your cocktails sweet, sour or incredibly strong, we’ve rounded up the perfect Denver cocktail menu to dive into immediately.
What: Octopus Punch
Where: Curio — 2669 Larimer St., Denver
The Lowdown: Curio is adding another social element to cocktail sipping. Starting on May 13 its group punch cocktails are back. Available on Saturdays and Sundays for brunch, the Octopus Punch will change weekly. For an example to get your squad excited, the one above is armagnac, amaro, chamomile tea, lemon and arneis wine.
What: Femme Fatale
Where: El Five — 2930 Umatilla St., Denver
The Lowdown: Talk about true beauty. The Femme Fatale at El Five is a showstopper – to see and to sip. With gin, manzanilla, lavender-infused St. Germain, grapefruit oil and an edible orchid, it’s certainly something we couldn’t make at home.
What: Blade Scorpion
Where: Kachina Denver — 1890 Wazee St., Denver
The Lowdown: We can’t get enough of Kachina’s cocktail menu. If you’re looking for an adventurous step outside of the classic margarita, we suggest the Blade Scorpion, withcazadores reposado, pineapple, lime, green chartreuse, ginger syrup and scorpion tincture. Despite the green chartreuse, the fruit and acid shine through to make a delightful drink. It tastes like a lemon lime soda — in the best way possible.
The Way Back
Where: The Way Back — 4132 W. 38th Ave., Denver
The Lowdown: The Way Back always gets us with its clever cocktail names, and this one is no exception. The brightly hued drink has Clément VSOP, hibiscus tea and apricot. In its own words, it’s a “balanced & citrusy porch pounder with looks that could kill.”
What: Suze, Susie, Suzy
Where: Hudson Hill — 619 E. 13th Ave., Denver
The Lowdown: Any cocktail at Hudson Hill is usually a home run, but we’re loving the Suze, Susie, Suzy for a balanced, fruit-forward sipper. With grapefruit, lavender, gentian, vodka and plum, this brightly colored cocktail will definitely have you in a warm-weather mood.
What: Chico’s Bail Bonds
Where: Cochino Taco — 3495 S. Downing St., Englewood
The Lowdown: With trendy ingredients like aquafaba, this cocktail is perfect for those looking to expand their taco-sipper selection beyond the traditional margarita. This $7 drink has Vida Mezcal, pineapple, lime and aquafaba.
What: Margarita Esotico
Where: Via Perla — 901 Pearl St., Boulder
The Lowdown: This $9 spring margarita is infused with a fresh lavender syrup. Blended with Exotico tequila, galliano, lavender syrup, lemon and lime, it’s worth the drive to Boulder.
What: The Zazu Bird
Where: Avanti F&B — 3200 N. Pecos St., Denver
The Lowdown: This cocktail was named after the sprightly bird in The Lion King and the “Lovely Bunch of Coconuts” song that he sings. It has Rum Haven Coconut Rum, Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum, Aperol and lime. It’s $10 and served up.
Punch Bowl Social
What: The Chef’s Cup
Where: Punch Bowl Social — 65 Broadway, Denver
The Lowdown: Nothing says spring hydration quite like cucumber. For only $6, order up this refreshing drink with muddled cucumber and lemon, housemade cardamom syrup, sparkling water and currants.
What: Strawberry Fields Lemonade
Where: Morning Collective — 2160 S. Broadway, Denver
The Lowdown: Traditionally served non-alcoholic for $5 at this new brunch spot, we suggest paying the two extra dollars to make it boozy. Delicious with or without alcohol, it’s a strawberry lemonade with strawberry ice, wildflower ice and house soda.
What: The Garden State
Where: Vesta — 1822 Blake St., Denver
The Lowdown: For a local spin on a gin and tonic, reach for this cocktail with Cap Rock gin, white port, lavender syrup, prosecco and lemon ($10).
Ace Eat Serve
What: The Mount Fuji
Where: Ace Eat Serve — 501 E. 17th Ave., Denver
The Lowdown: Explore this adult beverage with a tropical twist. This cocktail has Nigori Sake, green tea infused Death’s Door Gin, coconut juice, orgeat syrup, lime and mint ($10).
What: Strawberry Rhubarb Smash
Where: Low Country Kitchen — 1575 Boulder St., Denver
The Lowdown: This $11 cocktail is perfect for spring, as it’s the only season when rhubarb is available. It has Four Roses bourbon, charred strawberry and rhubarb shrub, lemon and amaro sfumato — a smoky-sweet treat for any time of day.
What: The Blue Basil
Where: ViewHouse — 2015 Market St., Denver
The Lowdown: If you want a cocktail that tastes as good as it looks, this Instagram-worthy beverage has a pretty purple hue and a blueberry flavor to match. Perfect for before a Rockies game, it has house-infused blueberry vodka, fresh basil, housemade sweet and sour mix, fresh blueberries and soda water ($9.25).