Without a cloud in the sky, August is bound to have the Mile High at near boiling point. To help you keep your cool we’ve compounded a list Denver’s frostiest frozen cocktails that are guaranteed to chill you out. From fruity froze, to frosty beer floats the drinks on this list are unique and perfect for cooling our land-locked metropolis over the upcoming long, hot summer months.
Where: Jack’s Uptown Grille — 1600 E. 17th Ave., Denver
The Lowdown: Jack’s Uptown Grille is one of the new kids on the block this summer. They have hit the ground running with a more than solid happy hour and a specialty cocktail menu that includes — amongst creative and wacky cocktails like a cotton candy martini — the first contender on our list. The Dreamsicle ($8) is spun to order and portrays all the favorite profiles you remember getting from the non-alcoholic ice cream truck version as a youngster. The addition of Effin Blood Orange Vodka and Cointreau make this thing secretly boozy. We suggest giving this cocktail-milkshake a try underneath the patio awning of its newest neighborhood grill.
Cherry Bomb Frozé
Where: Tupelo Honey — 1650 Wewatta St., Denver
The Lowdown: Tupelo Honey — a comfort food concept out of Asheville, North Carolina — opened its doors on Wewatta street next to the bus terminal at Union Station. The space is home to some interesting amenities including a rotating table tap — capable of pouring your choice of any of the restaurants kegged beers available in the restaurant. There is also a commercial sized slushy machine that spins a one of a kind Cherry Bomb Froze ($10). This sweet and tart dry french froze’ is combined with mint, lemon, juice bourbon and Colorado’s own Leopold Bros. Maraschino liqueur. The lemon and cherry elements of this drink really make it feel tropical when you throw it back. Having a dry wine base makes sipping two or three of these in one sitting like sucking down free slushies at 7 Eleven on July 11.
Pomegranate Pineapple Marg
Where: Señor Bear — 3307 Tejon St., Denver
The Lowdown: Señor Bear — the newest addition to the Bar Dough family — opened its doors in LoHi earlier this summer with an inventive Latin-inspired menu and a creative coastal cocktail list. The rotating frozen drink ($8) this week was a Pomegranate Pineapple frozen margarita that trumped every frozen marg we’ve ever had. The pomegranate offers tart notes that complement the sweet zing of fresh pineapple. The bar staff works with the culinary crew to bring in different fruits and ingredients throughout the week — resulting in the creation of a unique frozen cocktail each week. This tequila slushy is a perfect companion for anything tropic or spicy — we recommend pairing with its fresh-off-the-boat Hamachi.
Frozen Coconut Mango Daiquiri
Where: Avanti F&B — 3200 N. Pecos St., Denver
The Lowdown: The bar that fuels the food collective Avanti in the lower Highlands neighborhood turns on its giant frosty cocktail machine on the weekends. The cocktail is exclusive to the upstairs east corner bar that overlooks a spectacular view of the Denver cityscape. Avanti serves the Coconut Mango Daiquiri in a single ($10) or a double ($20) in a synthetic coconut cup (not pictured) — we always recommend going big or going home. With ingredients like New Amsterdam mango vodka, coconut rum, lime juice, kaffir lime leaf tincture and steeped butterfly pea flower — the drink really pulls off a tropical Asian profile like none other on our list. The floral notes from the lime leave and butterfly pea flower fuse with the old school Daiquiri classics to give you a new school east-Asian banger of a patio sipper. Just to have full disclosure — the Kaffir lime leaf tincture is concocted with Everclear vodka — this drink is boozy and to be taken seriously. This may be why it’s also only available on Fridays and Saturdays.
Where: Smōk — currently on Sundays at Acorn — 3350 Brighton Blvd., Denver
The Lowdown: Smōk is a fresh concept set to open as a resident of the up and coming Source hotel — but for now the barbecue joint is popping up on Sundays as a returning guest at the Acorn restaurant. In addition to knock-out items from the pit — the bar program offers the unique and BBQ friendly Smōk Smash ($12). A southern-inspired combination of J. Reiger’s K.C. Whiskey, sherry wine, pureed Ruby Red peach, lemon and dill simple syrup is crafted below freezing to create a completely unique drinking experience. The idea of using dill in simple syrup may seem unusual but the herb really contributed to a spicy, smoldering coal, pit fire personality of the drink. This whiskey smash is hands down one of the most entertaining and evolved variations on a traditional cocktail to date.
Where: Declaration Brewing Co. — 2030 S. Cherokee St., Denver
The Lowdown: Declaration Brewing Co. is tucked away behind some industrial buildings on South Broadway and has been serving a tight knit community of craft brew drinkers since early 2015. The team recently got ahold of a rotating frozen cocktail machine and has been playing around with the concept of a beer slushy. Beer drinkers and frozen cocktail sippers tend to be on different sides of the flavor wheel — but Declaration has aimed to meet us somewhere in the middle with its Peachberry Pale ($7). This creation is a pureed peach and strawberry frozen and twisted into its Purloined Pearl Pale Ale. The secret to this frozen beer experiment is to use it as a topper on your choice of any of its beers on tap. We floated a layer over the top of the High-Pressure Lager for an additional $1 charge. When combined, the beer and beer slushy take on a completely different persona. The traditional style lager offered a mild funk to fizz union that added great personality to the fruity Peachberry Ale cocktail. And just like that — the frozen beer topper is now a thing.
Macadamia Nut Chi-Chi
Where: Adrift Tiki Bar — 218 S. Broadway, Denver
The Lowdown: Adrift Tiki Bar blows an island breeze down South Broadway with a menu featuring Polynesian cuisine and tropical rum bases craft cocktails. While most of the drinks contain anywhere from six to 10 ingredients — the Macadamia Nut Chi-Chi ($10) is an exciting exception. This frosted treat has been stripped down to four simply wonderful components— vodka, macadamia nut, pineapple and coconut. The creamy smooth notes from the macadamia make this drink unique to our list — this is a pool-side slush that actually sports a bit of protein. We really appreciated the use of vodka on this drink as opposed to rum. The pineapple coconut components are perfectly sweet and the vodka zip is plenty strong.
Unless noted, all photos by Amanda Piela Photography.