Local Bartenders Share Their Favorite Drink Recipes to Make at Home – Part V

We’re returning with week five of our ongoing bartender series, this time with a range of drinks for built to satisfy at any hour. Go here for week oneweek two, week three and week four lists.

As service industry workers struggle to get a foothold in these uncertain times, various services have popped up to assist those who are struggling. This website allows people to tip a randomized staff member when they have a drink. We will also be including Venmo handles of the involved bartenders below if anyone wants to tip them personally. 

Josh Davies – Bartender at The Bindery

Josh Davies. Photo by Josh Davies.

Location: The Bindery is located at 1817 Central St., Denver. It is open Tuesday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. for curbside pickup

Recipe: Bacon-Infused Earl Grey Manhattan / Breakfast Manhattan (since we can start drinking any time now that there are no rules)

Bacon Infused Whiskey
1 1/2 oz bacon fat
750 ml rye whiskey (Rittenhouse or Old Overholt are great)
On low heat, warm bacon fat in a small saucepan. Stir until it melts, about five minutes. Combine the molten fat and whiskey in a large nonreactive container and stir. Infuse for four hours, then place the container in the freezer for two hours. Remove solid fat, fine-strain whiskey through a terry cloth or cheesecloth and bottle.
Earl Grey (we used Tekoe brand) infused Vermouth
Simply pour the desired amount in a nonreactive container and add either loose-leaf or earl grey tea bags — generally, I use two tea bags per six ounces of vermouth —and let steep for about an hour and a half.  Strain and it’s ready to serve.
Cocktail
2 oz infused rye
1 oz infused vermouth
2 dashes aromatic bitters
Combine ingredients and ice in mixing glass — pint glass is great too — and use a barspoon — a single chopstick is a great substitute as well — to stir approximately 50 revolutions. Strain and serve without ice and garnish with a maraschino cherry or lemon peel. 

Reason: Personally, this is one of my favorite variations of a Manhattan — the smokiness of the bacon with the quasi-dry tannic mouthfeel from the vermouth and aromatic nose that these ingredients combine to create is truly a match made in heaven.

Venmo Handle: @Joshua-Davies-3

Sebastian Zydek – Bartender at El Five and the Vice President of the Colorado Bartenders Guild

Location: El Five is currently offering curbside pickup and delivery from the Linger kitchen at 2030 West 30th Ave., Denver, Tuesday – Saturday 4 – 9 p.m.

Recipe: Tom’s G&T

2 oz gin (I use Hendrick’s Orbium)
top with tonic water (I used Fever Tree, any flavor works)
lemonade ice – combine lemon juice, sugar and water to your flavor preference and free in any household ice cube tray.

Reason: I wanted to create a cocktail that anyone could make at home that is simple, delicious and exciting. So I combined two of my favorites — the gin and tonic and a Tom Collins. By making lemonade ice cubes and using tonic water instead of seltzer you have a new, refreshing cocktail that changes in flavor over time.

Venmo Handle: @Sebastian-Zydek

Hallie Bauernschmidt- Bartender at Nocturne

Hallie Bauernschmidt with Nocturne Bar Manager/Work Wife Jenn Freeman. Photo by Armando Martinez.

Location: Nocturne Jazz and Supper Club is located at 1330 27th St., Denver. It is s offering take out food, cocktails and wine via its sister restaurant Noble Riot at 1336 27th Street, entrance in the alley from Tuesday-Sunday 3 -8 p.m.

Recipe: Devil Moon

1 1/2 oz mezcal (anejo or reposado tequila can be substituted for the mezcal)
1/2 oz Distillery 291 Decc Citrus-Clove Liqueur
1/4 oz Amaro Montenegro (Any amaro on the lighter end of the spectrum will work)
1/4 oz Dry Curacao or Triple Sec
2 dashes orange bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and stir for 30-40 seconds for proper dilution. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass with a large ice cube or into a coup/martini for the “up” experience. Garnish with an orange swath.

Reason: This revved-up mezcal Old Fashioned is perfect for the fickle Colorado spring weather — providing pleasure on the snowy and sunny days alike. Smoke-laced and orange-hued, it features one of my favorite, local ingredients to play with — Distillery 291 The Decc Citrus-Clove Liqueur. This viscous liqueur pairs with a variety of spirit bases and is a great ingredient to have on hand at home.  Stay well, stay home, see you soon.

Venmo Handle: @Nocturne-ServiceTeam

The Spirits Department at Molly’s Spirits

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Location: Molly’s Spirits is located at 5809 W 44th Ave., Denver. It is open every day from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., with limited capacity shopping and curbside pickup for online orders.

Recipe: Molly’s Aviation

2 oz The Block Distillery Spring Gin
1/2 oz Golden Moon Distillery Creme De Violette
1/4 oz Leopold Bros Distilling Maraschino Liquer
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
Shake well over ice and pour in a martini glass or on the rocks.  Garnish with a brandied cherry.

Reason: We created this beautifully vibrant purple drink for the Rockies Opening Day. However, this light, floral and citrus gin concoction is the perfect springtime drink to enjoy with your quarantine crew or over a virtual happy hour. Make it truly festive with Colorado distilled spirits.

Venmo Handle: Molly’s asked that anyone hoping to tip consider purchasing a Colorado Strong Tee from the Colorado Brewer’s Guild.

Brent Walker and Meghan Gold – Proprietors at Foraged

The Foraged Black Rose. Photo courtesy of Foraged.

Location: Foraged is located at 1825 Blake St, Denver.

Recipe: The Foraged Black Rose

1 1/2 oz Roku Japanese Gin
1/2 oz Gifford Blackberry Liquor
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz agave nectar

In a cocktail shaker, combine Roku Gin, Gifford Blackberry Liquor, lime juice, agave nectar and ice cubes. Shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled tulip cup. Garnish with a rosemary sprig. 

Reason: Meghan and I collaborated on this drink during a cocktail development session with our team. We loved the refreshing brightness of this cocktail as the Japanese Gin was such a great combination with the blackberry liquor and the agave kept it lower-calorie.

Venmo Handle: Walker and Gold asked that anyone hoping to tip donate to the employee relief fund.