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

Our ongoing bartender series returns for week four with a range of high-proof concoctions, spring porch-pounders and thoughtful plays on classic recipes. Cheers. Go here for week one, week two and week three 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. 

Devin Chapnick – Lead Bartender at Poka Lola Social Club

The Clover Club. Photo by Devin Chapnick.

Location: Poka Lola Social Club is located at 1850 Wazee St., Ground Floor, Denver. It is currently closed.

Recipe: The Clover Club 

1 1/2 oz Bulldog Gin
1/2 oz Imbue Dry vermouth
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz raspberry preserves
1 egg white
Shake all ingredients in tin with ice, strain off the ice and shake again. Strain into coupe and garnish with three drops of Peychaud’s

Reason: Creating this cocktail came to me while scouring through my pantry in search of something to drink. After stumbling upon some preserves, I thought it would be neat to see what other innocuous goods can be transformed into tasty drinks. This approach is fun and practical enough to share, so I’m actually going to have a live streaming class on using unexpected ingredients found around your kitchen. Everyone’s kitchen has possibilities that aren’t getting explored, so an interactive virtual class will uncover some new and exciting cocktails to try at home.

Venmo Handle: Chapnik asked that anyone hoping to tip donate to the Sage Hospitality Group Associate Relief Fund.

Bonus: Chapnik’s “Keep Calm and Mix On” episode about making drinks with what you have in your pantry already will air next Tuesday, April 14 at 6 p.m. on @sagerestaurantconcepts Instagram, as part of an ongoing series to benefit furloughed associates.

Matt Dutton – Bar Manager at Cooper Lounge

Wake Me Up Old Fashioned. Photo by Matt Dutton.

Location: Cooper Lounge is located in Union Station at 1701 Wynkoop St., Denver. While it is currently closed Union Station is offering a special take-out menu every day from 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Recipe: Wake Me Up Old Fashioned

1 oz Elijah Craig Bourbon
1 oz Bacardi 8 Year Rum
1/2 oz Coffee Syrup*
3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Stirred and served over your largest cube
Coffee Syrup
1 Cup Brewed Coffee
1 Cup Demerara Sugar
Heat over medium-low heat to combine stirring often

Reason: Being socially distant from the world I find myself drinking a lot of whiskey, rum and coffee. This is the perfect harmony of all three of those delicious ingredients. I took my hours-old pot of coffee and turned it into a delicious syrup to add a little buzz to a classic Old Fashioned. Splitting your base spirit between whiskey and rum gives it a little something extra and also helps those bottles last a little longer. Here’s to you, cheers!

Venmo Handle: @Matthew-Dutton-2. All tips will go to the Cooper Lounge staff.

Kevin Delonay – Director of Food and Beverage at Maya at The Westin Riverfront

Sandia Tajin. Photo by Kayla Wittich.

Location: Maya is located at 26 Riverfront Ln., Avon. It is currently closed.

Recipe: Sandia Tajin 

6 oz Maestro Dobel Blanco Tequila
6 oz fresh-pureed watermelon
2 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
4 oz Tajin simple syrup*

Combine all ingredients and stir well. Rim glasses with Tajin spice, add ice and pour the drink over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Tajin Simple Syrup*

1 liter sugar
1 liter hot water
2 oz Tajin

In a pan on the stove mix the sugar and water until it’s dissolved – do not let the water boil. Add Tajin spice and stir well. Let the mixture cool before mixing with the cocktail.

Reason: This refreshing cocktail is perfect for sipping while chilling out in your backyard or on your patio! While you can use any tequila that you have at home, we prefer mixing it with the smooth Maestro Dobel Blanco Tequila, which is double distilled and known for its subtle herbal hints. The Tajin spice rim gives the cocktail a nice chili lime kick and the watermelon juice definitely has us dreaming of sunny Colorado barbeques with friends and family! Watermelon juice is also good for you as it is rich in antioxidants, which are known to help lower inflammation and boost brain health.

Venmo Handle: Delonay asked that anyone hoping to tip donate to the Vail Valley Salvation Army Food Pantry

Emma Alexander – Bar Manager at Moo Bar

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Location: Moo Bar is located in Milk Market at 1800 Wazee St. #100, Denver. It is open every day 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. serving market items and a special to-go menu.

Recipe: Kiwi-Basil Daiquiri

1 1/2 oz white rum
1 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz demerara 
Muddle half a kiwi with two basil leaves — rip the basil into pieces if you don’t [want to] muddle. Add rum, demerara and fresh lime juice to a shaker tin with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a slice of kiwi and a basil leaf.

Reason: When I think of spring, I think of beautiful green grass and flowers blooming. Kiwi is so juicy and delectable and pair that with herbal brilliance of basil, it’s like a match made in heaven. Truly a garden in the glass.

Venmo Handle: @Emma-Alexander-15.


Dylan Holcomb – Bartender at Seven Grand

Location: Seven Grand is located at 1855 Blake St. Suite 160. It is currently closed.

Recipe: Sazer-Wreck

1 1/2 oz bonded rye
3/4 oz apple brandy
2 dash Peychaud’s bitters 
2 dash aromatic bitters
absinthe rinse

Rinse Old Fashioned glass with absinthe. Add sugar cube to mixing glass. Add bitters. Muddle into a fine paste. Add the remainder of the ingredients. Add ice. Stir approximately 30 times. Strain into absinthe rinsed Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with orange crusta.

Reason: I love a great sazerac. The addition of apple brandy is a salute to French Brandy, originally used in this historic cocktail. The combination of rye and apple brandy really brightens and opens up the traditional sazerac cocktail. Stir this cocktail right up and sit down with your favorite whiskey book.

Venmo Handle: Holcomb asked that anyone hoping to tip donate to the Seven Grand Team Relief Fund.

Justin Koch – Bar Manager at Curio

Maid in Mexico. Photo by Jillian Hapak.

Location: Curio is located in the Denver Central Market at 2669 Larimer St., Denver. It is currently closed.

Recipe: Maid in Mexico

2 oz tequila (we use a blanco, but if you like your marg with a reposado or anejo try that too)
1 oz lime
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 or 3 slices of cucumber
2 leaves mint

We shake all the ingredients together and strain out the solids and serve it over ice. A fresh cucumber slice or a sprig of mint works well as a garnish. 

Reason: A fun take on a tequila sour. Light, refreshing and ultimately crushable on a sunny Colorado day.

Venmo Handle: Koch asked that anyone hoping to tip donate to the Dumb Friends League

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