5 Denver Bartenders Share Their Cocktail Recipes to Try at Home – Part IX

As the long and winding road continues to stretch towards the horizon, drinking at home remains an oasis in an otherwise hostile environment. Below are five more cocktails cheerfully designed to enliven any sanctuary. Go here for week oneweek two, week threeweek four, week fiveweek six, week seven and week eight here.

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. 

Samuel Magone – Bar Consultant

Classic Rum Sour. Photo courtesy of Teresa Arias.

Location: Boulder

Recipe: Classic Rum Sour

2 oz Ron del Barrilito Two Star
1 egg white
3/4 oz simple syrup
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
5 dashes habanero shrub 
Build: Into a shaker, pour together rum, simple syrup, lemon juice and an egg white. Dry shake for about 10 seconds to emulsify ingredients. Toss in a handful of large ice cubes, and shake even harder for 20 more seconds. Strain into a stemmed glass. Dash a few drops of bitters onto the heavenly bed of foam, and challenge yourself not to guzzle it down

Reason: As winter begins to take its leave, it’s about that time to look for a bit more sunshine in the glass. The Rum Sour is the light, bright libation that hits that mark every time. With a good kick of spirit, the velvet texture of egg white, zippy acidity balanced with a bit of sweet and topped with lifting aromatics, this classic is a timeless hit. I like a tinge of spice in mine, so I use Habanero Shrub Bitters, but Angostura or Orange Bitters are also great substitutes. It’s a perfect refreshment pairing for sunny porch siestas and backyard quarancations. Salud.

Venmo Handle: Magone asked that anyone hoping to tip donate to the Colorado Restaurant Association’s Angel Relief Fund.

Kraig Weaver – Head Distiller at The Block Distilling Co.

Golden Girl. Photo Courtesy of The Block Distilling Co.

Location: The Block Distilling Co. is located at 2990 Larimer St., Denver. It is currently open for pickup Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Recipe: Golden Girl

1 1/2 oz The Block Distilling Co. Summer Gin
1 oz turmeric-ginger simple syrup
1 oz coconut milk
1/2 oz lime
1/4 oz orange juice
To make the turmeric-ginger simple syrup, combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons ginger in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until ingredients are fully incorporated. Turn off heat, add 1 teaspoon turmeric. Cool and set aside.
Add vodka, turmeric-ginger simple syrup, coconut milk, lime and orange juice into a shaker over ice. Shake well. Serve immediately with an orange twist.

Reason: This was one of my favorite drinks on our winter and spring menus. It’s a boozy take on golden milk, a traditional ayurvedic drink. The subtle sweetness along with the aromatics of ginger and turmeric in the simple pair well with the citrus notes that are found in our summer gin. Although we use coconut milk, feel free to use an alternative like almond milk, oat milk or whatever you have at home. If you are not a fan of gin, feel free to substitute vodka.

Venmo Handle: Weaver asked that if anyone would like to support The Block, the best way is by ordering spirits and cocktails-to-go or by purchasing a gift card.


 Adam Reed – Director of Operations at Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar

Jax Cucumber Lemon Press. Photo courtesy of Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar.

Location: Jax has multiple locations, all of which are currently closed. It is currently hosting pop-ups, with up to date info available on Instagram, @JaxFishHouse.

Recipe: Jax Cucumber Lemon Press

4 oz cucumber-infused vodka
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 oz fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 oz soda water
English cucumber and lemon, for garnish
Why such a large recipe? Because you will find you never end up drinking just one of these. This recipe makes a pair of really lovely large drinks for two. Fill two large rocks glasses with ice. Again, one is for your “‘friend,” wink wink. 
Dump the ice from rocks glasses into a shaker tin. Add the infused vodka, simple syrup and lemon juice, stir to chill. Pour the ice and vodka mixture back evenly into the two glasses and top both with soda water to the top. Garnish with a wheel of cucumber and a large lemon twist. Enjoy.
Feel free to add more simple syrup — this version is intentionally not very sweet, but you can sweeten as much as you prefer.
Cucumber-Infused Vodka
Infusing your own vodka is incredibly easy. Combine 750 ml of vodka with 1 English cucumber, sliced. You will want to do the infusion in a different bottle or vessel so you can strain off the cucumbers and then put the vodka back in its own bottle. We typically infuse for about five days. The longer you go, the stronger the cucumber flavor will be.
You also can use a pre-infused or flavored cucumber vodka from the store — but we never do that at Jax because the fresh cucumber flavor is unbeatable.

Reason: A press is a drink that typically has a base spirit mixed with lemon-lime soda and soda water. In this case, we substitute a housemade lemonade for the lemon-lime soda and use vodka that has been infused with fresh cucumber. This has been a guest favorite at Jax for many, many years.

Venmo Handle: @BigRedF-Fund. Any proceeds that go to this will go to the Big Red F family fund 4013c. The money in this fund is distributed to employees in need via grants, at the sole discretion of a Fund Board made up of BRF peers.

Matthew Sampson – Principal Bartender at B&GC

Safety Net. Photo by Matthew Sampson.

Location: B&GC is located at 249 Columbine St., Denver. It is currently closed.

Recipe: Safety Net

1 oz gin
1 oz pisco
1/2 oz maple syrup
1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro
3/4 oz lemon juice
1 dash floral bitters
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake and strain. 

Reason: For this cocktail, I kind of combined a couple of my favorite ingredients into a sour that reflects springtime from my balcony. Pisco and Montenegro are great additions to any bar, and here they are providing a nice floral note throughout the cocktail. The maple gives the drink both body and complexity, and the gin provides a good familiar dry flavor to get everyone aquatinted.

Venmo Handle: @Matthew-Samson-1


Anna Rogowski – Bartender at Run for the Roses

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Location: Run for the Roses is located at 1801 Blake St. #10, Denver. It is currently open for take-out orders Thursday – Saturday 4 – 9 p.m.

Recipe: Nacional con Café

2 oz Bacardi Gold 8 yr Reserva
1 oz Wray and Nephew Rum
3/4 oz Borghetti Espresso Liqueur 
1/4 oz Gifford Apricot Liqueur 
1 oz pineapple juice
3/4 oz lemon juice
Add all ingredients into a shaker tin, shake vigorously with ice, strain back into the shaker tin, discard ice, shake to aerate and pour into your favorite glass. Add a little decorative bitters if you’d like. 

Reason: I’d like to share with you Nacional con Café. This is my riff on a classic called a Hotel Nacional, from the 1935 Waldorf-Astoria bar book. Will P. Taylor, manager of the Hotel Nacional in Havana, came up with his own version of a Daiquiri using — of course — Bacardi, pineapple juice, a squeeze of lemon and a touch of apricot brandy. I have added another ingredient for a bit of a caffeine kick, Borghetti – an Italian espresso liqueur. One ounce has as much caffeine as a shot of espresso. While moving apartments during quarantine, I really craved a tried and true cocktail but also needed the pep to get me through the work ahead. I hope you will enjoy this go-gettin’-big-boi as much as I do.

Venmo Handle: @Anna-Rogo, Instagram: @AnnaBRogo