A Master List of Cocktail Recipes To Make at Home, Courtesy of Denver Bartenders

Since the first week of lockdown, we facilitated a 10-part series highlighting recipes from bartenders across the front range. Here is a complete list of all the beverages, bringing together an astonishing array of talent from some of the best cocktail aficionados the state has to offer. We have been incredibly grateful for the chance to compile the over 50 recipes, that together present a considerable window into the many great minds that make up Colorado’s illustrious bar culture. Below we’ve arranged the recipes by spirit — highlighting a range of classic and creative drinks and a great array of local products. Taken together, it represents a scene that could rival any in the nation.

As service industry workers continue to struggle, various services have popped up to assist those in need. 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. 


Katie Kelly – Bar Manager at Barolo Grill

The Italian Rabbit. Photo by Katie Kelly.

Location: Barolo Grill is located at 3030 East 6th Ave., Denver. It is open for curbside pickup Tuesday – Thursday 4 – 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 4 – 8:30 p.m. It is open for indoor dining Tuesday – Thursday 5 – 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 5 – 10 p.m. by reservation only. Outdoor seating will be added soon.

Recipe: The Italian Rabbit

1 1/2 oz vodka
1 oz Aperol
3/4 oz carrot juice (freshly juiced is best if you have a juicer)
3/4 oz lemon juice
1 tsp ginger syrup (I use Fiji Ginger Syrup by The Ginger People, available at Sprouts and Whole Foods, same section as maple syrup)
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, or a mason jar with lid if you don’t have a shaker. Add all ingredients, shake well and strain into chilled glass. Garnish with any of the following — a carrot frond, an edible flower (chamomile flowers are especially nice) or a lemon twist. 

Reason: I love using ingredients in season, plus the carrots in this cocktail make me feel like I’m being a touch more healthy and we all need every bit of health we can get right now. I put this on the Barolo Grill cocktail list every spring, but since it’s best enjoyed immediately, we can’t offer batched versions. I hope to make this for you when we safely reopen the bar — until then enjoy this cocktail from the comfort of your home, yard or spring garden.

Venmo Handle: @K-Kelly-10

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. Both Glendale and LoDo locations are open for dine-in and takeout every day from 3:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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.


Nick Touch – Brand Ambassador for The Family Jones

Tom Collins. Photo by Nick Touch

Location: The Family Jones Spirit House is located at 3245 Osage St., Denver. It is currently open only for special pop-ups. Its spirits are sold across the front range and can be found here.

Recipe: Tom Collins

2 oz Juniper Jones Gin
3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
5 oz Sparkling water

Reason: The Tom Collins was memorialized in writing in 1876 by Jerry Thomas, the Father of American Mixology. I love this drink because it is easy to make, very refreshing and can be enjoyed at any time of day. This simple, sour style classic cocktail is versatile, and at-home-bartenders can add various ingredients to make it their own. Some suggestions would be fruit purees, liqueurs, honey syrup in place of the simple syrup, or herbs such as mint or basil. Cheers from The Family Jones.

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 open for dine-in and takeout Wednesday – Saturday 4 – 10 p.m.

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.

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

Location: El Five is located at 2930 Umatilla Fifth Floor, Denver. It is currently closed.

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

The Spirits Department at Molly’s Spirits

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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. Open with limited dine-in and patio seating every day 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.

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.

Colin Overett – General Manager at Union Lodge

The Martinez. Photo by Nicole Pacha.

Location: Union Lodge is located at 1543 Champa St., Denver. It is currently closed for construction.

Recipe: The Martinez

1 1/2 oz gin (I prefer Barrel Aged Bols Genever)
1 1/2 oz sweet vermouth (Cocchi Di Torino adds a beautiful spice to it)
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur
2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a coupe. Express an orange peel over the top. Sip and enjoy.

Reason: This is personally one of my favorite cocktails. It is very easy to make but it can be easily made unbalanced or incorrectly. It has so many layers of flavors and textures but done with elegance. I could sit at a bar for hours or relax at home watching a good movie while sipping this drink. It also works for people who are whiskey drinkers wanting to try gin or vice versa. It is a cocktail that can be made with ingredients from pretty much any liquor store for anyone trying this beauty at home.

Venmo Handle: @Colin-Overett

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.

Matt Samson – Principal Bartender at B&GC

Safety Net. Photo by Matt Samson.

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

Jon Mateer – Bartender at Death and Co.

Jon Mateer and fiance Jessica Coleman. Photo by Shawn Campbell.

Location: Death and Co. is located at 1280 25th St., Denver. It is currently closed. However, Death and Co. Market is selling a variety of accessories including glasses, flasks, hats and apparel. There is also a GoFundMe set up for staff relief. 

Recipe: Negroni

1 oz Plymouth Gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz Cocchi Vermouth de Torino
garnish with an orange half-moon
The perfect “stay-at-home” cocktail. You can make a bunch of these in advance and keep it stored in your fridge. Just mix equal parts of each ingredient into a pitcher and pour three ounces into your rocks glass over a large ice cube — or whatever you have available.  Just remember to stir it before pouring into your glass!

Reason: I remember my first experience with this drink. It was during my first month of bartending — almost 10 years ago — and my manager had asked me to come up with a drink for a new menu. I got super excited. I went out and bought a bunch of bottles, spent hours making drinks at home for my friends, and thought that I had come up with a winning recipe. I walked in super confident to the staff meeting and was so excited that I had come up with a delicious drink that was only three ingredients. I stirred it up and served it to the owners, bar manager and the rest of the staff. My bar manager takes a sip, looks me directly in the eye, and says “That’s delicious! But you do realize that all you did was make a negroni.” I’ll never forget that day. I make these at home all of the time for my fiancé and I — and to this day, it’s still my favorite cocktail.

Venmo Handle:@JTMateer


Austin Carson – Beverage Director at Restaurant Olivia

Austin Carson. Photo courtesy of Joni Schrantz.

Location: Restaurant Olivia is located at 290 South Downing St., Denver. It is open for takeout every day from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Recipe: Choose-Your-Adventure Jelly Sour

Add to a shaker: 
2 oz whiskey 
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice 
1 tbsp jelly/jam of your choice
the white from one egg 

Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 60 seconds — pro tip: play Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” while shaking. Strain liquid and discard ice. Shake again for another 30 seconds — pro tip: play Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out” while shaking. Strain into your favorite glass and enjoy.

Obviously sweetness will vary from one jelly/jam/preserve to the next so when building the drink in your mixing glass give the ingredients a stir before adding the egg white and taste for balance. If you want it sweeter, add more jelly. Want it a little zippier? Add a little more lemon juice.

Before you juice the lemons zest those suckers, add the zest to some vodka and seal it up. You may need some Limocello down the road.

Reason: I’m guessing most folks, like myself, have some jelly/jam kicking around the fridge. This is a very basic egg white sour recipe that will work with most any that you’ve got. This does require folks to separate the whites of eggs from the yolks but the bonus recipe from Chef Ty is good for a basic make-at-home pasta dough so you can put those to good use.

BONUS: Basic Make-At-Home Pasta Recipe (Using Leftover Egg Yoks from Cocktails)
7 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt

Mix together the flour and half of the yolks, oil and salt. Add the rest of the yolks one at a time until combined. Knead for an additional five minutes. Wrap in plastic and let rest. Roll out the dough and cut to your desired shape. Voila.

Venmo Handle: @Austin-Carson-1. All tips will go directly to Restaurant Olivia staff.

Kevin Galaba – Bartender at Bread Bar and Executive Director at Friends and Family

Kevin Galaba. Photo by Kevin Galaba.

Location: Bread Bar is located at 1010 Main St., Silver Plume. It is currently closed. More info about Friends and Family can be found here.

Recipe: Winter Old Fashioned

2 oz bourbon
1/4 oz brown sugar-cinnamon simple syrup
2 dashes Fee Brother’s Black Walnut Bitters
garnish with orange peel.
To make the syrup — boil 12 oz of water and bring down to a simmer. Crack a few whole cinnamon sticks and steep them in the simmering water for 15 mins. Add brown sugar to the hot water — sugar volume should equal water volume — and when the sugar dissolves, remove from heat, strain and bottle. If you want to keep it for a while in the fridge, leave in the cinnamon sticks and let it continue to infuse over time. Cheers.

Reason: The Winter Old Fashioned is my go-to cold-weather cocktail. I love an Old Fashioned for its simplicity, and for this version, a few tweaks to the classic recipe really dial in the seasonal flavor. The brown sugar-cinnamon syrup adds a bit of earthiness and a thicker mouthfeel, while the black walnut bitters add a magical warmth and sweetness that really evokes Christmas or Apres-Ski.

Venmo Handle: @kevingalaba

Scott Ruggiero – Bar Manager at OAK

Scott Ruggiero. Photo by Alden Bonecutter.

Location: OAK is located at 1400 Pearl St., Boulder. It is currently open for takeout Wednesday -Sunday from 11:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Recipe: Toddys for Days

1 1/2 oz Redemption High Rye Bourbon
1/2 oz Real McCoy 5yr Rum
1/2 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
1/2 oz Honey
1 oz lemon juice
3 oz Tension Tamer tea from Celestial Seasonings (or any of your favorite herbal teas)
2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Reason: When I am at home I like to make simple drinks, typically stirred and boozy like a Manhattan or Negroni. Lately, though, I have been on a Toddy or Hot Toddy kick depending on the weather. They are fun, simple and can allow for a lot of creativity depending on what is in the pantry. This recipe can be modified in many ways depending on what the home bartender likes. You can substitute Bourbon for Rye, Rum or Tequila. The ginger liqueur can be modified with Allspice Dram, herbal liqueurs — such as Yellow Chartreuse, Benedictine, Licor43 and St. Germain. The tea can be as simple as a lemon tea or complex as any herbal tea one would like. You can use honey syrup, agave, ginger syrup or any type of sugar you have laying around the house.

Venmo Handle: Ruggiero asked that if anyone would like to support, the best way is by ordering takeout food and cocktails, or buying a gift card from OAK.

Jake Sutton – Stay at Home Bartender

Location: @stayathomebartender

Recipe: Boulevardier

2 oz Old Overholt rye
1 oz Dolin Rouge sweet vermouth
1 oz Campari

Reason: It’s no secret that I’m a huge Negroni fan, but I thought I’d suggest the Boulevardier for our homebound friends. The Boulevardier is a whiskey-based Negroni variation, typically made either with a standard 1:1:1 ratio or with an extra half ounce of whiskey. I prefer a bold rye whiskey, generally. Since making drinks at home, by definition, means you can treat yourself, and because I like my cocktails to be spirit-forward, I bump the drink up to 4 ounces.

Venmo Handle: Sutton asked that anyone hoping to tip donate to USBG.

Sean Kenyon – Owner of Williams and Graham, Occidental and American Bonded

Blackberry Sage Smash. Photo by Joshua Lohmer.

Location: Williams and Graham is located at 3160 Tejon St., Denver. It is currently closed. Occidental is located at 1950 W 32nd Ave., Denver. It is currently closed. American Bonded is located at 2706 Larimer St., Denver. It is currently closed.

Recipe: The Blackberry Sage Smash

2 oz Woody Creek Rye Whiskey (works with whatever bourbon or rye you have)
1/2 oz 1:1 simple syrup (1:1 by volume)
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
4 medium-sized blackberries 
4 medium-sized sage  leaves
In a mixing glass or tin, muddle blackberries and sage with simple syrup and lemon juice. Add whiskey and ice. Shake. Strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a blackberry and sage leaf. 

Reason: Actually, a drink that I created 15 years ago and has been on the menus at Steuben’s, The Squeaky Bean and Williams and Graham. It is perfect and easy to make at home.

Evren Bora – Bartender at Room for Milly and Quality Italian

Brown Derby. Photo By Evren Bora.

Location: Room for Milly is located at 1615 Platte St. Suite 145, Denver. It is open for dine-in and takeout Sunday – Thursday 3 p.m. – 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 3 p.m. – 11 p.m. Dine-in is by reservation only. Quality Italian is located at 241 Columbine St., Denver. It is open for takeout, curbside pick up and delivery Wednesday – Sunday 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Recipe: Brown Derby

2 oz Laws Bourbon (love my local whiskey, but please use whatever bourbon you’re comfortable with)
1 oz Grapefruit Juice (fresh is best, but any will do)
1/2 oz Honey Syrup (2:1) (two parts honey to one part water: boil the water and mix in the honey, let chill)
Combine and shake ingredients for 10-12 seconds and strain the cocktail into your desired glass. Honestly, just put it in whatever cup you want.  I like serving mine up, but it’s a quarantine, so put it in a mug if you want. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.  The peel adds a great aromatic and it’s pretty sexy.

Reason: I chose the Brown Derby because it’s one of the first cocktails I taught my mom to make at home. She asked me for something without a lot of sugar but still had a ton of flavor, and this cocktail is just that. Everything in this cocktail should be easy to find and the clean-up is a breeze — no need to make a dozen crazy syrups to achieve a delicious flavor.  Feel free and adjust the honey syrup to however sweet you’d like it, 2:1 is just my personal preference. I love bourbon, and this Derby Day classic is consistent, easy to make, and it packs a punch.

Venmo Handle: Bora asked that anyone hoping to tip to donate to the Quality Italian Denver Employee Relief Fund

Daryl Pryor – Bar Manager at Brass Tacks

Stay at Home Saratoga. Photo by Brittni Bell.

Location: Brass Tacks is located at 1526 Blake St., Denver. It is set to re-open Wednesday, June 10 for dine-in and takeout. The new hours will be Wednesday – Saturday from 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Recipe: Stay at Home Saratoga

1 oz Bonded Rye 
1 oz VSOP Cognac
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes aromatic bitters (I used spiced cherry)
Stir until chilled and diluted. Strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a lemon twist. Stay home. 

Reason: I love this drink because it’s so easy to make — equal parts baby! It’s a whole bunch of flavors that just layer so nicely together and make the couch a whole lot more comfortable. It’s super easy to batch out and just have on deck for those Netflix marathons.

Venmo Handle: @Daryl-Pryor

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. It is open at half capacity Sunday – Thursday 4 – 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 4 – 11 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.

Dylan Holcomb – Bartender at Seven Grand

Location: Seven Grand is located at 1855 Blake St. Suite 160. It is open every day from 3 p.m. – 2 a.m.

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.

Skylar Dorman – Beverage Director at Coohills

Recipe: The Aspen

2 oz Woody Creek Rye (you may change the rye up, but I feel the profile on this spirit is perfect. And support local!)
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Demerara
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir to chill and garnished with cinnamon in a clove-smoked glass.

Reason: I chose this drink because it is simple to make and a play between two of my favorite classics, a Black Manhattan and a Toronto. I serve mine in a smoked snifter, however in these times just enjoy any way you would like. It is a delicious treat with cured meats, a nice steak or after dinner. Always my go-to when hosting dinner and want to impress, when we can again.

Venmo Handle: @skylar-dorman

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 for dine-in and takeout Tuesday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

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.
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

Becky Rose – Bartender at Queens Eleven

Becky Rose. Photo by Nicole Pacha.

Location: Queens Eleven is located at 3603 Walnut St., Denver. It is currently closed. Sister coffee shop Blue Sparrow is open for takeout, with sister bar Room for Milly offering weekly cocktail classes.

Recipe: Bangarang!

1 oz dark rum, bonded bourbon or rye
1/2 oz creme de cacao
1/2 oz banana liqueur
1/2 oz Becherovka
whole egg
Shake all ingredients in a tin, serve up with a little dark chocolate grated over the top or a mint sprig.

Reason: This was the very first cocktail I ever imagined, late one night after a long shift when I was craving a chocolate banana. I chose to share this particular one as my quarantine cocktail because of the flexibility, decadence and ease of it. Depending on if you go with the rum or whiskey, the spicy, slightly minty Becherovka will highlight different aspects of your base. Don’t have creme de cacao? Use a little chocolate syrup, or make a quick 1:1 simple syrup with brown sugar and dive into bananas foster in a glass. Right now it is all about working with what we have and finding the little daily pleasures. This cocktail is boozy, rich, and hits that fine line between dessert and after-dinner drink that’s my favorite treat yo’ self moment. Not to mention, something about using the whole egg definitely helps ease any responsibly acquired hangovers I may have the next morning.


Simon Vazquez – Bartender at Quality Italian and Brand Ambassador for Laws Whiskey

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Location: Quality Italian is located at 241 Columbine St., Denver. It is open for takeout, curbside pick up and delivery Wednesday – Sunday 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Recipe: Oooooh My

2 oz Laws Wheat Whiskey (or your favorite wheat bourbon) 
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz maple syrup
3 apple slices
1 pinch ground cinnamon 
In a cocktail shaker, combine apple slices, cinnamon and lemon juice. Muddle together until apple slices are pulverized, then add the rest of the ingredients to the shaker — if you don’t own a muddler, mash with the bottom of a spoon or ladle. Top ingredients with ice, and shake for 20-30 seconds. Double-strain over fresh ice cubes in whatever glass you have available. Garnish with an apple slice sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

Reason: Apples seem to be one of the most ubiquitous fruits to be found in kitchens, so what better to base our cocktail with. A couple of other household ingredients, combined with a pour out of your favorite bottle of whiskey and you’ve got yourself a cocktail for all occasions. Most whiskeys should work for this, but I prefer a softer, more mellow whiskey, and Laws is a local favorite. This cocktail should treat you right whether you’re sitting on a patio in the sun, or cozying up to a roaring fire.

Venmo Handle: Vazquez asked that anyone hoping to tip donate to The Food Bank of the Rockies

Robert Clark – Bar Lead at Basta

Highball. Courtesy of Robert Clark.

Location: Basta is located at 3601 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder. It is currently open for to-go orders Wednesday – Saturday 4 – 8 p.m.

Recipe: Highball

1 1/2 oz whiskey
4 /12 oz Topo Chico
1/2 oz Umeshu (plum liqueur)

The highball cocktail is typically pretty simple, but you need to make sure you’re using a whiskey you really enjoy, as they become very pronounced. I like using A.D. Laws Centennial Wheat Whiskey or Atticus Jones Rye. 

In a highball glass, pour whiskey and Topo Chico over ice. For extra credit, add Umeshu (plum liqueur) and a small amount of saline or a very light pinch of salt. Garnish with a thin lemon wheel.

The important part of the highball is how you mix it. Using a bar spoon, gently lift the ice while you stir slowly. This lets the ingredients incorporate, but doesn’t flatten the sparkling water.

Reason: I appreciate the drink because it transforms whiskey into a format that can be enjoyed for a longer period of time and lightens the flavor in a way that allows for it to function better with food. A few whiskeys with dinner can ruin your meal, and arguably the experience. But one can drink highballs all evening without dampening the next day.

Venmo Handle: @Sushi_Kitten



David “Duey” Duart – Bar Manager at Mission Ballroom, Ogden Theatre, Gothic Theatre and Bluebird Theater

Recipe: DuaRita aka “The Quarantinarita”

1 1/2 oz Reposado tequila 
3/4 oz Patron Citronage (Triple Sec)
Fresh juice of 1/2 orange (1/2 – 1 oz)
Fresh juice of 1 lime (1 – 1 1/4 oz)
Dash of agave nectar 
12 oz or 16 oz glass full of ice (I like a 12 oz glass)
I prefer it shaken rather than stirred but it will be tasty either way.

Reason: This drink is just a really good version of a margarita so please feel free to name it whatever you want. I dig this drink because it’s fresh, extremely delicious and really easy to drink. I prefer a decent reposado tequila but use what you have or what your pocket can afford. If you don’t have a fruit juicer or a fruit squeezer, you can use your hands to squeeze out the orange and lime. Feel free to adjust the amount of OJ or lime juice used per your taste, and the same goes for the agave nectar. For the record, you can not get this version of a margarita at any of the music venues I work at.

Venmo Handle: Duart asked that anyone hoping to tip donate to the Denver Loves Music Service Industry Workers Relief GoFundMe.

Christopher Stotts – Bar Manager at Avanti

Recipe: Blood Orange Paloma

1 1/2 oz tequila 
1/2 oz blood orange juice
1/2 oz lime
3 oz Squirt or other grapefruit soda
Salt rim of glass. Pour all ingredients over ice.

Reason: Palomas are the perfect at-home drink. They are simple, light and refreshing. I really love that the tequila remains the star of the show. Bonus, you don’t need much to put them together. The weather getting nice but we are stuck inside, drinking these are like a mini-vacation in my backyard.

Venmo Handle: Stotts asked that anyone hoping to tip donate to Avanti’s GoFundMe, all of which goes to bartenders and front-of-house 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

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 open for takeout Sunday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.,  and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

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

Parker Bunnell – Bartender at Curio

Spicy Papi. Photo by Travis Gale.

Location: Curio is located in the Denver Central Market at 2669 Larimer St., Denver. It is open for takeout Sunday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.,  and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Recipe: Spicy Papi

2 oz Anejo tequila
1 oz watermelon puree or pressed juice
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 basil leaf
1 slice of habanero 
Combine all ingredients into a shaker tin and shake vigorously. Double strain over ice. Enjoy.

Reason: I wanted to create a refreshing cocktail as the weather warms with ingredients I had laying around my house. I found this cocktail, in particular, to be balanced, delicious but also have a slightly spicy kick to it. You can use mezcal, tequila, aged rum, or really any spirit with the exception of whiskey.

Venmo Handle: @mpb2417

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 open for dine-in and takeout Tuesday – Thursday 6 – 10 p.m., Friday – Saturday 6 – 11 p.m., and Sunday 4 – 9 p.m., it is closed on Monday. Live performances are currently by reservation only, the calendar is available here. Performances will also be streamed on its Facebook.

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

Cara Frink – Bar Manager at Comida

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Location: Comida is located in Stanley Marketplace at 2501 Dallas St., Denver. It is open for in-person dining and curbside pickup Wednesday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Recipe: Comida Margarita
1 1/2 oz blanco tequila (I like Altos Blanco for this!)
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/4 oz fresh lemon juice 

Pour into a cocktail shaker with fresh ice and shake it like you mean it. If you like, salt the rim of your favorite marg glass and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a juicy green lime.

Reason: Oh man, I love it because it is simple and fresh and represents everything that we do here at Comida. It’s not too sweet or tart. And it’s perfect without any bells or whistles.

Venmo Handle: @Cara-Frink-1


Nino Razon – General Manager at Bartaco

Bartaco Margarita. Photo courtesy of Bartaco.

Location: Bartaco is located at 1048 Pearl St., Boulder. It is open every day from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Recipe: Bartaco Margarita

1 1/2 oz Libélula Joven
1 oz triple sec (I like Combier)
1 1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz agave simple syrup
Salt for rim (if you like)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker, fill the shaker with ice. Shake, shake, shake. Shake again. Then shake once more. Rim a rocks glass well with salt — if you like, not necessary. Fill the glass with ice and strain cocktail into the glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Reason: The Bartaco margarita is the perfect representation of our concept and who we are. A mix of bold flavors from exclusive Libélula Joven tequila, Combier, agave nectar, and hand-squeezed lime juice symbolizes our attention to detail and our one of a kind atmosphere. You’re guaranteed to fall in love with this margarita.

Venmo Handle: Razon asked that anyone hoping to tip consider purchasing a gift card, with all funds going to employees.


Matthew King – Bar Manager at Bonfire Burritos

Location: Bonfire Burritos is located at 2221 Ford St., Golden. It is open every day from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Recipe: Grandma’s Marg

2 oz Exotico Tequila
2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz apricot brandy
1/2 oz agave nectar
salt (optional)
Combine ingredients with ice and shake. Strain into a glass with ice. Garnish with a lime or a slice of jalapeno.

Reason: This margarita is inspired by my grandmother who passed away last year at the age of 92, and enjoyed the simplicity of this margarita any time of day. This is my go-to margarita at home because it is straightforward, fresh and can be enjoyed along with the trails, the tailgate or the tacos — perhaps an afternoon at grandma’s with a nice puzzle. Mix a batch for your elders. Choose a bold tequila that will stand up to the subtle and sour notes that the brandy and lime juice contribute. For a spicy variety, muddle a jalapeno.

Venmo Handle: TBA


Jen Broyles – Managing Partner at Lola Coastal Mexican

Lola Q Coin Margarita. Photo courtesy of Lola Coastal Mexican.

Location: Lola Coastal Mexican is located at 1575 Boulder St., Denver. It is currently open for pickup 11:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., with dine-in service set to return on June 8.

Recipe: Lola Q Coin Margarita

1 1/4 oz El Tesoro Tequila (or silver tequila of your choice)
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/4 oz agave nectar
1 1 inch-thick wheel of cucumber
orange wedge
In a shaker, muddle cucumber and agave nectar. Add ice, tequila, lime juice and orange wedge. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with an orange wedge and a cucumber peel twist.

Reason: This iconic Big Red F drink was created more than a decade ago and has been a Lola staple ever since. A blend of silver tequila, fresh muddled cucumber, orange, agave and lime — it’s an incredibly refreshing and crisp take on the classic marg. I chose this drink not only because it’s such a fan-favorite, but because it’s a super easy and complex tasting cocktail to make at home with grocery store ingredients. All you need is a bottle of tequila — no orange liqueur or any additional bottles needed.

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.

Erich Whisenhunt –  Food and Beverage Director at Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant

Hibiscus Margarita. Photo courtesy of Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant.

Location: Rio Grande has five locations across the front range. Each one is open for dine-in and takeout Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Recipe: Hibiscus Margarita

2 oz hibiscus infused tequila* 
1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice 
1 oz simple syrup
lime for garnish
Measure all ingredients into a mixing glass except the lime for garnish. Hand shake. Pour into a glass of your choice and garnish with a lime wedge or wheel.
Hibiscus-Infused Tequila
1 750 ml bottle of tequila (we prefer Maestro Dobel Diamante Tequila)
1/2 oz dried hibiscus flowers (You can find hibiscus online or at a specialty food store)
Pour tequila over hibiscus flowers in a glass jar. Screw on the top and let sit for at least 24 hours and no more than three weeks. Strain out the hibiscus and enjoy.

Reason: The hibiscus adds a tart, bright, floral element as well as a vibrant beautiful color to a classic margarita. The key to a great drink is that it is well balanced, contains at least one high-quality ingredient and is freshly prepared. Additionally, this cocktail clocks in at less than 200 calories, making a great lighter drinking option.

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

Leo Dunaev – General Manager at Dos Santos

Lemon Rosemary Ginger Margarita. Photo courtesy of Dos Santos.

Location: Dos Santos is located at 1475 East 17th Ave., Denver. It is every day for dine-in and takeout from 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Recipe: Lemon Rosemary Ginger Margarita

2 oz Arette (or Blanco tequila of your choice)
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz lemon-ginger simple syrup
garnish with candied ginger, candied rosemary or a lime
Fresh lime and lemon juice. This is something that no self-respecting quarantine drinker should be cutting corners on. Get some limes, and for this recipe get some lemons too, juice those babies, and sip easy knowing you are going for the freshest drink that you’ve earned. 
Ginger Simple Syrup
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup of water,
4oz of ginger
4 sprigs of rosemary
Bring sugar and water to a very light simmer and add in ginger and rosemary. Let it simmer for 3-5 minutes and then take it off the heat and let it steep for 45-60 minutes.

Reason: I love this cocktail. Super easy to make, refreshing and perfect to sip on during this — finally — summer weather. An excellent choice to stave away cabin fever and pretend you are kicking it on a beach in Cozumel.

Venmo Handle: @Leo-Dunaev. All proceeds from tips will go to hospital workers at Saint Joseph Hospital. 

Keegan Labrador – Bar Manager at Señor Bear

Mango y Michelada. Photo by Dalia Labrador.

Location: Señor Bear is located at 3301 Tejon St., Denver. It is currently open for dine-in and takeout Monday – Friday 4 – 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Recipe: Mango y Michelada

A salty, sour and sweet twist on the traditional Mexican Michelada

1 oz blanco tequila (preferably Roca Patron Silver)
1 oz mango-infused mango liqueur* (preferably Patron Citronage Mango)
1/2 oz agave
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz lime juice
Mexican lager
Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin and shake hard. Strain into a pint glass and top with your favorite Mexican lager — leave room for ice. Add ice and the booze-soaked mango and peppercorn pieces from the infusion. Smile and enjoy.
*Salty Mango Infused Mango Liqueur
Peel one mango — green, sour, slightly unripe mangos work best — and chop it into pieces. In a Mason jar or other non-reactive container, combine the mango pieces, six ounces of mango liqueur, 25 black peppercorns a teaspoon of salt — Tajin works great — and 1/2 ounce each lemon and lime juice. Let the infusion sit for at least one day and up to five days — agitate periodically by shaking jar. Strain, keeping the mangos and peppercorn for later use, then label the infusion and store in the fridge — best if used within one month.

Reason: This is a fun, fresh cocktail perfect for spring. I first discovered this drink while vacationing on the beach of Salinas, Ecuador and it’s been a favorite since.

Venmo Handle: @Keegan-Labrador


Emma Alexander – Bar Manager at Moo Bar

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.

Makeda Gebre – Bartender at Citizen Rail

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Location: Citizen Rail is located at 1899 16th St. Mall, Denver. It is currently closed.

Recipe: “Before You Go Go”

1 1/2 oz Bacardi Anejo
1/2 oz Combier Liqueur de Banane
1 oz nitro cold brew
1/2 oz honey syrup (1:1 Colorado local honey to water)
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 ripe banana, smashed
5 dashes Fees Brothers Toasted Almond Bitters
1 egg white
Glassware: Coupe
Method: wet shake, dry shake.
Garnish: Banana chunk dipped in caramelized sugar.

Reason: I wanted to create a riff on the classic Whiskey Sour, something bright and fruit-forward with a creamy texture — due to the banana and egg white. Considering most people are learning a new craft during quarantine, baking being a big one, these ingredients should be readily accessible for any banana bread connoisseur. This classic spin-off “Before You Go Go” can be enjoyed any time of the day but is best served with breakfast. Drink responsibly, video-chat your friends and wash your hands.

Venmo Handle: @makeda-gebre, Instagram:@fashionedcocktails

Travis Gale – Bartender at American Elm

Bitters End. Photo by Travis Gale.

Location: American Elm is located at 4132 West 38th Ave., Denver. It is currently open for dine-in and takeout dinner Monday – Saturday from 5 – 10 p.m., and Sunday 5 – 9 p.m., with brunch service Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Recipe: Bitters End

2 oz Banks 5 Rum
3/4 oz Zucca Rabarbaro amaro
1 dash of black walnut bitters
Build into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with an orange twist.

Reason: The cocktail I chose to share is a take on a Black Manhattan. When I make cocktails at home I typically want something quick and easy that doesn’t require much prep or clean up. So with this drink, I build the cocktail right into the glass. Black Manhattans usually call for whiskey, amaro and bitters. I prefer a blended or aged rum, Zucca Rabarbaro and black walnut bitters. This is my go-to cocktail when I’m hanging out at home or about to go to bed which makes a perfect digestif.

Venmo Handle: @travis_gale 

Nick Souder – Bartender at Terminal Bar

Location: Terminal Bar is located in Union Station at 1701 Wynkoop St., Denver. It is open for dine-in Sunday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. The patio is open for pick-up every day from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Recipe: Jungle Bird

2 oz El Dorado 5-Year Demerara Rum
3/4 oz Campari
1 oz fresh pineapple juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz orgeat (commercial or homemade)
splash soda water
Shaken and served over rocks with a splash of soda.

Reason: One of my favorite cocktails by a backyard fire to ring in the spring. Great in the hot summer months as well when pineapples are sweet and readily available. Excellent when paired with coconut rice, jerk chicken and good friends. This tiki classic is a favorite among the uninitiated and pro bartenders alike and not too complex to pull off at home to kill the COVID blues. The El Dorado’s deep and darkly sweet profile really shines in this cocktail providing a solid backbone for it to stand on. Happy summer!

Venmo Handle: @Nick-Souder

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.

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 dine-in and takeout Thursday – Saturday 3 p.m. – 12 a.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

Mike Simms – Bartender at Room for Milly

Soul Plane. Photo by Mike Simms.

Location: Room for Milly is located at 1615 Platte St. Suite 145, Denver. It is open for dine-in and takeout Sunday – Thursday 3 p.m. – 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 3 p.m. – 11 p.m. Dine-in is by reservation only.

Recipe: Soul Plane (Paper Plane Riff)

3/4 oz chamomile rye (Old Overholt or Rittenhouse)
3/4 oz Amaro Nonino
3/4 oz honey-infused Aperol
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice 
Shaken, then double strained. Orange or lemon peel expression 

Chamomile Rye Recipe

Add 10-12 tablespoons of chamomile flowers to your preferred bottle of rye. I say the spicier the rye the better. And let that sit for about 24 hours. Then strain and filter.

Honey-Infused Aperol 

Make a 1:1 honey syrup.

Then mix with Aperol at a 2:1 ratio of Aperol to syrup. Feel free to adjust the ratio for sweet to bitter.

Reason: I have always loved the simplicity of the Paper Plane build and created this version a couple years ago purely out boredom at home and sifting through stuff I had in my kitchen.  This is just a very well balanced and relatively low abv build that utilizes some pretty basic ingredients and creates a light, simple and refreshing yet nuanced cocktail.

Venmo Handle: Mike-S-99, Instagram: considerthebear

Maya Wilson – Bartender at The Wolf’s Tailor

Wolf’s Mojito. Photo by Katie Bonneau.

Location: The Wolf’s Tailor is located at 4058 Tejon St., Denver. It is currently open for takeout Wednesday – Saturday 4 – 8 p.m.

Recipe: Wolf’s Mojito

1 oz white rum (currently using Montanya Platino)
1 oz sake (Bushido Way of the Warrior)
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz 1:1 mint simple syrup
1 dash of angostura bitters
top with soda water and garnish with fresh mint

Reason: I love this drink because it is simple and classic and reminds me of days on the beach when traveling. The addition of sake brings a whole other layer to the drink without throwing it off balance. It’s important to use fresh mint for the syrup and the garnish, it makes the biggest difference.

Venmo Handle: Wilson asked that anyone hoping to tip donate to the GoFundMe.



Alex Jump – Head Bartender at Death and Co.

Alex Jump. Photo courtesy of Shawn Campbell.

Location: Death and Co. is located at 1280 25th St., Denver. It is currently closed. However, Death and Co. Market is selling a variety of accessories including glasses, flasks, hats and apparel. There is also a GoFundMe set up for staff relief. 

Recipe: Tinto de Verano

5-6 oz of Red Wine
Any flavored La Croix, Seltzer, Soda, or likewise (my favorite is Tangerine La Croix)
Build ingredients in a wine glass over ice. Garnish with an orange wedge, if you have some oranges available. 

Reason: This was one of my favorite drinks when I visited Jerez, Spain back in 2017. Sure, at first glance it might just sound like a low-brow Sangria, but this thirst quencher is a total delight. Not to mention it’s great for the budget and you can play around with whatever sodas you already have at home. Bonus, I’ve seen a lot of people Venmo-ing their local bartenders tips for every time they enjoy a beverage at home right now. A great way to take care of those of us that rely on guest tips during a time when we are seeing very steep declines in business.

Venmo Handle: Jump asked that anyone hoping to tip donate to the GoFundMe.

McLain Hedges – Owner of The Proper Pour

McLain Hedges. Photo by Glenn Ross.

Location: The Proper Pour is located in The Source at 3350 Brighton Blvd., Denver. It is open Wednesday – Sunday 12 – 6 p.m. It is closed Monday and Tuesday.

Recipe: Knuck If You Buck

1 1/2 oz Manzanilla Sherry (Lustau or similar)
1/2 oz Calvados (or gin works great too)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
3 oz Ginger Beer (Fever Tree or something similar)
6 dashes Angostura Bitters (or Absinthe if you want to get freaky)
If you have a shaker tin at home, great. If not, no worries – just grab a glass and add all ingredients together and get to business.
If shaking, add all ingredients to the tin minus ginger beer. Give a good shake — depending on the quality of ice — and strain into a highball or your favorite glass that can hold some ice. Add ginger beer and fill with ice. Garnish with any number of awesomeness — mint, lemon peel, more bitters — all the above.

Reason: A classic from the Rino Yacht Club days and one I love to knock back if I want something that feels like a fancy cocktail but in actuality is just a spruced up mule of sorts. It’s easy to make and even easier to drink. This low ABV drink has depth, spice, bubbly lift and is the party you’ll be looking for once you’re holed up waiting on things to calm down out in the world.

Lance Bender – Wine Buyer at Japango

Apparent Sour. Photo courtesy of Lance Bender.

Location: Japango is located at 1136 Pearl St., Boulder. It is open for takeout every day 11:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Recipe: Apparent Sour

2 oz Aperol 
1 oz St. Germaine 
1 oz fresh lime juice 
Combine and shake with ice for 8-12 seconds. Serve up. Consume quickly and often. 

Reason: Taxonomically, it’s a modified Aperol Sour. You can call it whatever, it’s delicious. It’s a low ABV cocktail, so you can drink many while keeping your wits about you. I often switch the lime juice out for lemon juice or use half of each. I picked this drink for its session-ability. It’s aromatic, crisp, full of flavor and doesn’t become cloying as you repeatedly imbibe. It would appeal to lovers of the Aperol Spritz, as well as anyone who isn’t stupid.

Venmo Handle: @Francesca-Bernardi

Jesse Torres – Bar Manager at American Elm

Location: American Elm is located at 4132 West 38th Ave., Denver. It is currently open for dine-in and takeout dinner Monday – Saturday from 5 – 10 p.m., and Sunday 5 – 9 p.m., with brunch service Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Recipe: Pimm’s Cup      

1 1/2 oz Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 cucumbers wheels cut 1/4 inch thick
2 oz your favorite ginger beer (we use Fever Tree)

Add all ingredients except ginger beer into a shaker and give the cucumber a good muddle. Put some ice in there and shake it up good. Finely strain your drink into a Collins-type glass filled with ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a cucumber wheel speared with a blackberry and mint bouquet. You could really garnish this with any fruit you have. Get creative and create a beautiful arrangement.

Glassware: Collins

Garnish: Cucumber wheel, blackberry and mint bouquet.

Reason: With spring is in the air and the lilies rising from their sleep, the days are getting warmer and sitting on the patio near the garden is just about the best place to be right now. This is the ideal warm-weather drink and the freshness of the cucumber, lemon and sharp ginger add to the gorgeous botanical notes of the Pimm’s No.1 Cup. Plus, the low alcohol content makes it an ideal drink for any time of the day.

In Britain where this originated, they prefer using lemonade — which is very similar to what we know as Sprite — and strawberries instead of the American-preferred, ginger beer and cucumber. Why not try both? You could also try topping it with your favorite soda or even your favorite sparkling water flavor. This easy to make drink is fun to experiment with and try new combinations — go ahead, get creative and mix it up.

Venmo Handle: @jessetorres-74. All tips will be shared with the American Elm bar staff.

Kyle Fanfoni – Bartender at Room For Milly

Room For Milly. Photo by Adrienne Miller.

Location: Room for Milly is located at 1615 Platte St. Suite 145, Denver. It is open for dine-in and takeout Sunday – Thursday 3 p.m. – 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 3 p.m. – 11 p.m. Dine-in is by reservation only.

Recipe: Spiced Cranberry and Orange Gluhwein (Mulled Wine)

1 bottle of red wine (cheap is totally fine)
1 cup orange juice (use fresh if you have it)
1 cup of cranberries (if you don’t have fresh, frozen or dried is fine, just add 1/2 cup more)
1/2 cup sugar or preferred sweetener
1 orange studded with cloves
2-3 cinnamon sticks depending on size
1-star anise clove
1 allspice berry (optional)
1-2 green cardamom pods (optional)
Give it a kick! (optional)
1/2 cup of brandy
2 oz orange liqueur 

1. Prepare all ingredients above as well as gather a large saucepan or pot.

2. Take the orange that you studded and slice it into about 6 round slices.

3. Add all ingredients to the pot and gently stir to ensure mixing.

4. Heat over low heat for 2-3 hours

5. Use a small strainer to remove the spices, the fruit can stay and be used as delicious garnishes

6. Leave on the stove on the warming setting and serve until gone! 

Reason: As most of us are starting to go a bit stir-crazy, I decided to choose a drink that made me think of the comfort and safety of home. My mom would always make this when we had family game nights or just had a nice night in by the fire. As most of us find ourselves away from family during all of this I thought a bit of home would do us all good. The aroma of the spiced wine filling your home will make anyone feel relaxed and comfortable and after a few glasses, you will find nothing but warmth and tranquility in whatever you are doing.

Venmo Handle: @Kyle-Fanfoni. All tips will go directly to the staff at Room for Milly.

Saydee Hopkins – Bar Manager at Williams and Graham

Saydee Hopkins. Photo courtesy of Saydee Hopkins.

Location: Williams and Graham is located at 3160 Tejon St., Denver. It is currently open for pick-up and delivery Friday – Saturday 5 – 9 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Recipe: Ramona Flowers

1 1/2 oz Junmai sake
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/4 oz Leopold Bros Tart Cherry Liqueur
1/4 oz Leopold Bros Navy Strength Gin
In a shaker tin, add all ingredients and shake for a short time as this drink does not need a ton of dilution. Strain into a champagne flute and garnish with your choice of an edible flower. 

Reason: The drink was originally force-carbonated but this is not necessary, as it is tasty either way. This seems to be the cocktail I come back to the most, it’s definitely the one that I recommend frequently when people ask me what to make at home. This is the first cocktail I ever created when I started working at Williams and Graham — six years ago —  with the help of my two most predominant mentors Allison Widdecombe and Christina Andrews. I was having a hard time coming up with something for the spring menu when Christina asked me what I think about when I think “spring.” My immediate answer was cherry blossoms and we started throwing around ingredients and ideas that would make a cherry blossom drink. Allison helped me to balance the drink as I still had no idea what the heck I was doing.

It’s a simple, refreshing cocktail that I would hope makes you feel like you are sipping an exotic Japanese sake underneath a blooming cherry blossom in the full swing of spring.
Venmo Handle: @Saydeelea