Poka Lola Social Club has released its new spring and summer cocktail menu, and the list is sensational. Bar lead Lexi Parker has been occupying this position since February, and in a recently held interview, she spoke on her ability to generate new, inventive ideas to introduce a particular spin to her drink creations.
Parker, from New Mexico, discussed where she first found her passion for making drinks. “I used to work at Sonic, and since they had so many drinks on the menu, I kind of found myself liking to build them and that’s where it started,” reflected Parker. Though she didn’t have any prior experience with making cocktails, Poka Lola gave her the opportunity to rise to where she is now — lead bartender.
“I’ve been bartending at Poka for about two and a half years now, and I’ve been the bar lead since February,” said Parker. “Poka really gave me the opportunity, with no prior bartending experience, to work my way up. It’s been a great experience.”
Considering new cocktails, there are a couple of hits, including the Oh Snap, fashioned with Don Julio Blanco, snap pea simple syrup, blanc vermouth and mint. Bougie Baller came on for the baseball season and consists of lavender-infused Don Julio Blanco, lime and soda, resembling a Ranch Water with lavender. Its Dark Side of the Moon cocktail is only available on Psychedelic Sundays, which features live music. FYI — guests who wear band t-shirts are rewarded with a complimentary order of fried mushrooms. The drink entails a split of tequila and mezcal, melon, pineapple and lots of citrus to make it extremely fruity.
A cherished creation of Lexi’s, the Butterfly Effect, is featured year-round as a signature cocktail on the menu, with butterfly pea flower gin, St-Germain, honey, rosemary and lime. The Espresso Martini is a classic, yet its special preparation with Brown Butter Family Jones Vodka creates a multifaceted sip, with banana, vanilla and salt providing a pleasing, sumptuous texture.
Lexi illuminated the details of her latest works while delving into her experience of leading an entirely female bar team. “Oh Snap came on for the summer menu, and I love using vegetables in cocktails. It’s very different, and you don’t see people doing that, so I’m always trying to be creative by using fresh seasonality ingredients. We use fresh snap pea syrup for the Oh Snap cocktail, small things like that,” said Parker.
By weaving subtle hints of vegetables into the cocktails, guests can experience a remarkable twist on the traditional cocktail experience that is both delightful and flavorful.
“Having an all-female bar team is super empowering. We did not plan on making it an all-female team, but it just kind of happened that way. That’s one thing that is also super unique about Poka Lola. You feel uplifted and supported in doing what you do while surrounded by great people,” said Parker.
Poka Lola Social House is an ideal destination for those seeking an entirely fresh experience with cocktails. Every weekend, Poka Lola presents live music, an exceptional component of their business and a rarity among other establishments. Make sure to drop by Poka Lola Social Club — preferably on weekends — and meet Lexi and her talented all-female team to experience creativity in full bloom.
Poka Lola is located at 1850 Wazee St., Denver. It is open Monday-Wednesday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday 3 p.m. to 12 a.m., Friday 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.