Sip Your Way into Summer with These Denver Cocktails

Summer sips
Sip Your Way into Summer with These Denver Cocktails

The long, lazy days of July and August were made for flavorful cocktails. In Denver, bars are using fresh seasonal, even local ingredients, in these light, invigorating drinks, which are perfect for sipping during a sunny afternoon, preferably outdoors. Here is a sample of where Denverites can sip on summer.

Bittersweet
For the beer lover, what could be better on a summer day than a summer shandy? The Bittersweet Shandy uses Colorado’s own Crazy Mountain Lava Lake Wit with some lemon, lime, and chamomile for a citrusy taste that is perfect for sipping on the Bittersweet patio next to the restaurant’s own outdoor garden. (500 E Alameda Ave.; 303-942-0320)

Kachina Southwestern Grill
Up in Westminster, the large patio at Kachina was made for lounging and sipping. Enjoy the Bird of Prey cocktail made with lime, Campari, pineapple juice, and Bacardi. The bar staff at Kachina were kind enough to include the recipe for those who would like to try one at home. (10600 Westminster Blvd.; 303-410-5813)

Bird of Prey
1 1/2 oz Bacardi 8-Year Rum
1/2 oz Campari
3/4 oz lime
3/4 oz pineapple juice
1/2 oz Luxardo (maraschino liqueur)

Build in mixing glass, add ice and shake for 10-15 seconds. Strain into chilled Collins glass and garnish with pineapple and cherry. How easy is that? 

Highland Tavern
Over in the Highlands, the newly remodeled Highland Tavern has the perfect sip for summer and it’s pink! The Pink Drink is made with Deep Eddy Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka, soda, and fresh lime. That’s it. Simple and pink, this “Patio Pounder” will cool you off on a hot afternoon. Guys, you might even like this one, despite the color. (3400 Navajo St.; 303-433-1990)

Punch Bowl Social
Escape the heat of summer by heading indoors to bowl or play some pool at Punch Bowl Social. Enjoy the Higher Fashion, an aperitif style drink with Aperol, grapefruit syrup, and sparkling wine. The Bourbon Smash #7 features Old Forester Bourbon, blueberry syrup, fresh blueberries, and lemon peel. For those with a sweet tooth, the BB Alexander features banana-infused brandy, salted caramel, and vanilla soft serve, cream, and crème de cacao is a sort of ice cream Brandy Alexander. (65 Broadway; 303-765-2695)

Rio Grande Restaurants
All metro area Rio Grande restaurants have added the refreshing Caipirinha to the summer cocktail menu. For those not familiar, Caipirinhas are made with a South American sugar cane spirit called Cachaca. The Rio's is made with Leblon Cachaca and fresh muddled lime. Drinking it will make anyone feel like they are spending an afternoon on Ipanema Beach in Brazil.(Multiple locations: Downtown, Park Meadows, Coors Field, and Boulder)

Hard Rock Café
Drink like a rock star at the Hard Rock with these tasty treats for summer. The Summer Fizz features Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Bacardi OakHeart Spiced Rum, and amaretto mixed with house-made lemonade, pineapple juice, grenadine, and a splash of Sierra Mist. For a summer kick, try the Summertime Blues features seasonal, fresh blueberries, mint, and Blueberry Real muddled together with lemonade and topped with Red Bull Yellow Edition. (500 16th St., Ste. 120; 303-623-3191

Paramount Café
Iced tea and summer simply belong together. How about an iced tea with a Mile High kick? The Altitude Tea features Colorado’s own Peach Street Distillers Peach Brandy, simple syrup, and fresh brewed iced tea. This iced tea is ideal to pair with people-watching on the Paramount patio all summer long. (519 16th St.; 303-893-2000)

Park Burger
This local burger joint has a variety of specialty cocktails that pair well with the restaurant’s famous burgers. For summer, try the Lite Brite made with Spirit Hound Gin, St. Germain, basil, lemon juice, cucumber, and soda water. (Multiple locations: Platte Park, Highlands, Hilltop, and RiNo)

Trillium
Over in the Ballpark neighborhood, step out of your comfort zone with cocktails at Trillium. Most drinks feature Akvavit, a Scandinavian liqueur that the bar infuses with interesting and always entertaining ingredients. The Springtime Wanderlust features the bar’s pomegranate/sage-infused akvavit with bourbon, absinthe, and lemon. (2134 Larimer St.; 303-379-9759)

Bird of Prey photo by Carrie Dow; Sumertime Blues photo via Hard Rock Cafe


Tags: Cocktails, Spirits
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