range Shows its Range with New Cocktail Menu

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range Shows its Range with New Cocktail Menu

range has been delighting Denver diners with stunning food and drink inside the posh Renaissance Denver Downtown Hotel for over two years. Recently the bar has introduced some exciting new cocktails to the menu, while staying true the classics that guests enjoy. Let’s take a taste tour of range’s updated happy hour cocktails.

Located inside the historic Colorado National Bank building, the bar and restaurant are known for classic New American dishes with most everything sourced as locally as possible. Same goes with the drinks. The bar specializes in tap cocktails and always has four available that set a high standard for their smooth finishes. The bar also serves one of Denver’s most unique classic drinks.

Little Brother is tiny bottle of cocktail heaven. The cocktail is actually range’s Manhattan made with bourbon, Peychaud Bitters, Leopold’s Tart Cherry, and Antica Sweet Vermouth. This already perfect drink is then put into small Coke bottles and left to sit for two to three days smoothing out the cocktail even more. When you order one, the bar puts in the drink in a glass on ice with the rest of the bottle on the side. The first sip is a bit boozy, but as the ice goes to work, the cocktail takes on more flavors, such as cherry and citrus, while continuing to mellow. As head bartender Amanda says, “The longer it breathes the better it gets.” As the bar’s signature cocktail, Little Brother has been around since the restaurant opened and is worth a taste.

Three of the four tap cocktails are also classics. The Silver Dollar Sazerac, the 1915 Negroni (named for the year the bank was build) and the Western Mule all feature Colorado spirits aged to a boozy smoothness behind the bar before being poured into a glass. The fourth tap cocktail is the Blonde Cosmo, a new cocktail for the season. Made with Breckenridge Pear Vodka, white cranberry juice, and Leopold’s Orange Liqueur, the cocktail is floated on top of a pomegranate and cranberry puree in a martini glass giving the mélange a unique look as well as taste. The scent is pomegranate and citrus while the first sip is sweet and boozy letting the pear and cranberry come through.

Of the new cocktails, CNB Gin & Berries is named after the historic building range is located in, Colorado National Bank. Made with Denver Dry Gin, muddled raspberries and lime juice, the drink is served with a sparkling rose float for bubbles and sweetness. The aroma is a mix of juniper, lime and raspberry while the botanicals in the gin come through on each sip.

White Gold is a dessert cocktail with just enough sweetness to make you feel guilty, but not too guilty. Vanilla Vodka is shaken with Godiva White Chocolate Liquor and Cream and served in a chocolate laced martini glass. For some reason there is a warm cinnamon bite to the finish, but no spice in the drink.

Another new cocktail is actually a Colorado favorite. The Rocky Mountain Float is made with Elevate Vodka, vanilla extract, cream and root beer soda. The cocktail is shaken and served on the rocks in a mason jar and is the perfect blend of creamy and sweet with just a hint of vodka. Amanda created this recipe, which she mirrored from the Colorado Bulldog, and says proportion is the key to making this drink as tasty as it is. The scent is mostly vanilla with just a touch of dairy while the taste is all root beer float without the brain freeze.

One cannot drink all this booze on an empty stomach so an item from the kitchen’s Happy Hour snack menu is in order. The most popular snack item, for obvious reasons, is the Candied Habanero Bacon. These strips of sweet and spicy bacon will complement all of the tap cocktails, like the Sazerac and the Negroni and especially Little Brother. The bacon comes from Boulder’s Tender Belly and is candied in house. Don’t let the habanero scare you. The pepper is subtle and provides a tasteful contrast to the sweet.

Another playful snack item is the Sweet Potato Hushpuppies, large fried chunks of goodness with a sweet green tomato jam to dip them in. The sweetness of this dish would temper any brown spirit cocktail or blend into any fruit cocktail and the hushpuppies are doughy without being too filling. Other treats on the menu range from savory smoked almonds and sriracha fries to mini meals of smoked bison brats and sweet Italian sausage.

Happy Hour at range is from 4 to 7 PM Monday through Friday and features $4 cans and drafts, $5 Colorado cocktails, made with Colorado spirits, and $6 house wines. The restaurant is located on the corner of 17th and Champa Streets inside the Renaissance Denver Downtown Hotel. 

Photos via Carrie Dow


Tags: Cocktails, Happy Hour
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