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Food & Drink

Most Creative Cocktails In Denver

January 30, 2013 6:00 AM

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The Mile High City is home to talented mixologists who can make some of the most creative cocktails you’ve ever tasted. No matter what you are in the mood for, there isn’t a shortage of creative alcoholic drinks in Denver. Two of Denver’s greatest mixologists are Anika Zappe, who is the beverage director for Punch Bowl Social Food and Drink and Le Grand Bistro and Oyster Bar, and Dani Barela from Grizzly Rock, have provided some great insight into some of the best drinks in town. Below are five of the most creative cocktails to try the next time you are out with friends.

The Girl with the Green Eyes
Ace Eat Serve
501 E. 17th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 800-7705
www.acedenver.com

Anika Zappe has been bartending for 18 years with a focus on craft cocktails for the last seven years. She said, “I have not been out drinking as much as I’d have liked to in the last year. I do think Randy Layman (another great mixologist in Denver) did a great job crafting original cocktails for Ace Eat Serve.” One of her favorite drinks is Layman’s The Girl with the Green Eyes, which features a rhum agricole base with St. Germain and Chartreuse, and includes a chili rim.

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(credit: punchbowlsocial.com)

Winter’s Solstice
Punch Bowl Social
65 Broadway
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 765-2695
www.punchbowlsocial.com

Winter’s Solstice is another drink favored by Zappe. The drink features a great combination of lavender and whiskey. There are several different versions of this which can be found around the city; however, the original drink was created by bartender Kevin Burke. This is a great drink to try in the heart of winter in Denver.

Related: Top Sommeliers The Denver Area

Carnaval em Baker Punch
Punch Bowl Social
65 Broadway
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 765-2695
www.punchbowlsocial.com

The Carnaval em Baker Punch is a popular drink that features Boca Loca Cachaca and Nocello walnut liqueur, as well as Hum botanical liqueur, lime juice, pineapple and seltzer. Zappe is a big fan of this creative drink. When it comes to Denver’s fantastic bartending community, she said, “I love Denver’s bartending community, there are so many talents out there now, it’s hard to nail down just five favorites. A lot of bars have carefully recreated the classics or put a modern twist on them. True innovation is as rare in this industry as a truly original guitar lick in rock and roll. Not impossible, but special when you find it.” You can find this drink at Punch Bowl Social for $10 per glass or $36 for four servings or $72 for eight servings.

Vegas Bomb
Grizzly Rock
5255 W. 6th Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80214
(303) 955-4393
www.grizzlyrock.com

Dani Barela has been working as a mixologist since 1998. She currently works at Denver’s newest rock club, The Grizzly Rock, and the Vegas Bomb is her favorite drink. This popular nighttime delight features Crown Royal, peach schnapps and Red Bull. It’s definitely a favorite of not only Barela’s, but the rock crowd as well.

Dragon Slayer
Grizzly Rock
5255 W. 6th Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80214
(303) 955-4393
www.grizzlyrock.com

Another favorite creative drink for Barela is the Dragon Slayer. This fun and fruity drink features Bacardi dragon berry (which is strawberry rum) and lemonade. Check out the latest calendar for Grizzly Rock and you won’t be disappointed. The club features some of the best national and local rock acts around. And while you’re there, check out the Dragon Slayer and be sure to let Barela know what you think!

Related: Top Spots For Hot Drinks In Denver

Michelle Humphrey is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found here.

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