Top Bizarre Drinks In Denver

June 1, 2011 7:23 AM

Delite (credit: Sarah Carpenter)

Sometimes even the most devoted beer drinker or Chardonnay sipper needs to take a walk on the wild side. Denver’s bartenders are more than prepared to challenge your taste buds. At these bars, you’ll find candy floating in your drinks, hot sauce mixed with the liqueurs, shots mimicking (or mocking, depending on how you look at it) infamous slurs of wild boy Charlie Sheen, even a whole egg cracked right into your martini. Cheers!
green russell Top Bizarre Drinks In Denver

Green Russell (credit: Sarah Carpenter)

Green Russell

1422 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 893-6505

You have to be looking for Green Russell, it’s tucked away below ground in Larimer Square and offers a speak-easy ambiance worth of the drinks. All the drinks are modeled after pre-prohibition, simple and original cocktail recipes. The bartenders in scally caps and vests just want to know “What do you normally drink?” and they’re ready to mix up anything. I asked my bartender to surprise me. He made me a “Chocolate Flip” with Oronoco Rum, Carpano Antica Vermouth, Colorado’s Leopold Brothers Alpine Herbal Liqueur, Fernet Branca Amaro (bitter) Liqueur, maple syrup, and a whole raw egg. So what did all those fancy and odd ingredients taste like? A mocha soda!

delite Top Bizarre Drinks In Denver

Delite (credit: Sarah Carpenter)


32 South Broadway
Denver, CO 80209
(303) 722-1278

Delite is this delicious and hip little bar along South Broadway. Notable for its diner-style retro signs, like “Mixed Drinks” hung above the bar it serves upgraded bar food, like spicy tuna tartare and black bean sopes, and plenty of interesting drinks complete with sprigs of rosemary and lollipops. The “Levini” martini, with Ketel One Vodka, blue cheese stuffed olives, a rosemary sprig and fresh cracked pepper is not to be missed. The “Dirty School Girl” martini is a sticky, sweet delicious concoctionof Skyy Vodka, strawberry liqueur, splash of cranberry juice and orange juice, club soda and a lollipop.

next door lounge Top Bizarre Drinks In Denver

Be brave when ordering the Tiger's Blood at the Next Door Lounge (credit: Sarah Carpenter)

Next Door Lounge

1612 East 17th Avenue
Denver, CO 80218

Next Door Lounge offers up all the trappings of a neighborhood bar including strong drinks and pool tables. The house drinks are super fun most notably two shots: The Ex-Lover and Tiger’s Blood. Now, I was told The Ex-Lover may be borrowed from Wyman’s, but nonetheless, was a first time experience for me at Next Door. It went like this. “Here, try an … ex-lover.” Mmmm, pineapple, sweet, tangy- whoa! Wait, kind of burning, haaaa, not sweet anymore! Hmm, kind of like love! Hence, the name. It’s pineapple juice and jalapeno vodka. And another favorite of the locals is Tiger’s Blood: vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and sweet and sour, named after the infamous Charlie Sheen rants!

double daughters salotto Top Bizarre Drinks In Denver

Double Daughters Salotto (credit: Sarah Carpenter)

Double Daughters

1632 Market Street
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 623-3505

Mario’s Double Daughters Salotto has a menu full of eccentric drinks, by far the largest selection I’ve seen of house-made odd drinks. One of my favorites is the “Hollow Hills” with vodka, Tuaca, apple, apricot and pomegranate juices with a gumdrop garnish! Along similar lines, try the “Teddy Bear’s Orgy” with Soli Strasberi, Cointreau, cranberry and lime juice, topped with a lime and gummy bears. I imagine the “Running of the Bulls” is a favorite on DJ techno nights with Jagermeister, Go-Fast, Amaretto, Coca-Cola and Sprite. And don’t miss what’s hiding behind the bar, a tank column full of “Succo Vaffanculo di Mario” which is a “Mario” secret recipe of 17 different liquor concoctions to set you straight or sideways!

kingas Top Bizarre Drinks In Denver

Kinga's (credit: Sarah Carpenter)

Kinga’s Lounge

1509 Marion Street
Denver, CO 80218
(303) 830-6922

How would you like to down a shot of Polish vodka, teamed with raspberry liqueur and Tabasco sauce? Or how about a garlic-infused vodka paired with pickles? Perhaps a an appley “Zubrowka” or orangey “Zotadkowa”? Plum, Garlic, Horseradish, Dill, Caramel, or Anise infused vodka? Then Kinga’s Lounge is for you. The spot at Colfax and Marion offers all things Polish from vodkas to beer to food including kielbasas and pierogis.

– Sarah Carpenter lives in Littleton, where she was born and raised. She spent a decade in Downtown Denver, and its surrounding neighborhoods, going to school for writing, working in the service industry, and getting to know Denver’s diverse culture. She has a passion for travel writing, local and afar, focusing the story on its people, culture and region.