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The best way to celebrate summer is with a backyard party filled with all your closest friends. Tasty barbecue, perhaps a few games and, of course, a few special cocktails to really impress your friends. Forget the boring tradition of keeping a cooler full of beer by the picnic table or those stacks of plastic red cups. Instead, pull out a fancy bar cart and all your best glasses for a more elegant way to celebrate the summer with your friends. To keep the summer theme going, make sure to include recipes that are packed with those tropical summer flavors and fresh fruit. With these recipes, your next backyard barbecue will be the hit of the season.
Rob Miller, Assistant General Manager
The Cruise Room in the Oxford Hotel
1659 Wazee St.
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 825-1107

When it comes to bars in Denver, there’s none more historic and iconic than The Cruise Room. Located within Denver’s historic Oxford Hotel, The Cruise Room opened the day after Prohibition was repealed in 1933. The bar is known for incredible service, amazing martinis and cocktails and beautiful Art Deco ambiance that was modeled after the legendary Queen Mary. You can get any number of perfectly concocted martinis at The Cruise Room, including a few tropical-inspired drinks that are perfect for a warm summer evening.

Rob Miller, Assistant General Manager of The Cruise Room, shares the two cocktail recipes. While these can made at home, to get the full experience and the perfect pour, you’ll want to visit The Cruise Room to have one of the incredible bartenders mix it up just right. (Note: While all ingredients are correct, the specific pours and amounts of each ingredient are estimated, as The Cruise Room prefers to keep a few special trade secrets for its famous cocktails.)

California Fresh

This martini is a concoction of sweet fruit and an amazing liqueur called Rhubarb Tea from Art in the Age. The liqueur gives the drink a tangy and sweet balance with just a hint of spice. When combined with fresh ingredients like strawberries and pineapple, it’s a delicious mix that any cocktail fan will adore. “The Cruise Room is known for martinis,” explains Miller, “and this one is delicious. It’s garnished with arugula instead of mint, which gives it the perfect amount of bite, and a distinct flavor.” You may have to visit a specialty store to find Art in the Age Rhubarb Tea Liqueur, but you’ll love this fresh and fruity martini.


  • Two ounces of Art in the Age Rhubarb Tea Liqueur
  • Splash fresh pineapple juice
  • Fresh strawberries, muddled
  • Squeeze of fresh lime
  • Arugula for garnish
  • Ice


  1. Combine all ingredients in a martini shaker over ice.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Pour into a cold martini glass.
  4. Garnish with arugula.
  5. Serve immediately.

Related: Top Cocktail Bars In Denver

Pomegranate Fling

This tropical inspired martini is packed with flavor and happens to have a really pretty and festive appearance, making it perfect for any backyard barbecue or party. “The bright red and orange color is really pretty,” offers Miller. “And the bitters give it the perfect amount of bite.” The key here is to use great bitters and fresh pomegranate juice. The better the ingredients, the more flavorful the cocktail will be. It also helps to keep cold ice water in the martini glass as you’re preparing the ingredients—Nightlife & Music, Nights Out, Bars, Local Hangouts, Denver, The Cruise Room,California Fresh,Pomegranate Fling,Deborah Flomberg,Tropical Cocktails, Cocktail Recipes, Fruity Drinks, Rob Miller, Oxford Hotel, Top Spots, TopSpotsit will chill the glass as you mix the drink. Then just pour out the ice water right before you pour the cocktail.


  • One and a half ounces Reyka Vodka
  • One ounce Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
  • Half ounce of pomegranate juice
  • Two dashes of bitters
  • Ice


  1. Combine all ingredients in a martini shaker over ice
  2. Shake well.
  3. Pour into a cold martini glass.
  4. Serve immediately.

Related: Top Rum Cocktails In Denver

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.