Zengo, TAG’s Happy Sakedays (credit: Marian Tuin)
Sake is one of the world’s oldest spirits and stems all the way back to ancient Asia. The different filtration of the rice it is made from is a secret guarded by its makers, sometimes with their lives. Nowadays, when most think of sake, they are pairing it with their favorite sushi offerings. Denver offers a wide variety of sake at some of the best restaurants and bars in town. If it is sake and/or sushi that has your mouth watering, one of these bars will provide tasty options for both.
1610 Little Raven St.
Denver, CO 80202
Situated on the outskirts of the LoHi/Highlands neighborhood, Zengo offers an extensive menu featuring Asian fusion cuisine and an unrivaled selection of sake options. A hot spot for neighborhood locals as well as the metro-area professionals, the friendly and knowledgeable staff can easily suggest the perfect sake/sushi pairing as well as walk you through the options on the menu which include sake by the glass or bottle and multiple filtration and flavor offerings. If it is a high-class, flavor-rich experience you are salivating for, you simply cannot find a better solution than Zengo.
1600 E. 17th Ave.
Denver, CO 80218
Parallel 17 is a French-influenced northern Vietnamese bistro that is renowned for its signature sake beverages. The Sake Cavatini comprised of muddled fresh basil, cucumber water, nigiri sake, champagne and basil seed caviar is a delicious and healthy cocktail fusion that is perhaps the crowning jewel of the sake selections available. Parallel also boasts a selection of sakes for solo sipping from traditional masu boxes such as the Typhoon, Futsu Shu, the Tozai “Snow Maiden” as well as the Tozai “Living Jewel.” And if that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, it also features the cucumber basil martini, which is a house-infused cucumber sake with fresh muddled basil and elderflower-infused liqueur. Combine all the above goodness with Parallel’s cuisine and you find yourself irresistibly captivated by a flavorful experience.
1441 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80202
Chef Troy Guard’s Hawaiian, Asian and California background is what inspires all of the TAG cuisine and menu offerings. At TAG, you can always bank on a seasonally fresh, creative cocktail menu along with a full complement of sakes. It serves the Hakushika Chokara, a beautiful and smooth sake with flavors of banana, peach and cherry custard, as well as the Momokawa Pearl which is a rich and creamy sake with loads of coconut, banana, anise and sweet rice. The Ichishima Silk Deluxe Junmai has been compared to silk in a bottle and is made lightly sweet with juicy honeydew melon and succulent cucumber. When visiting TAG, you can always count on quality whether it is the food, sake or beverages you crave.
Related: Top Hotel Bars In Denver
10111 Inverness Main St.
Englewood, CO 80112
Street Kitchen is located south of the downtown area in the shops of Vallagio. It serves up a delicious range of Asian dishes as well as a fully stocked sake bar. The Lychee grapefruit sake-tini and a Fuji apple sake-tini are among the favorite cocktail fusions that feature sake. Street Kitchen also offers different types of sake, including its Sho Chiku Bai Nigori which is an unfiltered sake, as well as a hot sake that comes from Gekkeikan. However, its top seller for sake is hands down the purple haze, which is Chambord liqueur with Gekkeikan hot sake.
TAG Raw Bar
1423 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80202
Another of the TAG franchises, TAG Raw Bar is located in The Walkway on Larimer Square. It serves fresh, healthy, creative and flavorful dishes that won’t weigh you down along with a hearty variety of sake. It features the Hakushika Fresh and Light, a sweet Junmai sake, and the Momokawa Pearl Nigori, a Junmai Ginjo sake with a tropical flavor, all starting at $10 per glass. Or if you are more in the mood for a creative beverage fusion, TAG’s Happy Sakedays made with lime, cranberry juice, simple syrup, muddled raspberries and Hakushika sake will refresh and satisfy.
Related: Top Cocktail Bars In Denver
Marian is a freelance writer with a passion for music, entertainment and nightlife. She writes regularly on assignment for Examiner.com as their Pop Music Journalist. You can view her page here.