Our 5 Favorite Summer Cocktails
1. The newly crafted watermelon spritzer on the blossoming patio of Colterra, Niwot.
2. A giant margarita (try the pomegranate) at Richard’s On Third, Longmont.
3. The Elderflower cocktail featuring the cucumber-infused Hendrick’s gin and St. Germain at Magnolia, Lafayette.
4. The Aviation, a subtly complex classic cocktail, at the Bitter Bar, Boulder. Sit at the bar and watch their mad mixology skills.
5. The tequila-lover’s El Diablo at Café Aion, Boulder.
Sure, as Coloradans we love our beer. But come summer, it’s time to spice things up a little (and we aren’t talking about a chile ale). Mixology is super hot these days—and local restaurants and bars are bringing in the big guns to show their mixing muscles. From homemade bitters and grenadine to competitions, local mixologists are shaking, stirring and pouring their way into the hearts of local imbibers. We asked a few of our favorites to stir up something perfect for a summer day.
Orange Blossom Mojito
Why? Because there’s nothing better than iced tea on a hot day. Well, except maybe iced tea with rum!
From The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, 1770 13th St., Boulder
OB Simple Syrup Ingredients
–Equal pour of water and sugar (6 cups of water, 6 cups of sugar)
–2 tbsp. of *green lemonade tea.
–Zest of an orange
Add sugar to boiling water. When the sugar is completely dissolved, remove from heat and steep the tea (*The teahouse has green lemonade tea (their blend) but any lemon flavored green tea will do) in the simple syrup for 4 minutes. Remove and then steep the orange zest in the simple syrup for another 4 minutes. Let cool.
OB Mojito Ingredients
–1 ¼ oz. white rum
–13 leaves of mint
–½ oz. OB simple syrup
–1 oz. of soda water
Muddle the mint and lime together with simple syrup. Then add rum. Add ice and shake well. Pour in glass and top off with soda water.
Bacon Infused Bloody Mary
Why? Bacon is in right now. So, you should take advantage of this trend—even in booze…especially in booze—before it fades.
From Aji Latin American Restaurant, 1601 Pearl St., Boulder
Macerate six pieces of bacon in one bottle of vodka for one week. Filtering it is the tricky part: It has to be strained through a coffee filter at least three times to get all the residual fat out of it.
Aji Bloody Mary Mix
–¼ cup horseradish
–1 cup Worcestershire
–¼ cup lemon juice
–1 tbs. black pepper
–½ tbs. each red and green aji sauce
–1 tbs. Dijon mustard
–½ tbs. celery salt
Mix all ingredients together. When you are ready to serve, add:
–¼ cup tomato paste
–½ bunch cilantro, chopped fine
–½ gallon V8 juice
Rim a pint glass with chili salt (dried Aji pepper, paprika, kosher salt). Fill pint glass with ice and add a five-count of bacon infused vodka. Add the mix to fill.
The Bright And Sunny
Why? The Dark and Stormy meets the Mojito to create a lovely little summertime sipper: The Bright and Sunny.
From Evan Faber, beverage director at Salt, 1047 Pearl St., Boulder
–1½ oz. Dancing Pines Cask Rum (from Loveland)
–¾ oz. lime juice
–½ oz. simple syrup (or a sugar cube and a light splash of water)
–5-6 basil leaves
Preparation: Place basil in the palm of your hand and give them a sharp smack to wake them up. Add the basil and lime juice into a mixing glass. Lightly press basil leaves with a muddler about six times to release basil’s flavor. Add simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar) and Dancing Pines Cask Rum. Shake. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice (If you can, double strain through a tea strainer to remove the finer bits). Top with 4 oz. of ginger beer. Place a single basil leaf in the palm of your hand and give it a good smack, then garnish the glass with it and a straw. Optional: Muddle in a couple slices of fresh ginger to give it an extra kick!
This past winter, our then-pregnant food editor became flummoxed attending foodie events and dinners at classy eateries, watching everyone else sample the cocktail selections or guffaw over the wine pairings. She was tired of ordering iced tea or settling for water with lemon. About that time, we started hearing a lot about how the mixology trend was also benefiting non-drinkers; cutting-edge mixologists are working to create mocktails that are as innovative and as delicious as the boozey cocktails they serve. We found that several local spots served up a mean mocktail: Black Cat, Salt, Centro, Sugarbeet and more. You may not see anything on the menu but ask your server. Your palette may be in
for a surprise.
Our Favorite Summer Cocktails
The newly crafted watermelon spritzer on the blossoming patio of Colterra, Niwot.
A giant margarita (try the pomegranate) at Richard’s On Third, Longmont.
The Elderflower cocktail featuring the cucumber-infused Hendrick’s gin and St. Germain at Magnolia, Lafayette.
The Aviation, a subtly complex classic cocktail, at the Bitter Bar, Boulder. Sit at the bar and watch their mad mixology skills.
The tequila-lover’s El Diablo at Café Aion, Boulder.