Those in the know don't have to think too hard of badass bartenders in Denver to picture Whitney Allen of Williams & Graham. A native of Denver who grew up in Golden, Allen started bartending at 22 at Kannah Creek Brewing Company in Grand Junction after dropped out of college ("best decision ever," she says). Back in Denver by 24, Allen was bartending at Lala's, when Chad Michael George approached her and shared that Williams and Graham was looking for a server. Six months into joining the LoHi speakeasy, she started bartending. She's been part of this tight-knit bar family for more than two years.
In honor of the holidays, we asked Allen to share a favorite signature cocktail recipe and she shared the Back in St. Olaf. She drew inspiration for this drink from the very last Golden Girl, Rose Nyland, who was Betty White's character. A big fan of Golden Girls, Whitney sports the show on her phone case! Rose started all her stories with "Back in St. Olaf..." which made the phrase the perfect backing for a winter cocktail, being that St. Olaf is in Minnesota.
The drink is reminiscent of strawberry milk, something that parallels the childlike innocence of Rose. At the ripe old age of 29, Whitney feels like she still eats and drinks like a child, so the drink made total sense for her. Here's the recipe:
Back in St. Olaf
1 1/2 oz Woody Creek Vodka
1 oz house made strawberry syrup
3/4 oz licor 43
3/4 oz cream
1/4 oz gran Classico Bitter
Dry shake, pour into milkshake glass. Fill with pebble ice, garnish wish strawberry, preferably fresh if available.