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A nitrogen-infused peanut bourbon and cola at the playful new Brass Tacks
A nitrogen-infused peanut bourbon and cola at the playful new Brass Tacks
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

The Cocktail Heatmap: Where to Drink in Denver Now

The hot spots for a drink or two (or more)

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A nitrogen-infused peanut bourbon and cola at the playful new Brass Tacks
| Lucy Beaugard/Eater

A cocktail can make or break an evening, and here in Denver, bartenders have worked hard to perfect their game. These days, they’re bringing back straightforward aperitifs and after-dinner bar carts, mixing their own spirits, and pairing cocktails with top dishes. Those drinks, meanwhile, are being served inside fancy hotels, cool lounges, stealth speakeasies, and sprawling restaurants. Here are 15 hot spots around town.

This month, Gold Point in Rino replaces Izakaya Ronin on the map following the latter’s closure in August.

Looking for an essential Denver bar? Check out this list of the classics. Don’t see your favorite new spot? Give it some love in the comments, or send us a tip.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

The Way Back

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This popular Berkeley bar returned last year after a brief hiatus. Drinkers will find a former Irish pub transformed into a sexy date-night spot at the new Tennyson Street digs, with playful touches everywhere from decor to cocktails. The Sweater Weather, which consists of Rittenhouse rye, apple brandy, Monkey Shoulder Scotch, and Benedictine, provides warmth in any season.

<span data-author="5845">The Way Back</span>
The Way Back
Adam Larkey/Eater

The Tatarian

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By the owners of beloved Arvada Tavern and Union Lodge No. 1, Tatarian brings cocktails to a stylish little escape in the Berkeley neighborhood. The Golden Gate is made with amaretto, Fernet Branca, egg white, lemon juice, and orgeat; the Kapok features whiskey, Combier, orgeat, banana raspberry oleo, pineapple and lime juices, and Tiki bitters.

<span data-author="7916">The Tatarian</span>
The Tatarian
The Tatarian [Official Site]

Zeppelin Station

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With big talent behind them, both bars at Zeppelin Station are worth a visit. Kiss + Ride, on the main level, is a good bet for a quick, daytime drink or a glass of bubbly. Big Trouble, in a mezzanine lounge, is the place for late-night highballs, Mai Tais, and larger cocktails for sharing.

Adam Larkey/Eater

Bar Helix

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Bar Helix is all about the flirtatious, from bar design to drink descriptions. And while it’s first and foremost a modern wine bar, cocktails too are seriously fun in this clubby RiNo room. The cocktail menu changes seasonally but will always include multiple versions of a Negroni.

<span data-author="7916">Bar Helix cocktail with herb and citrus garnish</span>
Bar Helix
Ryan Dearth/Eater

Improper City

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Improper City brings a very Colorado mix of options for fun to RiNo. There’s a food truck park, concert venue, and all-day beer and cocktail bar, all located next door to a rock climbing gym. The 12,000-square-foot patio offers stadium seating, Astroturf, and fire pits.

<span data-author="3635139">Improper City </span>
Improper City
Nisa Sedaghat/Eater

Gold Point

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When the Denver bar veterans behind the Squire Lounge and 715 Club took over the former Bar Fausto earlier this year, they decided to take the then-buttoned-up cocktail bar in a new, more casual direction. But even though the renamed bar now stocks cheap beer and shot combos, its cocktail game is as strong as ever. The extensive list of offerings is heavy on classics, including a sazerac, a negroni, and a paloma. But there are also several house originals. The #26 pairs yellow small-batch bourbon, yellow chartreuse, and cynar while the #109 consists of gin, camparino liquor, lemon juice, and sherry.

A view of wood seats facing the bar at Gold Point with three levels of shelves stocked with liquor bottles visible behind it
The bar at Gold Point
Paul Albani-Burgio/Eater

Lady Jane

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Located in a new building but with an interior covered in palm fronds, cherry wood, and orb lights and serving up classic cocktails and “Pet Sounds,” this bar transport drinkers from Denver to the Palm Springs of the ‘60s. Lady Jane is Hudson Hill’s cool younger sister, and its coolest factor is an all-night happy hour for diners in the neighborhood waiting for dinner tables.

<span data-author="3635139">Lady Jane</span>
Lady Jane
Ryan Dearth/Eater

American Bonded

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Denver barman Sean Kenyon (see also Williams & Graham and Occidental) opened his latest concept on Larimer Street along with a team of decorated local bar owners and bartenders last year. The relaxed setting serves up an easy-to-love $8 mint julep and Old Fashioned.

<span data-author="3635139">American Bonded </span>
American Bonded
Ryan Dearth/Eater

Suite 6A at Death & Co Denver

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New York City transplant Death & Co opened in 2018 inside the Ramble Hotel with all-day offerings from a cafe and lobby bar to a (summer) rooftop garden and new moody mezzanine lounge. The first floor provides plush seating and a very pretty bar for enjoying these famed cocktails. Upstairs, Suite 6A is an intimate 22-seat space that’s much more like the brand’s New York original.

<span data-author="3635139">Suite 6A at Death &amp; Co Denver </span>
Suite 6A at Death & Co Denver
Ryan Dearth/Eater

Seven Grand Whiskey Bar

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The whiskey bar in Denver’s Dairy Block boasts more than 700 bottles inside a lodge-like space that’s covered in tartan and taxidermy. Top options include the Sazerac, Manhattan, and Old Fashioned. For more fun, find pool tables and frequent live music along with lots of quiet nooks and crannies.

<span data-author="3635139">Seven Grand Whiskey Bar </span>
Seven Grand Whiskey Bar
Peter Stanislaus/Seven Grand

Pony Up

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At this fun-loving downtown bar, French dip sandwiches are served with classic cocktails in a comfortable setting. The Crimson & Clover Club (pictured) is made with gin, raspberry, Fino sherry, and pink peppercorn. There is also shuffleboard and fireside couch seating.

<span data-author="3635139">Pony Up</span>
Pony Up
Jonathan Phillips/Eater

It’s time to drink on the 16th Street Mall again with the opening of LeRoux this season. The new Pan-European restaurant from chef Lon Symensma also features one of the prettiest bars in town now. The Bee Sting (pictured) is made with Leopold Bros. gin, honey, chamomile, and an absinthe foam.

LeRoux
LeRoux
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

From the owners of RiNo Yacht Club comes this new French restaurant’s next-level bar offerings, which spotlight natural wines, perfect martinis, and full-on tea, Chartreuse, and Génépy services. A spot at the bar here with a couple of drinks, oysters, and hors d’oeuvres is a fine way to spend an evening.

Morin
Morin
Ryan Dearth/Eater

Brass Tacks

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New to Blake Street, this all-day hangout set in a historical building offers bottled and tap cocktails, next-level (but reasonably priced) bar food, and a lofted lounge for late-night parties. The space reads like a sexy game lounge popped up in a grandmother’s basement. The house Paloma and a beef and noodle salad are a worthy combo.

Brass Tacks
Brass Tacks
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

Middleman Bar

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Recently opened on East Colfax, Middleman has quickly become a new neighborhood staple. The warm wood bar serves New Mexican small plates and drinks such as the Estus, with mezcal, chartreuse, amaro, and lemon. The vibe here is hip but casual.

<span data-author="3635139">Middleman Bar </span>
Middleman Bar
Ryan Dearth/Eater

The Way Back

<span data-author="5845">The Way Back</span>
The Way Back
Adam Larkey/Eater

This popular Berkeley bar returned last year after a brief hiatus. Drinkers will find a former Irish pub transformed into a sexy date-night spot at the new Tennyson Street digs, with playful touches everywhere from decor to cocktails. The Sweater Weather, which consists of Rittenhouse rye, apple brandy, Monkey Shoulder Scotch, and Benedictine, provides warmth in any season.

<span data-author="5845">The Way Back</span>
The Way Back
Adam Larkey/Eater

The Tatarian

<span data-author="7916">The Tatarian</span>
The Tatarian
The Tatarian [Official Site]

By the owners of beloved Arvada Tavern and Union Lodge No. 1, Tatarian brings cocktails to a stylish little escape in the Berkeley neighborhood. The Golden Gate is made with amaretto, Fernet Branca, egg white, lemon juice, and orgeat; the Kapok features whiskey, Combier, orgeat, banana raspberry oleo, pineapple and lime juices, and Tiki bitters.

<span data-author="7916">The Tatarian</span>
The Tatarian
The Tatarian [Official Site]

Zeppelin Station

Adam Larkey/Eater

With big talent behind them, both bars at Zeppelin Station are worth a visit. Kiss + Ride, on the main level, is a good bet for a quick, daytime drink or a glass of bubbly. Big Trouble, in a mezzanine lounge, is the place for late-night highballs, Mai Tais, and larger cocktails for sharing.

Adam Larkey/Eater

Bar Helix

<span data-author="7916">Bar Helix cocktail with herb and citrus garnish</span>
Bar Helix
Ryan Dearth/Eater

Bar Helix is all about the flirtatious, from bar design to drink descriptions. And while it’s first and foremost a modern wine bar, cocktails too are seriously fun in this clubby RiNo room. The cocktail menu changes seasonally but will always include multiple versions of a Negroni.

<span data-author="7916">Bar Helix cocktail with herb and citrus garnish</span>
Bar Helix
Ryan Dearth/Eater

Improper City

<span data-author="3635139">Improper City </span>
Improper City
Nisa Sedaghat/Eater

Improper City brings a very Colorado mix of options for fun to RiNo. There’s a food truck park, concert venue, and all-day beer and cocktail bar, all located next door to a rock climbing gym. The 12,000-square-foot patio offers stadium seating, Astroturf, and fire pits.

<span data-author="3635139">Improper City </span>
Improper City
Nisa Sedaghat/Eater

Gold Point

A view of wood seats facing the bar at Gold Point with three levels of shelves stocked with liquor bottles visible behind it
The bar at Gold Point
Paul Albani-Burgio/Eater

When the Denver bar veterans behind the Squire Lounge and 715 Club took over the former Bar Fausto earlier this year, they decided to take the then-buttoned-up cocktail bar in a new, more casual direction. But even though the renamed bar now stocks cheap beer and shot combos, its cocktail game is as strong as ever. The extensive list of offerings is heavy on classics, including a sazerac, a negroni, and a paloma. But there are also several house originals. The #26 pairs yellow small-batch bourbon, yellow chartreuse, and cynar while the #109 consists of gin, camparino liquor, lemon juice, and sherry.

A view of wood seats facing the bar at Gold Point with three levels of shelves stocked with liquor bottles visible behind it
The bar at Gold Point
Paul Albani-Burgio/Eater

Lady Jane

<span data-author="3635139">Lady Jane</span>
Lady Jane
Ryan Dearth/Eater

Located in a new building but with an interior covered in palm fronds, cherry wood, and orb lights and serving up classic cocktails and “Pet Sounds,” this bar transport drinkers from Denver to the Palm Springs of the ‘60s. Lady Jane is Hudson Hill’s cool younger sister, and its coolest factor is an all-night happy hour for diners in the neighborhood waiting for dinner tables.

<span data-author="3635139">Lady Jane</span>
Lady Jane
Ryan Dearth/Eater

American Bonded

<span data-author="3635139">American Bonded </span>
American Bonded
Ryan Dearth/Eater

Denver barman Sean Kenyon (see also Williams & Graham and Occidental) opened his latest concept on Larimer Street along with a team of decorated local bar owners and bartenders last year. The relaxed setting serves up an easy-to-love $8 mint julep and Old Fashioned.

<span data-author="3635139">American Bonded </span>
American Bonded
Ryan Dearth/Eater

Suite 6A at Death & Co Denver

<span data-author="3635139">Suite 6A at Death &amp; Co Denver </span>
Suite 6A at Death & Co Denver
Ryan Dearth/Eater

New York City transplant Death & Co opened in 2018 inside the Ramble Hotel with all-day offerings from a cafe and lobby bar to a (summer) rooftop garden and new moody mezzanine lounge. The first floor provides plush seating and a very pretty bar for enjoying these famed cocktails. Upstairs, Suite 6A is an intimate 22-seat space that’s much more like the brand’s New York original.

<span data-author="3635139">Suite 6A at Death &amp; Co Denver </span>
Suite 6A at Death & Co Denver
Ryan Dearth/Eater

Seven Grand Whiskey Bar

<span data-author="3635139">Seven Grand Whiskey Bar </span>
Seven Grand Whiskey Bar
Peter Stanislaus/Seven Grand

The whiskey bar in Denver’s Dairy Block boasts more than 700 bottles inside a lodge-like space that’s covered in tartan and taxidermy. Top options include the Sazerac, Manhattan, and Old Fashioned. For more fun, find pool tables and frequent live music along with lots of quiet nooks and crannies.

<span data-author="3635139">Seven Grand Whiskey Bar </span>
Seven Grand Whiskey Bar
Peter Stanislaus/Seven Grand

Pony Up

<span data-author="3635139">Pony Up</span>
Pony Up
Jonathan Phillips/Eater

At this fun-loving downtown bar, French dip sandwiches are served with classic cocktails in a comfortable setting. The Crimson & Clover Club (pictured) is made with gin, raspberry, Fino sherry, and pink peppercorn. There is also shuffleboard and fireside couch seating.

<span data-author="3635139">Pony Up</span>
Pony Up
Jonathan Phillips/Eater

LeRoux

LeRoux
LeRoux
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

It’s time to drink on the 16th Street Mall again with the opening of LeRoux this season. The new Pan-European restaurant from chef Lon Symensma also features one of the prettiest bars in town now. The Bee Sting (pictured) is made with Leopold Bros. gin, honey, chamomile, and an absinthe foam.

LeRoux
LeRoux
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

Morin

Morin
Morin
Ryan Dearth/Eater

From the owners of RiNo Yacht Club comes this new French restaurant’s next-level bar offerings, which spotlight natural wines, perfect martinis, and full-on tea, Chartreuse, and Génépy services. A spot at the bar here with a couple of drinks, oysters, and hors d’oeuvres is a fine way to spend an evening.

Morin
Morin
Ryan Dearth/Eater

Brass Tacks

Brass Tacks
Brass Tacks
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

New to Blake Street, this all-day hangout set in a historical building offers bottled and tap cocktails, next-level (but reasonably priced) bar food, and a lofted lounge for late-night parties. The space reads like a sexy game lounge popped up in a grandmother’s basement. The house Paloma and a beef and noodle salad are a worthy combo.

Brass Tacks
Brass Tacks
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

Middleman Bar