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Ste. Ellie
Ste. Ellie
Photo: Adam Larkey

The Cocktail Heatmap: Where to Drink Now

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Ste. Ellie
| Photo: Adam Larkey

More than ever before, Denver's bars and restaurants are offering elevated cocktail menus, with culinary inspired drinks, house made syrups and bitters, and locally distilled spirits. Which brings us to the question of where—where should I drink right now? What are the new cocktail joints? Where's hot to get a cocktail? Thus, we offer the Eater Cocktail Heatmap, which cycles seasonally to highlight the hot spots of the Denver sport of drinking. This season's heatmap is a blend of old classic watering holes and freshly opened hot spots.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Ste. Ellie

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Eight month old Ste. Ellie, sister bar to Colt & Gray, quickly became a favorite of cocktail aficionados. Bar manager Kevin Burke makes stunning classic cocktails and rotates a list of original drinks that seem to have something for every taste. Any riff on the Negroni is worth a try here.

Williams & Graham

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Sean Kenyon's speakeasy attracts some of Denver's best bartending talent. Right now, behind the bar, you can find Chad Michael George, Nick Touch, Jason Patz, and the lovely Allison Widdecombe. Ask these fine folks to fix you up one of the seasonal signature cocktails or go for a classic - you won't go wrong no matter what you choose.
Sit at the bar or in the dining room, but always get a cocktail at this popular RiNo restaurant. Bar manager Alex Parks along with owner and mixologist Bryan Dayton serve drinks like the Crossing the Tracks, reyka, aperol, st. germain, aloe, and grapefruit and Blessed Satisfaction, hendrick's, drambuie 15, cardamaro, dram apothecary chamomile bitters.

Green Russell

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The LoDo speakeasy serves Prohibition era-themed cocktails in a cozy environment. Tell the bartender what you like and allow him or her to work some magic into your crafted drink.
With bartender Gerard Collier back at this popular Larimer Square restaurant, cocktails are a great bet. Try the signature Kumquat Jalapeño Mojito or the seasonal Turn The Beat Around.

Colt & Gray

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While Colt & Gray boasts an interesting and attractive wine list, cocktails here pair well with the eclectic cuisine. A summer favorite is the Short Honeymoon, made with Cynar and Campari, prosecco,grapefruit, rhubarb, and strawberry.

Argyll Whisky Beer, A Gastropub

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This newly opened gastropub in Uptown features an impressive list of whiskys and beers, but also a creative cocktail list. Among the drinks created by Ryan Conklin and Kamuran Mataraci, the Tuck & Roll, a combination of 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Bourbon, raspberry, mint, and lemon.
The ping pong and Asian-inspired eatery features an ever-changing line-up of cocktails from bartender Randy Layman. Right now, try the Double Happiness, made with Leopold Bros. Navy Strength Gin, Campari, lemon, sugar, and a few dashes of Leopold Bros. Absinthe.

Steuben's

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The Uptown hip spot welcomes both cocktail nerds and newbies. From barrel-aged cocktails to classics, everything is crafted with care under the direction of bar manager Ryan Layman. A favorite of the moment is the Immigrant, a drink made with Jameson Irish Whiskey, Fernet Branca, Averna, and Leopold's Bros. Maraschino Liqueur.

Roosevelt

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This LoDo spot attracts different crowds on the weekends than during the week, but the drinks are always good. The bar has a section dedicated to champagne cocktails. Among them is the Blonde Ambition, made with Martel VS Cognac, Aperol, St. Germain, grapefruit and lemon juice, and Champagne.

OAK at fourteenth

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Bryan Dayton, co-owner and well-recognized mixologist, built a cocktail program that keeps Boulderites coming in for another one. Highlights include low alcohol cocktails, house-made sodas, and the Five Island Fizz, made with 12 Banks White Rum, Green Chartreuse, Yellow Chartreuse, lemon, lime cordial, and egg white.

The Bitter Bar

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Now under sole ownership of bartender James Lee, the Bitter Bar remains a no-brainer choice for crafted cocktails in Boulder. The cocktail menu is approachable yet interesting and all drinks are now priced under $10. Try the Papa'Loma, made with silver rum, Maraschino liquor, and housemade grapefruit soda or the Blue Velvet, a combination of vodka, creme de violet, lemon, and orgeat, that comes on tap.

Ste. Ellie

Eight month old Ste. Ellie, sister bar to Colt & Gray, quickly became a favorite of cocktail aficionados. Bar manager Kevin Burke makes stunning classic cocktails and rotates a list of original drinks that seem to have something for every taste. Any riff on the Negroni is worth a try here.

Williams & Graham

Sean Kenyon's speakeasy attracts some of Denver's best bartending talent. Right now, behind the bar, you can find Chad Michael George, Nick Touch, Jason Patz, and the lovely Allison Widdecombe. Ask these fine folks to fix you up one of the seasonal signature cocktails or go for a classic - you won't go wrong no matter what you choose.

Acorn

Sit at the bar or in the dining room, but always get a cocktail at this popular RiNo restaurant. Bar manager Alex Parks along with owner and mixologist Bryan Dayton serve drinks like the Crossing the Tracks, reyka, aperol, st. germain, aloe, and grapefruit and Blessed Satisfaction, hendrick's, drambuie 15, cardamaro, dram apothecary chamomile bitters.

Green Russell

The LoDo speakeasy serves Prohibition era-themed cocktails in a cozy environment. Tell the bartender what you like and allow him or her to work some magic into your crafted drink.

Tag

With bartender Gerard Collier back at this popular Larimer Square restaurant, cocktails are a great bet. Try the signature Kumquat Jalapeño Mojito or the seasonal Turn The Beat Around.

Colt & Gray

While Colt & Gray boasts an interesting and attractive wine list, cocktails here pair well with the eclectic cuisine. A summer favorite is the Short Honeymoon, made with Cynar and Campari, prosecco,grapefruit, rhubarb, and strawberry.

Argyll Whisky Beer, A Gastropub

This newly opened gastropub in Uptown features an impressive list of whiskys and beers, but also a creative cocktail list. Among the drinks created by Ryan Conklin and Kamuran Mataraci, the Tuck & Roll, a combination of 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Bourbon, raspberry, mint, and lemon.

Ace

The ping pong and Asian-inspired eatery features an ever-changing line-up of cocktails from bartender Randy Layman. Right now, try the Double Happiness, made with Leopold Bros. Navy Strength Gin, Campari, lemon, sugar, and a few dashes of Leopold Bros. Absinthe.

Steuben's

The Uptown hip spot welcomes both cocktail nerds and newbies. From barrel-aged cocktails to classics, everything is crafted with care under the direction of bar manager Ryan Layman. A favorite of the moment is the Immigrant, a drink made with Jameson Irish Whiskey, Fernet Branca, Averna, and Leopold's Bros. Maraschino Liqueur.

Roosevelt

This LoDo spot attracts different crowds on the weekends than during the week, but the drinks are always good. The bar has a section dedicated to champagne cocktails. Among them is the Blonde Ambition, made with Martel VS Cognac, Aperol, St. Germain, grapefruit and lemon juice, and Champagne.

OAK at fourteenth

Bryan Dayton, co-owner and well-recognized mixologist, built a cocktail program that keeps Boulderites coming in for another one. Highlights include low alcohol cocktails, house-made sodas, and the Five Island Fizz, made with 12 Banks White Rum, Green Chartreuse, Yellow Chartreuse, lemon, lime cordial, and egg white.

The Bitter Bar

Now under sole ownership of bartender James Lee, the Bitter Bar remains a no-brainer choice for crafted cocktails in Boulder. The cocktail menu is approachable yet interesting and all drinks are now priced under $10. Try the Papa'Loma, made with silver rum, Maraschino liquor, and housemade grapefruit soda or the Blue Velvet, a combination of vodka, creme de violet, lemon, and orgeat, that comes on tap.

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