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9 Unexpected Cocktails to Try in Denver

These crafty beverages will make you think twice about your classic cocktail order.

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It can be slightly unnerving to scan a cocktail list and not recognize a single ingredient. Most of us just freeze and order our favorite fallback classic. But every once in a while, it's nice to escape comfort zone and order the concoction with an egg white float. Or maybe the pop rocks. Or perhaps the drink the bartender promises will taste a thousand times better than it sounds. Drink outside of the box with these cocktails.

Editorial Disclosure: The editor is married to one of the developers behind the source.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Nocturne

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1330 27th St
Denver, CO 80205
Nocturne's summer cocktail menu inspired our first funky libation on the list- a creation designed to pair with the restaurant's chilled plum soup. The East of The Sun combines sake, coconut cream, passion fruit, mint, and basil for an overall impressive and refreshing drink.

2. The Populist

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3163 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205
(720) 432-3163
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The Populist's variation on an egg white cocktail manages to create the sensation of drinking a cloud. Smoky mezcal, pineapple, and orgeat work together underneath the egg component in this drink to give it a smooth taste.

3. Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen

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1317 14th St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 595-4255
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The strawberry rhubarb jam gives the Bubble Boy its special flair. Muddled with basil and topped with lemon juice and champagne, this drink is unlike any other.

4. Los Chingones

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2461 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205
Pop rocks in a cocktail? At Los Chingones, the bar staff fears no ingredient. In the Urban Legend cocktail, bartenders mix tequila, Cola made with real sugar, and childhood favorite, pop rocks, in this fun throwback libation.

5. LOLA

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1575 Boulder St
Denver, CO 80211
(720) 570-8686
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The watermelon component in the Oaxacan Cooler might inaccurately make this libation fall under the misnomer "girly," but mescal beefs this cocktail up. The smoky tequila makes the drink very robust, but also well balanced.

6. Colt & Gray

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1553 Platte St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 477-1447
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One of the LoHi eatery's signature cocktails of the moment, the Un-Employed in Greenland, is a stiff scotch-based creation, but it looks like blue sky and tastes as fresh as it smells. The lemon and lavender bring in a light touch and it goes down smooth. Maybe too smooth.

7. Acorn

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3350 Brighton Blvd
Denver, CO 80216
(720) 542-3721
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The Ambassador is citrus-forward without being too sweet or bitter. Pineapple, grapefruit, and lime give the tequila some softening while the syrup contributes the perfect amount of sweetness. This tequila-forward cocktail finishes with a spicy touch of cinnamon.

8. Adrift Tiki

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218 s Broadway
Denver, CO 80209
(303) 778-8454
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This funky spot is a go-to for tiki drinks of all varieties. One sip of the Suffering Bastard will transport the drinker to a tropical island paradise. As with many tiki-influenced cocktails, this is a high-octane specialty. It's made with gin, brandy, bitters, ginger beer, and lime, served in an appropriate tiki receptacle.

9. School House Kitchen & Libations

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5660 Olde Wadsworth Blvd
Arvada, CO 80002
Teacher may advise against mixing alcohols, but the Grapevine Dropout at School House is hard to resist. Peach-infused whiskey plays off of notes from white wine and fresh fruit so well that the drink almost demands a second glass.

1. Nocturne

1330 27th St, Denver, CO 80205
Nocturne's summer cocktail menu inspired our first funky libation on the list- a creation designed to pair with the restaurant's chilled plum soup. The East of The Sun combines sake, coconut cream, passion fruit, mint, and basil for an overall impressive and refreshing drink.
1330 27th St
Denver, CO 80205

2. The Populist

3163 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
The Populist's variation on an egg white cocktail manages to create the sensation of drinking a cloud. Smoky mezcal, pineapple, and orgeat work together underneath the egg component in this drink to give it a smooth taste.
3163 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205

3. Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen

1317 14th St, Denver, CO 80202
The strawberry rhubarb jam gives the Bubble Boy its special flair. Muddled with basil and topped with lemon juice and champagne, this drink is unlike any other.
1317 14th St
Denver, CO 80202

4. Los Chingones

2461 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Pop rocks in a cocktail? At Los Chingones, the bar staff fears no ingredient. In the Urban Legend cocktail, bartenders mix tequila, Cola made with real sugar, and childhood favorite, pop rocks, in this fun throwback libation.
2461 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205

5. LOLA

1575 Boulder St, Denver, CO 80211
The watermelon component in the Oaxacan Cooler might inaccurately make this libation fall under the misnomer "girly," but mescal beefs this cocktail up. The smoky tequila makes the drink very robust, but also well balanced.
1575 Boulder St
Denver, CO 80211

6. Colt & Gray

1553 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202
One of the LoHi eatery's signature cocktails of the moment, the Un-Employed in Greenland, is a stiff scotch-based creation, but it looks like blue sky and tastes as fresh as it smells. The lemon and lavender bring in a light touch and it goes down smooth. Maybe too smooth.
1553 Platte St
Denver, CO 80202

7. Acorn

3350 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO 80216
The Ambassador is citrus-forward without being too sweet or bitter. Pineapple, grapefruit, and lime give the tequila some softening while the syrup contributes the perfect amount of sweetness. This tequila-forward cocktail finishes with a spicy touch of cinnamon.
3350 Brighton Blvd
Denver, CO 80216

8. Adrift Tiki

218 s Broadway, Denver, CO 80209
This funky spot is a go-to for tiki drinks of all varieties. One sip of the Suffering Bastard will transport the drinker to a tropical island paradise. As with many tiki-influenced cocktails, this is a high-octane specialty. It's made with gin, brandy, bitters, ginger beer, and lime, served in an appropriate tiki receptacle.
218 s Broadway
Denver, CO 80209

9. School House Kitchen & Libations

5660 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada, CO 80002
Teacher may advise against mixing alcohols, but the Grapevine Dropout at School House is hard to resist. Peach-infused whiskey plays off of notes from white wine and fresh fruit so well that the drink almost demands a second glass.
5660 Olde Wadsworth Blvd
Arvada, CO 80002

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