After a brief hiatus, Racines (650 Sherman Street, 303-595-0418) is back and better than ever. And it's getting this town hoppin' with the frozen Grasshopper cocktail, $6.25. Racines makes this alcoholic smoothie, a summer favorite in my family, with green Crème de Menthe, white Crème de Cacao and a scoop of vanilla-bean ice cream. If you're looking for something lighter, try the fruity Apricot Cosmopolitan, $6.
Heat rises, so beat the swelter by heading underground for a pitcher of sangria at Lime, a below-the-shops cantina in Larimer Square (1424 Larimer Street, 303-893-5463). Just $5 a glass or $19.50 a pitcher, this traditional Spanish party punch made of wine and fresh fruit juices is definitely a knockout. And if that's not enough, every meal here starts with a complimentary Lime Salut -- a shot of house tequila served in half a lime. With hip DJs spinning until the wee hours, this mod hot spot is an ideal place to chill.
Beachside drinking isn't possible in the Mile High City, but you can still head to Hemingway's Key West Grille (1052 South Gaylord Street, 303-722-7456) for a green Midoritini, a melon martini made with vodka, Midori and Triple Sec. It might not have sand, but Hemingway's sure has the weathered-seaside-shack atmosphere down -- and after a few $6 Midoritinis, you probably won't notice there's no ocean. But for that pungent seaside smell, order a plate of fresh oysters, only fifty cents during the 3 to 7 p.m. happy hour Monday through Friday.
Watch out for stumbling drunks at the Falling Rock Tap House (1919 Blake Street, 303-293-8338). With more than 75 beers on tap -- from Colorado microbrews to European imports -- there are lots of suds to choose from. My personal favorite is Hoegaarden White, a Belgian wheat beer, but if you're a local microbrew fan, stick to Easy Street Wheat or Sunshine Wheat. "We definitely do see a loyalty to Colorado beers," says Falling Rock co-owner Steve Black. "The nice thing about coming here is you can taste how Colorado beers compare to beers from around the world."