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Familiar Stirrings

Last year, local bar celebrity Sean Kenyon was hanging at the Buckhorn Exchange with a famous mixologist who asked a seemingly simple question: What, he wondered aloud, is the quintessential Colorado cocktail? Kenyon, who’s rarely at a loss for words, was stumped. “New Orleans has the Sazerac and New York has the Manhattan,” he mused, “but what does Colorado have?” The short answer? Nada. So Kenyon created the Colorado Cocktail Project, extending an invitation to members of the Colorado Bartenders League to invent an official Colorado cocktail that would ultimately be chosen by the public and a panel of judges.

And starting at the stroke of noon today, the Colorado Cocktail Contest starts shaking things up at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, 1485 Delgany Street, where local and national mixologists and distillers will host a Colorado spirits tasting and lecture marathon. Things heat up tomorrow beginning at 5 p.m., when the ten finalists from among the 33 bartenders who submitted cocktail recipes go drink-to-drink in a liquid battle to earn the coveted Colorado Cocktail creator crown.

“The whole crux of the competition,” explains Kenyon, is to “develop a cocktail made with local ingredients and spirits — or beer — that’s inspired, geographically or historically, by Colorado.”

Tickets are $40 per day, or $70 for a two-day pass, and can be purchased at learn all about the contest-ants, point your clicker to
June 26-27, 2011


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