Last night, following the Denver Bacon and Beer Festival, eight local bartenders -- Ryan Conklin (St. Ellie), Todd Mayville (Asti D' Italia), Stuart Jensen (Green Russell), McLain Hedges (the Proper Pour), Kevin Burke (Colt & Gray), Melissa Durant (Acorn), Holland Rock-Garden (Roosevelt) and Anika Z ... More >>
Last night at Green Russell, six local bartenders -- Joe Hines (Williams & Graham); Kevin Burke (Colt & Gray); Gerard Collier (Corner House); Ragen Horacek (Ace); Randy Layman (Steuben's); and host Adam Hodak, the star bartender of Bonanno Concepts -- battled for supremacy in the Colorado Wine Cock ... More >>
Update: We have a winner of our Toques and 'Tails contest giveaway! Last week, we asked Cafe Society commenters to guess how many Culinary Connector tours owner Becky Creighton has conducted in Denver. Congrats to BSquared5280, who guessed 330 tours, the exact number. BSquared5280, we'll send you an ... More >>
I'm a big fan of cocktails and have been drinking them longer than some of my coworkers have been alive. But for many people who have never had a real cocktail, ordering one for the first time can be intimidating. Big menus, unusual names, unfamiliar spirits...you get the point. If you are going t ... More >>
What will be the big culinary trends in 2013? As we prepare for a new year in gastronomy, we posed that question to dozens of people in the local food business, everyone from chefs and pastry magicians to restaurant brokers and PR consultants, from brewers and grape gurus to realtors and pig farmers ... More >>
To celebrate the luckiest day of the year -- 12/12/12 -- Ron Abuelo rums asked a dozen mixologists across the country to a create a signature cocktail as a toast to the holiday season. Kevin Burke of Colt & Gray, who won our Best Bartender award in the Best of Denver 2011, is part of the lineup. H ... More >>
Last week, we told you about Boulder Beer Company's cameo in an episode of Parks and Recreation -- but this wasn't the only Colorado brewery to get a little air time. A can of Dale's Pale Ale made it into a reenactment scene in SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden, which premiered on November ... More >>
On Monday, November 5, Colt & Gray will be the stamping ground for a bartender's dream, especially those who have an affinity for cognac -- very good cognac. Six local cocktail magicians -- Melissa Durant (Green Russell); Carla Chang Sandoval (Hillstone Group); Anthony Giovanni (Gaetano's); Jason Pa ... More >>
Something interesting happened at the delicious end of three recent meals -- at Root Down, Frasca Food and Wine and twelve restaurant -- everyone at our table enjoyed a round of Fernet. We'll admit it: Denver's seemingly boundless fascination with Fernet is kind of blowing our minds. Seems like so ... More >>
Cafe Society serves up a mixed menu: posts on restaurant openings, posts on restaurant closings, posts on bad customer behavior, posts on bad server behavior...and yesterday, Jenn Wohletz's list "five things I've found in men's refrigerators that made me not want to date them." The comments have be ... More >>
It's only Wednesday, people. But it's already been one helluva week for the Colorado Urban WineFest.
Summer is in full swing -- as evidenced by the blossoming of the local street-food scene -- and its culinary fruits are bountiful. Here's a taste of what's on the calendar for the first week of June) and if you know of one we missed, feel free to share it in the comments section below):
What do Governor John Hickenlooper and chef-restaurateur Frank Bonanno have in common?
In this interview, Freshcraft's Adam Dunbar weighs in on the night of the Beast, his go-to beer and where he heads for a perfectly made Manhattan.
In this interview, James Lee, one of the godfathers of Colorado cocktail culture, discusses the Pimms Cup that made him see the light, one thing he thinks bartenders absolutely have to measure, and the night he was called the worst bartender ever.
In this week's behind the bar interview, Colt & Gray's Kevin Burke weighs in on how he started bartending, his favorite spot to blind taste spirits and the Mustache Series.
Six months ago, Eric Dutton, bar manager at Vesta Dipping Grill, unveiled a Vieux Carre he'd let sit in wood for a few weeks -- the first barrel-aged cocktail we'd seen on a Denver menu. Since then, though, we've noticed barrel-aged cocktails popping up on a handful of lists, making this a true tren ... More >>
If you're looking for a proper tiki drink in Denver -- you know, a Polynesian-themed sour rum cocktail that soared to popularity in the 1940s and 1950s -- Matty Durgin, barman at Madison Street, is your man. He's built a fan following for his tiki drinks, which he showcases once a week on Tiki Tuesd ... More >>
courtesy of Ryan ConklinRyan Conklin, certified Cicerone and head barman at Euclid Hall, doesn't think his reasons for going into bartending were very different from what motivates other professionals in the industry. "Like a lot of bartenders, you just kind of have some sort of drive to it, ... More >>
The more I travel, the more I'm impressed by the barmen and barwomen of Denver -- many of the beer, wine and spirits professionals in our city can stand with any other bartender in the world. They're professional and knowledgeable, and they pour some pretty awesome drinks. Without a doubt, I had som ... More >>
someecards.comWe'll drink just about anything hot this time (and temperature) of the year, hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps (or some other sort of delicious liqueur) included. But there are a few cocktails on drink lists right now that make us clap our chilled hands with delight: Their ... More >>
courtesy of Kelly WooldridgeKelly Wooldridge, beverage director and sommelier at the recently opened Trillium, was still in high school when he felt the first stirrings of interest in professional bartending. "There was this guy, Willie Grandison, at the American Restaurant in Kansas City," ... More >>
someecards.comHappy holidays! Check for restaurant closures before you head out to dinner.'Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry, and many restaurants around town are packed on a nightly basis as a result. For that reason alone, you should probably make reservations before you head out to ... More >>
Colt & Gray will expand into this space next door.It may have a hard-to-locate front entrance, but that hasn't prevented Colt & Gray from becoming a big player on the Denver restaurant scene since it opened in August 2009, offering upscale gastropub fare paired to a stellar list of cocktails, ... More >>
While we're stoked to sample what seems like millions of beers at the Great American Beer Festival, it's possible that we're actually more excited to see what Denver area restaurants and bars trot out on taplines next week. This event brings in beer geeks from all over the world, and since mo ... More >>
Kevin BurkeThe Gypsy Cocktail by Kevin Burke.Vodka has been the most popular spirit in America since the 1970s, and there's no sign of it slowing down. As outlined in "Clear Thinking," this week's cover story about Spring44, vodka's popularity keeps growing year after year, expanding into a m ... More >>
Are you ready to rumble? We are. The Great American Beer Festival kicks off on September 29, but there are plenty of GABF-related events where you can practice in advance -- or even instead -- of the big show. In fact, there are too many events to list, but I did my best. Check 'em out below.
It was late last year when we started spying beer cocktails in bars. There were just a few at first, and most of them were basic twists on micheladas or other fizzy drinks -- experimental and not always tasty. But lately, the beer cocktail has become a veritable trend, with ale making its way ... More >>
FacebookCopper Kettle brews.I'm hitting the highway soon for a little Colorado summer road trip. But before I pack the tent, the beef jerky, the CDs or even the cooler, I'm stashing my copy of The Beer Drinker's Guide to Colorado map (fifth edition!) above the sun visor. This awesome fold-ou ... More >>
The Colorado Cocktail Project, with its mission to create the official Colorado Cocktail, will celebrate this state's most liquid assets at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Sunday and Monday, June 26-27. On Sunday, Colorado distillers will be at the MCA to pour their products, while learned ... More >>
Café Society's obsession with the quest for a Colorado cocktail dates back to the day when Rich Grant of Visit Denver got a call from a reporter for a national magazine who was looking for the quintessential Colorado drink to include in a story about landmark libations. But while some towns ... More >>
Sean Kenyon knows how to pour out both drinks and advice. A third-generation bar man with almost 25 years behind the bar, he is a student of cocktail history, a United States Bartenders Guild-certified Spirits Professional and a BAR Ready graduate of the prestigious Beverage Alcohol Resource ... More >>
We sipped our way through many martinis in our search for the best, and you know what we learned? Any bar can ice down three ounces of vodka or gin and pour it in an up glass" and CALL it a martini -- and many do -- but there are very few that do the classic version of the cocktail right. A c ... More >>
As a mixologist, Kevin Burke knows how to pour it on. And yesterday, he was all contrition in his apology to Denver Magazine, the publication that had repeated a bunch of whoppers that Burke, a finalist for the pub's Mixologist of the Year, had fed them for last month's food and drink issue: ... More >>
The opening is coming right up for Green Russell, Frank Bonanno's underground cocktail joint that will be hidden behind the swinging door of a pie counter, dubbed Wednesday's Pie, in Larimer Square. Bonanno and Adam Hodak, beverage director at Bonanno's restaurant group and partner in the n ... More >>
Until recently, Olmeca Altos, a 100 percent blue agave tequila from the Los Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico, had only been available outside of the United States, but in July of this year, the double-distilled agave juice was introduced stateside -- specifically in Chicago and Denver -- and ... More >>
Adam Hodak engages Denver bartenders to make guest appearancesFrank Bonanno and Adam Hodak are still ironing out the details of the Green Russell, the subterranean bar they're opening behind a pie shop front called Wednesday's Pie in Larimer Square -- and that includes staff. But while the p ... More >>
Colt & Gray's Nelson Perkins and Brad Rowell On Monday Colt & Gray, 1553 Platte Street, will roll out a weekly, three-course prix fixe dinner for $36. But there's a twist: The menu for that deal won't be constructed by restaurant owner Nelson Perkins and executive chef Brad Rowell. Instead, ... More >>
Randall Layman, a bartender at Vesta Dipping Grill, is just back from New Orleans, where he attended his first Tales of the Cocktail. We'll be printing his dispatches all week (read the first installment here).Taryn KapronicaThe Green Goddess Day five: Our last morning in New Orleans is prob ... More >>
Randall Layman, a bartender at Vesta Dipping Grill, is just back from New Orleans, where he attended his first Tales of the Cocktail. We'll be printing his dispatches -- here are the first and second installments -- all week. Day Three: With the curtains closed tight over the window in my room an ... More >>
Brian Melton of TAG, the winning bartender in Sunday night's Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation drink competition.As part of Denver's Taste of the Nation/Share Our Strength benefit last night at Mile High Station, eight generous drink slingers from some of the city's hottest bars partic ... More >>
With cocktail culture exploding in this town, it's only a matter of time before a crop of speakeasies infiltrates the drinking scene, using store fronts and mundane delis to disguise hidden, dimly-lit caverns of revelers imbibing pre-prohibition libations from antique crystal long into the we ... More >>
Two months ago, Colt & Gray bartender Noah Heaney barely edged out another Colt & Gray barman, Kevin Burke, in a sudden-death mix-off when the two tied for first at the Colorado chapter of the US Bartender's Guild Don Q rum competition. The prize: a trip to New York to compete in the Manha ... More >>
The bad weather has put the Hendrick's Gin competition hosted by the Colorado Bartenders Guild at Lola tonight on ice. I was slated to be a judge, so I'm both relieved and disappointed by the postponement. The contest has been tentatively rescheduled for November 16. In the meantime, you m ... More >>
Leguizamo rolls into town with his razor-sharp wit