Mike Henderson

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2014

    Ben Carrington Wins the Popular Vote at the Most Imaginative Bartender competition

    Is Ben Carrington Denver's most creative bartender? The people have voted -- over 500 of them, who all jammed onto an outdoor patio at the Four Seasons hotel and selected Carrington's cocktail as the winner at Monday's Most Imaginative Bartender competition. The annual event, sponsored by Bombay Sap ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 19, 2014

    McLain Hedges wins Viva Sangrita Cocktail Competition, heads to New Orleans for finals

    "The idea was to make a sangrita that was traditional, and yet complemented the tequila -- which was the most important thing," says McLain Hedges, winner of the Viva Sangrita Cocktail Competition, held June 17 at Linger. Six bartenders competed in the event, which drew 200 people to Linger's roofto ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 30, 2013

    Bitter is better at Taste, tonight's culinary cocktail pop-up in the Golden Triangle

    The five sensations -- salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami -- that titillate and tempt our taste buds have been the focus of Taste, a pop-up culinary arts series this fall hosted by Bulthaup, a kitchen distribution company, at its studios in the Golden Triangle. And from 5:30 to 8 p.m. tonight, the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 31, 2013

    Colorado represents at Tales of the Cocktail

    Tales of the Cocktail is a yearly gathering of bartenders, distillers and spirits professionals that takes place in New Orleans every July. It features seminars, competitions and a ton of parties, and finishes with a gala awards ceremony that recognizes the world's best in our industry. I attended m ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 10, 2013

    Patio of the day: Root Down

    During the summer (and even on warm days in winter), you'll find Root Down's two outdoor patios packed with an eating (and drinking) set that lingers for hours, leisurely sipping on cocktails from the thoughtful bar program, sampling tastes from the locavore-inspired menu and, of course, soaking up ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 16, 2013

    Ten favorite cocktails (with recipes!) from ten favorite Denver bartenders

    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 get the point. If you are going t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 24, 2013

    Photos: Linger serves up international street food and $3 cocktails for Sunday brunch

    With ingredients like sambar curry, lacinato kale and pickled jalapeños, Linger's new brunch menu allows you to travel the globe without dusting off your passport. No strangers to traditional eggs and bacon, chef/owner Justin Cucci and his team also incorporate Japanese, Indian, New Orleans and Me ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 3, 2012

    Contest alert: Win two tickets to the Taste of the Nation party on October 14

    This year marks the 25th anniversary of Taste of the Nation, a national nonprofit that has its own Colorado chapter, which was started 25 years ago by humanitarian Noel Cunningham, the former owner/chef of Strings, who passed away late last year. The annual event, which features a bounty of foodstuf ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 28, 2012

    Contest: Win two tickets to the Taste of the Nation

    This year marks the 25th anniversary of Taste of the Nation, a national nonprofit that has its own Colorado chapter, which was started 25 years ago by humanitarian Noel Cunningham, the former owner/chef of Strings, who passed away late last year. The annual event, which features a bounty of foodstuf ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 1, 2012

    Justin Lavenue becomes third Coloradan in a row to head to international Domaine de Canton competition

    Two years ago, Sean Kenyon bested a handful of international bartenders to take home $10,000 -- and much respect for Colorado's bartenders -- for his work in the Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur competition in St. Maarten. Last year, Noah Heaney was the West Coast representative in the same contest, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2012

    The Colorado Bartenders Guild announces its newly elected board

    To give the Colorado Bartenders Guild all the credit for Denver's flourishing cocktail culture would be wrong, says Sean Kenyon, owner of Williams & Graham and one of the founding members of this state's chapter. But it certainly helped. "We were officially chartered in February of 2008," he says, " ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2012

    Ken Kodys' Campari Peppari takes top honors in last night's Campari-United States Bartenders' Guild competition

    Ken Kodys is no stranger to victory. In 2009, the Boston native, who was then tending bar at Bacaro, in Boulder, created a memorable cocktail ironically called Amnesia that took the whole kit and caboodle in the DeKuyper Mix Master Bartender contest at the Denver Food & Wine Festival. Earlier this ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 26, 2012

    Colorado bartenders face off in a Campari aperitivo competition tonight

    A serious bartending scene in Denver has culminated in dozens of cocktail contests, many of which propel our local bar men and women to a national spotligh, where they go up against the country's best. And tonight, one of the biggest contests of 2012 is going down at Green Russell: twelve bartender ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 2, 2012

    Mike Henderson: Be nice!

    In this interview, Root Down bar manager Mike Henderson weighs in on the formation of the Colorado Bartenders Guild, counting to four and the rise of the beverage professional.

  • Blogs

    February 24, 2012

    James Lee: Colorado bartending has risen so much in three years

    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.

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2012

    Jonathan Greschler was notoriously shy...until he became a bartender

    Jonathan Greschler, who recently landed behind the bar at Fuel Cafe, started bartending right after college. "I was in North Carolina working at a microbrewery," he remembers. "The guys behind the bar were older than me, and they took me under their wing. We had an advantage, because it was a microb ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2012

    Barrel-aged cocktails hit drink lists all over town

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    January 5, 2012

    Serving contraband New Glarus beers was fun while it lasted for one LoHi bar

    Like Colorado, Wisconsin has a long beer tradition and a new breed of craft brewers. The most well-known is probably New Glarus, a brewery that has reached cult status nationwide because of unusual fruit beers like Wisconsin Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart -- and because it only distributes in Wiscon ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 17, 2011

    Here are your 2011 Denver #WebAwards food & drink winners

    ​Here are the winners of the 2011 Denver #WebAwards in the "food & drink" category, which were handed out at our awards ceremony last night at Casselman's. These are only the winners; for a complete list of finalists, go here: "Here are your 2011 Denver #WebAwards finalists." And thanks to a ... More >>

  • News

    November 17, 2011
  • Blogs

    November 16, 2011

    Leaked! 2011 Denver #WebAwards winners

    ​OK, it's not really a leak if the source publishes the info -- more like a sneak-peek of Denver #WebAwards winners, we're publishing ten award winners this morning, in advance of tonight's party at Casselman's. It's open to anyone age 21 and up at 8 p.m.. (although anyone on our list of final ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 22, 2011

    Five Denver bartenders mix up vodka cocktails you can make at home

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2011

    Colorado Cocktail Project will leave you shaken, possibly stirred

    ​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 >>

  • Calendar

    April 14, 2011
  • Blogs

    February 4, 2011

    Colorado Cocktail Contest kickoff: Join the party!

    ​Although plans for the Colorado Cocktail Contest, which will culminate in a two-day event in June at Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art, are fairly fluid right now, one event is solid: On Monday evening, the contest will kick off with a private party at the MCA, where bartenders will mix it ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 20, 2010

    Beatrice & Woodsley picks up bartender Mike Henderson

    ​A few months ago, award-winning bartender Mike Henderson left his gig at TAG to spend a couple of nights a week behind the bar of Colt & Gray, 1553 Platte Street, while he irons out the details of his own project. Those plans are still moving forward, but now, in addition to his time at Col ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 31, 2010

    Randall Layman's Tales of the Cocktail, last call

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2010

    Randall Layman's Tales of the Cocktail, round three

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    July 1, 2010

    TAG introduces its new bar staff and summer cocktails

    ​Mike Henderson may have jumped ship for other projects, but the cocktail show at TAG must go on. TAG tender Brian Melton will take over lead mixology duties, while floor manager Travis Plakke will take care of the behind-the-scenes details. And in TAG's dark basement lounge on Tuesday night, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 21, 2010

    Project delayed, Mike Henderson joins bar at Colt & Gray

    ​Mike Henderson may have left TAG to focus on his own project, but in the meantime, he'll be working, at least part time, behind the bar at Colt & Gray. Yesterday marked Henderson's first day on staff, and he started learning the ropes of the dining room and kitchen. "My timeline got extende ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 11, 2010

    Hush speakeasy event gives a glimpse of what's to come

    ​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 >>

  • Blogs

    May 28, 2010

    Changing of the Guard as mixologist Mike Henderson leaves TAG

    ​For the past year, under sexy lighting in TAG's chic modern dining room, Troy Guard has put out his particular brand of East meets West fusion,while Mike Henderson and his staff of mixologists craft equally flashy spirits concoctions to pair. There's a changing of the guard under way, thoug ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 24, 2010

    Tonight: The Denver FIVE get down at Lola

    The chefs of Denver FIVE​The cast of the Denver FIVE -- chefs Matt Selby (Steuben's and Vesta Dipping Grill), Troy Guard (TAG) and Tyler Wiard (Elway's Cherry Creek) -- is joining forces with Big Red F culinary director Jamey Fader tonight at Lola, 1575 Boulder Street, for a six-course dinn ... More >>

  • Dining

    May 13, 2010
  • Blogs

    May 4, 2010

    TAG has the country's hottest ice

    That's Kold!​I found out about TAG's new ice program through the Facebook status update of bar manager Mike Henderson: "Kold-Draft, you had me at hello..." It's hard to explain to non-cocktail geeks why mixologists find Kold-Draft ice so exciting. Kold-Draft is the slowest melting ice availab ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2010

    Tonight: Mixologist Monday at TAG

    ​We love it when restaurants try new things -- like TAG's Mixologist Monday, which will feature special guest bartender Michael Martenson of Ron Zacapa Rum (plus TAG bar manager Mike Henderson). Anytime between 5 and 10 p.m. tonight, the 'tenders will take you through an array of tasty cocktai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2010

    Culinary calendar for the week ahead: Raw food and Females on Fire

    ​There's a lot going on in the local culinary world this week, from raw food to Females on fire, bourbon to beer. Here's a taste of what's ahead: Monday, January 11: Stephanie Tourles, author of Raw Energy: 124 Raw Food Recipes for Energy Bars, Smoothies and Other Snacks to Supercharge Your ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 5, 2009

    We'll drink to that: Colorado Bartenders Guild Toy Drive at Steuben's

    ​Want to do some good while drinking great cocktails? On Monday, December 7, the Colorado Bartenders Guild (COBG) is sponsoring its fourth annual Holiday Toy Drive at Steuben's, 523 East 17th Avenue. "We started out with two bartenders and me and convinced about twenty of our friends to come ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 16, 2009

    Sean Kenyon raises the B.A.R. at Domaine De Canton competition

    Nancy LevineSean Kenyon takes top spot at Domaine De Canton competition​ Last night Domaine de Canton and brand ambassador Bryan Dayton of Frasca hosted the semifinalist round of the Domaine de Canton bartender competition at TAG. Beyond bragging rights, the winner of the competition won a tri ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 10, 2009

    Behind the Bar with Randy Layman at Avenue Grill

    ​ Randy Layman began working at Avenue Grill seven years ago and convinced his twin, Ryan, to join him there four years ago. The identical (except for Ryan's longer beard) bartenders poured kick-ass cocktails together, doubling your fun, until November 1 -- when Ryan moved across the street to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 8, 2009

    Behind the bar at Root Down with Anika Zappe

    ​Anika Zappe is on a tear. Yes, she still has her band, Hemi Cuda, although its last show is coming sometime this year. "Had to make more time for cocktology," she says. Zappe has been Root Down's bar manager since the restaurant opened in December 2008, and the bar is doing great business. So ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 1, 2009

    Behind the Bar: Sean Kenyon of Steuben's

    Lori MidsonSteuben's bartender Sean Kenyon with his wife, Heather​It seems oxymoronic to call a guy covered in tattoos a geek, but when it comes to cocktails, Sean Kenyon is the biggest geek in town. He has taken his engineering coursework and applied it to the engineering of cocktails, with i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 21, 2009

    Cafe Society: Week in review

    What you might have missed this week on Cafe Society while celebrating Andrew's reopening and wondering about Brandon's...Chef and tell: an interview with Lola and Big Red F's Jamey FaderThe 10 worst lunchboxes and what they say about the kids who carried them.  Did yours make the list?Pete Mar ... More >>

  • Dining

    August 20, 2009
  • Blogs

    August 18, 2009

    Behind the Bar: Mike Henderson of TAG

    ​Every week, Drink of the Week columnist Nancy Levine gets behind the bar with a local mixologist. Now serving: Mike Henderson, bar manager at TAG. How did you get into bartending? After college, I got a job as a doorman at a bar called Paul's Club in Madison, Wisconsin. I had only been wor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2009

    The blog shortcut, August 18 edition

    Mike Henderson of TAG.​You're it. Today in Cafe Society: • Behind the Bar: Mike Henderson of TAG. • Chapter Two BBQ closes the book. • A sneak peek of Colt & Gray. • A taste of restaurant history before LoDo Bites. • Craft breweries are on a roll. • Mysteries of Sheehan's Desk: Da ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 18, 2009

    Stirring victory for Anika Zappe

    colfaxavenue.comShe's #1: Anika ZappeMembers of the Colorado Bartenders Guild took first, second and third at the Bombay Sapphire regional cocktail competition on Tuesday night. Coming in third, Mike Henderson of TAG; second, Sean Kenyon of Steuben's and Vesta Dipping Grill. And in first place? A ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 6, 2009

    Colorado Bartenders Guild hosts first cocktail competition

    For Colorado bartenders, taxes aren't the only thing due on April 15. That's also the deadline for submitting recipes to the first cocktail competition of the year organized by the Colorado Bartenders Guild (COBG). And I'll be helping to judge the results at 6 p.m. April 26 at Trios Enoteca, along w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 2, 2009

    Top 10 Country Albums of 2008

    Photo by Michael Alan GoldbergOver the next couple of weeks, Backbeat will feature some Top Ten lists from around the Village Voice Media chain. Click here for previous year-in-review coverage from Backbeat and VVM. Two young blondes with toothy smiles and hard-core work ethics, Taylor Swift and Car ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 15, 2008

    A saucy toy drive at Steuben's

    Steuben's will host a toy drive to benefit the Denver Rescue Mission tonight, beginning at 9 p.m. and running until about 2 a.m. And if you donate a toy, not only does God give you a pat on the back, but you receive a free cocktail or Great Divide beer! The cocktails are creations by eight of D ... More >>