Anyone who has lived in Colorado for more than five minutes has heard of the People's Republic of Boulder. According to Wikipedia, the label "People's Republic of" is placed sarcastically before the name of a left-wing university town and most likely "derives from the late 1960s, when The People's Republic of Berkeley was used to describe the site of the radical Free Speech Movement." Although Colorado's own People's Republic has had the nickname for decades, it's more entertaining than ever -- particularly because Boulder has become so affluent, even as it clings to its predominantly liberal politics and love of free speech. And there's nowhere the speech is freer -- or the food lovelier -- than on the western end of the Pearl Street Mall, which is home to the Kitchen, a quintessentially Boulder restaurant that serves deliciously upscale and organic cocktails and cuisine. A few friends and I recently headed to the Republic for a hike along the Flatirons, and the only thing that got my derriere up the mountain was knowing that my reward would be waiting at the Kitchen. And what a reward: an Apple Rosewater Martini ($7) made with Skyy vodka, lemon and apple rosewater, and an apple-slice garnish. Until I tasted this cocktail, I'd only thought of rosewater as something to sprinkle on sheets or add to a bath -- but from here on out, I plan to bathe my tongue in it, too. While still tasting like a martini (which means you could actually taste the vodka), this drink was perfectly smooth and ideally sweetened, but not sweet. If I could be assured there was an Apple Rosewater Martini waiting on the summit, I'd climb Mount Everest. Even if I had to crawl through the People's Republic on the way.
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