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When challenged to find a good spot for imbibing with a group, there's no shortage of options, but there are definitely a variety of places that offer more than the standard selection of beverages. Enter a newer wave of establishments dedicating portions of their menus to large-format cocktails, suitable for groups of anywhere from two to eight people to enjoy. Not only do these places provide a fun detour from the average mixed drink, but a group cocktail adds an element of interaction unmatched by individual glassware. Plus, the big bowls and buckets of booze can sometimes be cost-effective. Here are five Denver establishments offering awesome cocktails meant for sharing.
Adrift Tiki Bar
208 South Broadway
When the group behind Little Man Ice Cream purchased Adrift Tiki Bar last summer and reopened in September, they preserved the bar's funky Polynesian vibe and elevated the food and beverage programs. A vibrant collection of tiki cocktails adorned with floral and fruity garnishes take the stage at Adrift, along with three featured shareable cocktails, including the Baker Fire Bowl (four types of rum, cassis, banana, orange, pineapple, pomegranate), the Scorpion Bowl (white rum, gin, brandy, lemon, orange, orgeat, mint, white wine) and a Planter's Punch (dark rum, apricot, Pimento Dram, lemon, orange, grenadine). Each of these cocktails can be ordered for two or four people, with the price reflecting the size.
2930 Umatilla Street, 5th Floor
Leave it to restaurateur Justin Cucci to always bring an element of fun when drinking or dining with a group.
1650 Wewatta Street
Recently opened in the Union Station North area, North Carolina-born Tupelo Honey is all about serving creative Southern fare and encouraging guests to have a little fun. This is true across the board, including the beverage program from beverage director Michael Echeveste. With an impressive lineup of craft beers, a well-chosen list of wines and an inventive list of cocktails, Tupelo also features pleasantries like a frosé machine, Cristal Champagne sold by the chalice, the $0.75 seersucker martini lunch special, a Dirty South happy hour, and the group seating option that includes a beverage draft system right in the middle of the table. As part of the Dirty South happy hour, guests can order the Corpse Reviver #2 (gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, lemon, Copper & Kings absinthe, fennel), which serves two to six people, or a giant Derby Day Mint Julep (Old Forester bourbon, mint, a
3500 Larimer Street
Sharing is the name of the game at Hop Alley, a restaurant from chef/owner Tommy Lee, which showcases an assortment of Chinese-influenced dishes ideal for passing around or spinning around the lazy Susan at the group dining table. The cocktail menu encourages the same when dining in numbers, with a punch and large-cocktails section that includes the Plymouth Guggle Jug (Plymouth gin, Lillet Blanc, honey, raspberry), the Whiskey Tea Pot served in an actual teapot (Buffalo Trace bourbon, Cocchi Americano, grapefruit, black tea), the Very Large Pineapple served in a giant pineapple tumbler (Absolut Elyx vodka, passion fruit, Aperol), and the
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Ace Eat Serve
501 East 17th Avenue
Ace Eat Serve doesn't shy away from anything that creates more socialization, drinks included. This ping-pong hall and eatery offers the Steuben's Scorpion Bowl (Gosling's Black Seal rum, Sailor Jerry spiced rum, Leopold Bros. peach liqueur, orange, pineapple, cranberry, lime, orgeat), initially made popular at sister/neighbor restaurant Steuben's, and a carbonated cocktail punch served by the liter and created to serve three to six people.
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