Drink of the Week

After too many jobs that required way too much travel, I try to avoid hotel bars. They depress me. They're usually filled with smoke and professional salesmen who spend 90 percent of their lives on the road and typically believe that their marriage vows are legitimate only within a hundred miles of their homes. These extraordinarily virulent barflies infest hotel-lobby bars at the end of the workday, using low-end liquor as the social lubricant to woo their next conquests. But the Mirepoix bar, in the lobby of the new JW Marriott in Cherry Creek, has completely changed my opinion of hotel bars. A beautifully odd color combination of yellow, orange and green, it's smoke-free, and its well-appointed patrons lack that desperate-salesman stank. The bar's specialty cocktail list features such inventive choices as the Pomegranate Cosmo, Vanilla Lemon Drop and the drink that sold me, the Strawberry Mojito ($9). A mastery of muddling with Pyrat rum, fresh mint and strawberries, this Mojito's sweetness comes from the strawberries and just a touch of simple syrup -- saving the drink from cloying sweetness and you from a brutal hangover. And just in case you have one too many, there are plenty of hotel rooms upstairs. But before you check in, check out Mirepoix.

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