I smell fall. I know the temperature is still in and out of the '80s, but it's Harvest Week in Denver and the scent of roasting green chiles fills the air, so fall must be just around the corner. I can't wait for the cool nights and those marvelous mornings that smell like snow, for the smell of beer and diesel while tailgating at Buffs games and the smell of burgers cooking outside of Brooklyn's before Broncos games. In fact, there's just one thing I don't like about fall: the thought of not being able to sit on the patio at one of my favorite restaurants or bars, enjoying the weather and what a bountiful harvest can do for a cocktail. Which is why I was at Venue last week, confirming that the seasonal drink menu at Holly Hartnett's restaurant is just as inspired as its seasonal food menu. The Stone Fruit Martini ($8.50), made with Dry Fly Vodka, a touch of Leopold Bros. Rocky Mountain Peach Liqueur and infused with peaches, plums and nectarines, tasted like a delicious glass full of fall. And since this is the time that many people switch their "go to" cocktail from a summer drink of vodka/gin and tonic/soda to a winter drink featuring one of the many variations of whiskey, I also tried a Bourbon Sour ($8.50), made with Bulleit Bourbon and an excellent homemade sour mix. This could be just the thing to help get you ready for the tough weather ahead, reminding you that winter isn't just about shoveling snow and scraping ice off your windshield; it's also the season for skiing and sipping drinks by the fire. It's not as good as a patio on a fall day, but it will do. Either way, enjoy the harvest.
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