The sign on the Rackhouse Pub promises "Whiskey Beer Food." It's been a tough year, so I'm looking for signs. Life has gotten so complex that a sign, just a sign, can help chart my direction — even if it's only for the course of a night. Whiskey, Beer and Food sounded like something I could follow for at least a few hours, so I sat down at the bar at the Rackhouse and ordered an Old Fashioned. It's a simple drink from simpler times, just sugar, bitters and bourbon (or rye); the bitters and water are muddled with a sugar cube, orange slice and cherry to give the drink its characteristic flavor. But at the Rackhouse, my highball glass came filled with Stranahan's whiskey, orange juice, Sprite and a muddled cherry. It was a nice drink, but it was not an Old Fashioned. Then again, the Rackhouse is hardly old-fashioned. It opened this fall in the former Heavenly Daze as a companion bar/restaurant to Stranahan's, the whiskey that any true Coloradan and/or whiskey lover puts on the top of his favorite-whiskey list, and is decorated with Stranahan's barrels and cedar beams from the original rackhouse. Its website promises that the "menu brings pub food to a completely different level with creative spins on old classics, as well as new creations that accentuate our unique bar selections." Chief among those selections: Colorado beers and spirits (including Leopold Bros., Goat Vodka and Montoya Rum). That lineup alone makes this a great new bar — even if it doesn't make a great Old Fashioned.
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