The bartenders were thrown all sorts of curves, including having to create cocktails on the fly using another bartender's grab bag of ingredients (ghost chile salt or mango hot sauce, anyone?) and concocting a cocktail with Crooked Stave's Vieille Artisanal Saison, a beer with pronounced sour notes. Durant was ultimately crowned victorious by a then-drunk team of judges, including yours truly, Dayton and Jeremy Kittelson, chef of Root Down. As far as cocktail competitions go, this was one of the best battles of the year: refreshingly unpretentious, energetic and just a shit-ton of fun. Oh, and Durant's prize? A thick, black, silver-studded belt sporting an obnoxiously large buckle etched with her new title: The Official Denver Cocktail Fights Champion. Herewith, a shortened version of the highlights.
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