Ask the Bartender: Another round on the Colorado Cocktail Contest

Sean Kenyon knows how to pour out both drinks and advice. A third-generation bar man with almost 25 years behind the bar, he is a student of cocktail history, a United States Bartenders Guild-certified Spirits Professional and a BAR Ready graduate of the prestigious Beverage Alcohol Resource Program. You can find him behind the bar at Squeaky Bean -- and here every week, where he'll answer your questions. But in this bonus round, he has news about the Colorado Cocktail Contest.

Soon after I wrote my post announcing the Colorado Cocktail Contest, I heard from Rob Masters, president of the Colorado Distillers Guild, who wanted the CDG to get involved. Since that group represents the companies making alcohol in Colorado, the partnership made perfect sense, so we added the CDG to the team. And then we stirred things up even more, partnering with the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

During a brainstorming session over drinks (what else?) at the Squeaky Bean, the Colorado Cocktail contest quickly turned into the Colorado Cocktail Project. The goal of the project will be to showcase the artistry of both mixology and craft distilling -- and to create the Colorado Cocktail, of course.

We'll have a kickoff event in February at the MCA (date TBA), where Colorado distillers will showcase their spirits for Colorado bartenders, who can then choose the spirits they'd like to feature in their own Colorado Cocktail. And a few months after that kickoff party, the museum will host a several-day celebration of cocktails in Colorado. We're still working out all the details, but can promise it will be educational, delicious...and a lot of fun to boot.

Because of the expanded concept, we're changing the deadline to submit Colorado Cocktail recipes. In fact, interested bartenders can wait until after that February showcase -- when they'll have a better idea of the scope of all the great products being made in Colorado.

I'll pour out more details as they become available.


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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun