The Jalapeno Rally at Bellwether
At Bellwether, you can get a haircut, a cappuccino, a cocktail and a motorcycle all at the same time. The masculine vibe of the collaborative space centers around whiskey; in fact, Bulleit bourbon flows straight from a tap behind the bar. Bar manager Demi Deherrera features that bourbon in her latest cocktail, which she originally created for an event at Bellwether to celebrate the launch of a motorcycle magazine. “I wanted something that had a kick,” she says, “something simple but sippable that showed the sort of attitude that a motorcycle rally would have.” The bite of jalapeño, slightly sweetened by agave syrup, provides the kick-start in the restulting cocktail, called the Jalapeño Rally ($9).
There’s no denying that Bellwether is motorcycle-friendly: a custom-built Triumph is parked inside the coffee shop only a few steps from the bar. Here’s the recipe that Deherrera created for motorcycle enthusiasts:
2 ounces Bulleit bourbon
1 ounce blue agave syrup
3 ounces orange juice
One half of a jalapeño
3 ounces Declaration Brewing Co.’s King Nalu Koa’e Imperial IPA
Bulleit bourbon is one of the legendary Kentucky straight bourbons. It’s a touch strong at 90 proof, and the relatively high amount of rye (28%) makes it a bit sharper and drier than other bourbons. “Bulleit has a really great orange profile,” Dehererra says, “so whether you throw orange bitters in there, or orange juice, or anything really citrusy, it really pulls it out very well. So, naturally, the bourbon went really well with this cocktail.”
Dehererra pours a generous two ounces of Bulleit into a shaker tin with orange juice, agave syrup, and half of a jalapeño. After adding ice, she shakes all the ingredients and strains them into a glass over a large ice cube. She finishes by topping it off with an imperial IPA from Declaration Brewing Co. and garnishes it with an orange peel and a slice of jalapeno.
“Most people says it’s really balanced between the sweet and the spicy,” Dehererra says of her jalapeño-laced recipe. “Obviously, it’s not for the faint of heart — it does have a kick. It’s something that’s sweet and spicy for those who aren’t sure if they don’t want something too savory. I think it’s a really good transition between the two.”
“The IPA in it has a really great citrus profile,” Dehererra adds. King Nalu Koa’e is brewed in Denver but delivers flavors of the South Pacific — mango and papaya — that come from a liberal use of Citra hops. “It’s light, it’s sweeter,” Dehererra continues,” and it kind of just creates that really great, boozy texture in the drink to top it off and balance out that spiciness.”
Whether or not you ride the motorcycle out of the store depends on how many drinks you have at Bellwether. “A lot of people really like it,” Dehererra says. “They’ll order two or three at a time.”
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.