Bars

Challenge Your Perception of Taste at Death & Co's Neuro Bar Lab Pop-Up

When combined in a cocktail, these three components combine to make a familar flavor.
When combined in a cocktail, these three components combine to make a familar flavor. Molly Martin
Does color influence your perception of taste? What role does smell play in experiencing flavor? Can you smell a memory?

These are some of the questions you'll ponder while sipping (and slurping, in one case) cocktails at the Neuro Bar Lab that's popping up in Death & Co's mezzanine space inside the Ramble Hotel, 1280 25th Street.

The experience was created to pair with Theater of the Mind, the immersive production from co-creators Mala Gaonkar and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne — who stayed at the Ramble as the show prepared for its debut, and imbibed at Neuro Bar Lab.

Tickets to Theater of the Mind aren't required for anyone who wants to try this pop-up, but the two do work in tandem, with the cocktails acting as a brain-teaser warm-up for the main event. Reservations, however, are a must.
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Jell-O shots, Death & Co style.
Molly Martin
Neuro Bar Lab includes six courses of libations, which are enjoyed over a two-hour period. In total, that's about three and a half full-sized drinks' worth of booze, so you'll definitely head out with a nice buzz — a welcome lubricant at Theater of the Mind, which includes some audience interaction with strangers.

The Neuro Bar Lab experience kicks off with Death & Co's take on a Jell-O shot — though you won't find any paper cups here. Instead, a trio of different-colored blobs of boozy gel come on a plate, to be scooped up with a spoon. Guests are instructed to taste one at a time and discuss the differences, sparking a spirited debate as everyone shares guesses about the flavors. (No spoilers here.)

As the evening progresses, there are jars with droppers that you use to change the flavor profile of one cocktail, while one small ingredient difference in a duo of otherwise identical libations affects their flavor.

A visit to the Neuro Bar Lab runs $75; drinks from Death & Co's regular menu, as well as food, can be ordered for an extra charge. For those who want to extend the experience after the show, the Ramble has a Neuro Nightcap Package with an overnight stay that includes an in-room cocktail served with taste-changing miracle berries and paired with a playlist curated by Byrne.

Like Theater of the Mind itself, this pop-up is a bit like a science fair for grownups, but with the added bonus of booze in a setting that bears no resemblance to a school gymnasium. 
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Molly Martin is the Westword Food & Drink editor. She’s been writing about the dining scene in Denver since 2013, and was eating her way around the city long before that. She enjoys long walks to the nearest burrito joint and nights spent sipping cocktails on Colfax.
Contact: Molly Martin