I’ve been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to get my cocktail on at Bar Helix, especially with patio weather seemingly on its way. But things being as they are — a new blanket of snow freezing my tulips from the outside in while I’m locked inside for what seems like eternity — I feel like treating myself to some “elevated cocktails” a bit earlier than anticipated. Bar Helix offers not only a hearty selection of boozy beverages and Deez Nuts Party Mix for takeout, but on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, there's also the “Helix Smokeout."
Honestly, I couldn’t even wait for the weekend, so Tuesday evening I was already tapping in my order for Wednesday’s barbecue offering. I appreciated that the Helix Smokeout kept my options limited: booze and ribs, take it or leave it. Not only that, but because I ordered my ribs an evening ahead, I had something to look forward to even as my pup and I groaned at the accumulating snow. Anxious as I was, at 5 p.m. when my drinks, with their famous spherical ice cubes, were awaiting my arrival, I was still stuck at my desk. The restaurant kindly called and offered to remake my drinks without the ice — better than I deserved.
Pick-up went smoothly: Just meet your server at the patio door, and a gloved hand has everything ready to go. My two individual cocktails ($12 each), one mezcal-based Smoke and Mirrors Negroni and one gin-based, Campari-free Negroni called the Fully Cocked, came in compostable containers, akin to iced coffee. I believe the two would have been completed with large ice spheres were I not remiss on my pick-up time. This, however, was better for me, as I would have been too tempted to take a sip before driving home had they been pre-iced. Still, I missed the party mix, which I had intended to snack on on the way home, but I imagine it only comes with the larger orders of booze. Those include The Rookie, which serves four or five, or The Baller, good for eight to ten. As the Bar Helix website displays, these come with ice balls and garnish on the side, and are, as stated, just begging for a party (of safely spaced and properly geared-up drinkers, that is).
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Still, the smell of my smoky order, including barbecue ribs, macaroni and cheese and two slices of cornbread with a generous amount of honey butter, all for $18, invaded my nostrils all the way home. Finally, I couldn’t help it and plucked one creamy noodle out of its container. At home, I washed my hands, did my best to wipe down the containers, and poured my drinks over my own large ice cubes. As expected, the two Negronis were well-crafted and booze-forward, making me wish I had sprung for the bigger batch. But it didn’t take long before I was distracted by the ribs, which, though a bit less meaty and succulent than I expected, included Helix’s homemade savory-sweet-smoky sauce I would die to have the recipe for. If you like your mac and cheese more creamy than casserole-y, then this will be your jam. As for the pale yet fluffy cornbread, do yourself the favor of heating the slices up just a touch, then dousing them in the drool-worthy honey butter.
Licking my fingers for a good thirty seconds after finishing my last bite, the pup and I looked back out the window and thought, maybe one more snowfall isn’t the worst thing on a stay-at-home Wednesday.
Bar Helix is located at 3440 Larimer Street and is open for carryout cocktails from 2 to 8 p.m. every day but Sunday, with the Helix Smokeout available on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Visit the bar's website for a complete menu of mixed drinks and food, which also includes baked ziti, jambalaya and a small selection of Temper chocolates and Yours Truly cupcakes.