1111 Miner's Alley, Golden 720-638-1155
Fall is erupting in blazes of orange and yellow in the high country right now, and it's bubbling in your glass at the Golden Moon Speakeasy. This craft cocktail lounge, located in downtown Golden, opened in January and features cocktails made with spirits from the parent distillery, just across town. The speakeasy added a fall-flavored punch bowl to its cocktail menu last week -- a perfect drink to share with friends after an autumn foliage tour through the hills.
"We start by taking Palisade peaches, peeling them, pureeing them and adding sugar," says Golden Moon Speakeasy's Bar Manager, Noah Heaney. The puree is strained to remove the pulp, mixed with Golden Moon Distillery's dry curaçao, fresh lemon and lime juice, rooibos tea and Angostura bitters, before being topped with sparkling water.
While peaches can often be an overly sweet, cloying ingredient, Heaney's punch is light and refreshing, nudged into effervescence by the fizzy soda water. "The bubbles clear the way," he says, "giving the punch depth and complexity."
Part of that complexity is Golden Moon Distillery's dry curaçao liqueur, distilled with saffron and other botanicals, including the peel of a small, bitter orange from the Caribbean island of Curacao. It's then lightly oak-aged, which mellows the flavor. More still comes from rooibos, a member of the legume family from South Africa, where the leaves of the plant have been used for centuries to make tea.
The Palisade Punch is served with vintage cocktail glasses, sourced from local antique stores, and is available in two sizes: a 750-milliliter bowl for two people for $24, or a larger, double-sized bowl that serves four for $40. "Sharing really allows you to enjoy the company of the people you're with," Heaney says.
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Since you're sharing your punchbowl, why not share some food? Heaney recommends a charcuterie board which offers a selection of sliced meats and cheeses, served with fig jam, olives, pepperoncini, and a house-made mustard (choice of three for $16, 5 for $24 or 10 for $45). The Golden Moon Speakeasy is open Tuesday through Thursday from 2 to 11 p.m, Friday and Saturday from 2 p.m. to midnight, and Sunday from 2 to 9 p.m.