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Jason Patz will pour a masterpiece at MCA Denver tonight

Creating a great cocktail is a true art. And so the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver will be raising awareness of what makes a good drink -- and raising the roof in general -- at its rooftop bar all summer.

But tonight kicks off a particularly important show: the Bartender in Residence program, in which a startender will introduce a new drink every week for a month. Tonight's featured cocktail? Le Grand Daiquiri, made with Bacardi 8 year rum, Benedictine, lime juice, simple syrup and mint.

The drink is the creation of Jason Patz, who can usually be found behind the stick at Williams & Graham -- but who's also a graduate of the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, and is a fine artist whose work has been displayed at MCA Denver.

He chose tonight's cocktail because it's classic, with a subtle sweetness that's perfect for a rooftop patio. "My drink philosophy is the simpler the better," he explains, adding that he tries to keep each drink to five ingredients or less.

Patz will be in resident on the roof from 5 to 9 p.m. tonight, next Wednesday, and the last Wednesday in June (the third week, when the MCAD has an opening, he'll be on hand on a Thursday night). But the rooftop bar itself is open until 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and until 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, offering "museum-quality drinking"; the view is as tasty as the drinks. "The new summer hours is our response to visitors' requests to use the museum in the evening," says director Adam Lerner. "Museum-Quality Drinking is a natural extension of the museum experience into our cafe."

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In keeping with the cocktail theme, Lerner will be discussing the gin martini at tomorrow night's kickoff of the Mixeed Taste series, which will be in the studio above the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Space is still available...for now.

And in the meantime, here's a challenge: Order Le Grand Daiquiri, and try to decide which artist it reminds you of. We're going for Matisse, but Gauguin and Bonnard are also on the table.

Cheers.

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