Pour on the love: Bloody orange mojito from 1515 Restaurant

Denver's Independent Network of Restaurants (DINR), the group responsible for Harvest Week and A Saucy Affair, is asking its member restaurants to spread the love...through their liquid assets as part of DINR's Valentine's Day Cocktail Contest. The competition, which has already kicked off, continues through Wednesday, February 10, at which time winners from the pool of 20 participants will be announced by a likely lubricated band of judges, including 5280 food editor Amanda Faison, Westword editor Patty Calhoun and yours truly.

But don't let us have the last drop word: Stop by the competing bars and restaurants and ask for the "DINR Valentine's Cocktail Contest Cocktail" and then go to www.eatdenver.com/valentines-cocktail to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime, we'll be featuring different recipes and photos from the participating restaurants and watering holes. Today's cocktail: The Bloody Orange Mojito from 1515 Restaurant.

Bloody Orange Mojito

Juice of 1/4 blood orange 1/4 lime, cut into three segments 10 small mint leaves 1 ounce simple syrup 2 ounces sour mix 10 ice cubes 2 ounces light Bicardi rum 2 ounces Champagne Garnishes: mint leaves and skewer of blood orange segments

Place the first three ingredients in a rocks glass. Using a muddler, crush the lime segments while bruising the mint leaves. Add the simple syrup, sour mix, ice, Bicardi and one ounce of the Champagne. Transfer to a shaker and shake for at least 20 seconds. Strain into a Champagne flute and top it off with the remaining one ounce of Champagne.

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