Colt & Gray was teeming with people last night, packed into the bar and apologizing right and left as they tripped over one another trying to maneuver the room. Clearly, if you build an open bar, they will come.
And that's exactly what ROOT Liquor did this week, at Boulder's Bitter Bar, 835 Walnut Street, and then at Colt & Gray, 1553 Platte Street, to introduce Colorado to the new spirit that's hitting the market.
ROOT Liquor is an organic spirit inspired by root tea, an alcoholic herbal remedy made from sassafras and sarsaparilla that originated in the 1700s. That tea was the basis for root beer, created during more restrictive drinking years when pharmacist Charles Hires brewed his own version of the tea, stripped the alcohol out and added soda water. Philadelphia-based company Art in the Age wanted to recreate the original alcoholic version of root tea, minus the sassafras, which was outlawed in 1960.
As you might imagine, it tastes strongly of root beer, and it lent that flavor profile to the twists on the drinks Colt & Gray poured last night -- a ROOT Manhattan, ROOT Carre and ROOT Flip. Those were served in addition to passed appetizers, which included a ROOT glazed pork belly and a ROOT float.
And we've noticed ROOT has hit a couple of other cocktail lists in town, too, the husky herbal flavor adding warmth to fall weather libations.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.