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Denver, the capital of Colorado, USA, is a dynamic metropolis boasting landmark historical buildings, state of the art museums and a close proximity to the gorgeous, snow-capped Rocky Mountains. Now more than ever Denver houses a wealth of fantastic cocktail bars, chic and sleek drinking spots serving expertly crafted drinks with house-made bitters, sweet syrups and locally distilled spirits. So if you’re seeking a top tipple after a day of Denver exploring, read ahead for our guide to the best cocktail bars in the city.
The high-end speakeasy of Williams & Graham is a haven for cocktail connoisseurs. The dark lounge is hidden charmingly behind a rustic bookshelf, a cozy and unique setting making for a very intimate evening. Inventive cocktails are made here by some of the finest talents of mixology, and the seasonal signature cocktails on offer are some of the best in the area. Top cocktail picks include the Blackberry Sage Smash, made with Johnny Drum Private Stock bourbon, blackberries and sage, and the Zapatero, made with Barisol Italia pisco, Suze and a handful of fresh berries. Williams & Graham also offer a large selection of agave spirits, gins, whiskeys and numerous other beer and liquor options, elevating it as a joint with one of the widest drink varieties around.
Address and Telephone: Williams & Graham, 3160 Tejon St Denver, CO 80211 303-997-8886
Cooper Lounge features upmarket cocktails and pays homage to the chic drinking lounges of a bygone era, with a sophisticated, laid-back ambience and a wealth of old-fashioned drink mixes on offer. Beverages here are perfectly created by expert bartenders and served in beautiful glassware, and one of the most popular options is the cocktail St. Therese, made with Reposado tequila, Benedictine and Ancho Reyes. Beautifully scenic views of Downtown Denver can be enjoyed here, and if feeling a little hungry, guests can order from the varied food menu, top picks of which include the Colorodo Wagyu steak tartare and the bacon-wrapped pork terrine.
Address and Telephone: Cooper Lounge, 1701 Wynkoop St Denver, CO 80202 720-460-3738
Located in Denver’s Oxford Hotel, The Cruise Room was the city’s first post-prohibition establishment, opening the day after prohibition ended in 1933. The bar is renowned for its modern, art deco style, aesthetically appealing cocktails and moreish martinis, and boasts a diverse drinks list including everything from sweet cosmopolitans to spicy rum mixes. The venue has enjoyed a star-studded reputation as the setting for international rock star Jack White’s ‘Would You Fight For My Love’ video; prepare to drink in style when you visit The Cruise Room.
Address and Telephone:The Cruise Room Bar, 1600 17th St Denver, CO 80238 303-825-1107
The sister bar to Colt & Gray, another great cocktail establishment in the city, Ste Ellie is the favorite spot of cocktail experts in Denver. The rotating beverage list provides original drinks fit for everyone’s tastes, and unmissable options include Blame It On The Aperol, made from Peychaud’s & Aperol Mellow Corn Whisky, fresh lemon and hazelnut syrup, and The Loneliest Monk, made with W.L. Weller Reserve Bourbon and Yellow Chartreuse Underberg bitters. Bar manager Kevin Burke’s specialty drinks are unmissable, with his negroni creations arguably being the best in the city.
Address and Telephone: Ste Ellie, 1553 Platte St Denver, CO 80202 303-477-1477
The cozy speakeasy of Green Russell, with its 1920s decor and pre-Prohibition style cocktails, takes you on a historical drinking journey oozing with class and sophistication. Expert bartenders here cater to the needs of every customer and mix flavorsome and original concoctions, including refreshing old-fashioned options made with brown sugar syrup. On weekend nights customers can grab a drink at Bar 1 which is the entry bar into Green Russell, and a charming quirk of this venue is that you have to walk through a pie shop to gain entry.
Address and Telephone: Green Russell, 1422 Larimer St Denver, CO 80202 303-893-6505
Run by Bryan Dayton, officially voted the ‘Most Inspired Bartender’ in the city by GQ Magazine, Acorn exudes an innovative, industrial vibe, and features exposed brick walls artistically adorned with graffiti. Inventive and sophisticated drinks abound here, a top pick of which includes the California Cocos Fizz, made with St.George terroir, sage, grapefruit, lemon, black pepper and egg whites. If you have a sweet tooth don’t miss the Warm Welcome cocktail, created from a mixture of grenadine and cherry bitters. Don’t forget your side of fried pickles.
Addres and Telephone: Acorn, 3350 Brighton Blvd Denver, Co 80216 720-542-3721