Ten favorite cocktails (with recipes!) from ten favorite Denver bartenders

Categories: Booze

Nick Touch behind the bar at the Squeaky Bean.
I'm a big fan of cocktails and have been drinking them longer than some of my coworkers have been alive. But for many people who have never had a real cocktail, ordering one for the first time can be intimidating. Big menus, unusual names, unfamiliar spirits...you get the point.

If you are going to start drinking cocktails, my advice is to begin with a classic. Classic cocktails are the foundation of all the new creations that bartenders/mixologist are now serving across the country. Without the classics, there would be no new cocktails. (Remember, you have to start with simple math before you can move on to differential equations -- and sometimes, 2+2 is just what you need.) I also use classic cocktails as a measuring stick to decide if I'd like to order a bartender's original cocktails. If a bartender has a solid grasp of the basics, I feel more comfortable consuming a more creative concoction.

To help get Denver drinking, I asked ten of my favorite bartenders what classic cocktails they love to serve. Keep reading for the results.

See also:
- Barman Sean Kenyon's response to Jenn Wohletz's cocktail grievances
- Ask the Bartender Archives -- musing from one of Denver's most reputable barmen
- Reader: Go ahead and slam daiquiris, but leave old-fashioneds alone


Mike Henderson
Root Down and Linger

Cocktail: The Old-Old-Fashioned

Why he loves it: I'm from Wisconsin, so one of the first "real" drinks I learned to make when I became a bartender was a Brandy Old-Fashioned Sweet. Granted, now I prefer to make my Old-Fashioned the old way, with just whiskey, sugar and bitters But that drink has always been close to my heart. I love its simplicity, and making a proper Old-Fashioned for a guest for the first time is a joyous occasion.

The Old-Old-Fashioned
2oz WL Weller
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 raw sugar cube
Splash soda
Muddled, stirred and served over block ice in a double Old-Fashioned glass with a cheery flag.


Nick Touch
Squeaky Bean

Cocktail: The Daiquiri
Why he loves it: I love this classic because of its simplicity, and when made properly, it's quite delicious. It is also a great base to expand on for the "just make me something" call from a guest. I enjoy introducing it to my guests because nine out of ten of them hear the word daiquiri, and instantly picture the overly sweetened, blended, umbrella-decorated, Chili's version. It's always fun to see their reaction to a well-made, classic daiquiri.

Classic Daiquiri
1.5 oz Banks 5 Island rum
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.75oz 1:1 simple syrup
Shake, strain into chilled cocktail glass, lime wheel garnish.

Continue reading for more cocktail recipes.

Location Info


2030 W. 30th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Root Down

1600 W. 33rd Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Squeaky Bean

1500 Wynkoop St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen

1317 14th St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

The Capital Grille

1450 Larimer St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Old Major

3316 Tejon St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Gaetano's Restaurant

3760 Tejon St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Colt & Gray

1553 Platte St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Williams & Graham

3160 Tejon St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Old Major

3316 Tejon St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Punch Bowl - Social Food & Drink

65 Broadway, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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Christopher Boyne
Christopher Boyne

If you haven't had a Nick Touch special cocktail....you haven't lived!!!! Best bartender I've ever had the pleasure to work along side with. Much love!!!!

Armando Provencio
Armando Provencio

Didn't you guys just have a post of Asshole drinks(two that are listed here) this week?


Old-Fashioned, daiquiri -- love it!


I can't believe that Bud Light Lime isn't on here. 


Great to see two of my faves: the Negroni and Sazerac. I'll have to try the Vieux Carre' and the Talent Scout.

ScubaSteve topcommenter

@Armando Provencio 

The drinks listed last week were dickhead drinks.

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