Café Society's obsession with the quest for a Colorado cocktail dates back to the day when Rich Grant of Visit Denver got a call from a reporter for a national magazine who was looking for the quintessential Colorado drink to include in a story about landmark libations. But while some towns are swimming in iconic beverages - New Orleans has both the Hurricane and the Sazerac, San Francisco has the Fogcutter as well as bragging rights to inventing the Irish Coffee - Denver has...beer. Plenty of it, of course, but beer just wasn't what that reporter was looking for.
Buy tickets, which are $40 per day, or $70 for the two-day package, here: Colorado Cocktail Project tickets. (Tickets are also available at select Whole Foods outlets.)
At the same time we were pouring our suggestions into Grant's ear - the Mile High Plunge, for example, which called for a shot of Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey in a pint of Coors Light - star-tender Sean Kenyon was chatting with a couple of bartender friends who'd come to Denver to conduct a seminar on New Orleans cocktails. Kenyon took them to a few iconic bars - including the Buckhorn Exchange and My Brother's Bar - and they were suitably impressed by Denver's saloon scene. But they, too, wondered about our signature drink.
After this weekend, though, both those bartenders and that reporter should have plenty to write home about. On Sunday, June 26, the Colorado Cocktail Project will fill the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver with a day of lectures on cocktails and their culture (accompanied by lots of food and lots and lots of drink); the next day, the ten finalists in the Colorado Cocktail Contest will put their drinks to the ultimate test.
And you can help determine what Colorado tastes like.More »