Cheers on National Cocktail Day

BY Gabriela Reyes

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Whether as the start to a celebration, the cap to a work week, or the finale to a toast – raise your glass to National Cocktail Day celebrated annually on March 24. Cocktails ironically gained immense popularity during the prohibition era. They were used as a means to mask the offensive flavor of the illegal liquor being produced at the time through the addition of ingredients like honey and fruit juice and were surreptitiously enjoyed in speakeasies. For centuries globally, cocktails have united friends, family, and even strangers from several cultures as they gather together to delight in all the varieties of popular beverages.  

The present-day elevation of mixologists now requires innovation, mastery, and showmanship to keep guests experiencing cocktails in sensory bliss. Concoctions of new flavor combinations and tastings are worthy of the skillful drink label “craft cocktail”. Even with an increase in conscious sober living, the demand for cocktails remains, solidifying that they are here to stay and desired by the masses. Moreover, in response to accommodating those practicing sobriety, there has been a widespread increase in “mocktails” and “NA” (non-alcoholic) drinks. Denver even had its first sober bar appear in the last few years, which served carefully-created beverages with traditional bitters and sugars, sans alcohol. 
 
Denver’s cocktail scene is alive and thriving with award-winning mixologists and is host to several cocktail creation competitions like Diageo’s Garnish Games with its 5th annual live finale being held June 7 at the immersive and interactive art installation Meow Wolf Convergence Station. That’s Remarkable, sponsored by Maker’s Mark, will also make its reappearance this year in Denver for the 3rd annual cocktail competition, with the live finale scheduled for July 17. So, grab your favorite libation-indulging partners and mark your calendars to experience some of the best cocktails in town. As for today, take advantage that it’s Friday and explore one of these three new bars, or simply visit your personal favorite. 

 

The Marigold

Opened March 17
2721 Welton St, Denver, CO 80205

Side Pony

Opened March 3
4635 W Colfax Ave Suite 100, Denver, CO 80204

Blind Tiger Bar

Opened December 10
3040 Blake St #131, Denver, CO 80205

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gabriela Reyes

Gaby has been part of the Denver/Boulder food scene since 2015 when she moved to Colorado. While gradually losing her ability to eat due to six years of misdiagnosed food allergies, she became fascinated with the culinary scene. Gaby, aka The Restaurant Encyclopedia, has been DiningOut’s restaurant coordinator for food festivals since 2017 and joined the editorial team in 2022.

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