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A Great Drink And A Good Time

Where do Denver’s best bartenders go for a good boozy beverage?

When DiningOut Events hosted the 2022 Garnish Games Premier Cocktail Competition it brought out the city’s most masterful mixologists. Now we want to know: What do they look for in a premium cocktail experience?

Having proved their own prowess behind the bar, we asked four of the competition’s top finalists where they liked to go for a great drink and a good vibe. Here’s what they had to say:

Krista Orlebeck of Pony Up

“My favorite lounge in town is called Dew Drop Inn. It’s the perfect intimate spot to go to enjoy a casual bowl of mussels or a cheese board with a classic cocktail. The owner is incredibly hospitable and makes you feel so welcome as soon as you walk in. It’s perfect for when I’m off and want to decompress and I don’t want to be around the downtown crowd. I love the simplicity of their cocktail menu, and I usually enjoy a spritz and some amaro when I am there.” (See Krista’s Garnish Games beverage.)

Lexi Parker of Poka Lola

“One of my favorite cocktail bars in Colorado is Jungle out in Boulder. Their classic tiki cocktails never disappoint, and their originals are always super creative and delicious! Plus the entire bar is colorful and inviting, and their glassware is always so cute!” (See Lexi’s Garnish Games beverage.)

Jacob Pike of Guard and Grace

“My favorite cocktail spots in Denver are Pony Up and The British Bulldog. I’m a huge soccer fan, so the Bulldog is the place to watch every and any soccer game you can imagine. Both bars  have amazing regulars and even better bar staff. I personally love a good boiler maker (a shot and a beer ). It’s the perfect 1-2 combo after a long shift, but  bartenders Don And Dave love making fun cocktails on the fly.” (See Jacob’s Garnish Games beverage.)

Saydee Hopkins of Williams & Graham

“One of my absolute favorite spots to grab a great drink in Denver is Union Lodge No. 1. The folks over there are so creative, and I am always excited to go in and see what their new seasonal offerings are. My boyfriend and I go in there frequently for inspiration and to hang out with the awesome and knowledgeable staff. I could not sing enough praises about this place. If you haven’t checked it out, it is a must in my book. On their current menu my favorite drink is Rattlesnake: curry-infused gin, absinthe, lime, coconut, and vanilla. It is so unique and delightful! You really can’t go wrong with any of their cocktails though.” (See Saydee’s Garnish Games beverage.)

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Erick Hernandez

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