Who doesn’t love a good cocktail? Those deliciously dangerous elixirs that turn any mundane day into a tale worth telling—or at least, an evening worth forgetting. If you believe, like we do, that a proper cocktail is the life of the party, the bon vivant of beverages, then do we have news for you. The Ritual, DiningOut Events’ very own cocktail Olympics, is back for another round. This year, we’re toasting—virtually, of course—to the craftiest, the quirkiest, and the most palate-pleasing concoctions that Denver has to offer.

Next Round’s on You: The Finalists of The Ritual 2023 Are Here!

BY Steph Wilson


Denver, you’ve shaken, stirred, and voted your way through the first round of The Ritual 2023. Basically, you’ve turned cocktail tasting into a competitive sport and, frankly, we’re here for it. The first round of The Ritual 2023 has come to a close, and it’s safe to say that our city’s mixologists have raised the bar—literally. As we gear up for the final round of voting, a toast to those who’ve mastered the art of the pour and the lore. It’s time to reveal who’s made it to the final shake-off. 

The Contenders Entering the Final Pour

The first round of voting was no mere happy hour; it was a quest to find the best of the best behind-the-bar movers and shakers in Denver’s modern cocktail scene. You, the people, have spoken (or sipped) your truths, and the finalists are…

Yardbird: Michael Marquez & Jason Green offer Lavender Honey Haze because we all need a little sweet chaos.

Emerald Eye: Caitlin O’Neill crafts The Ultraviolet Vow, a cocktail so vivid, it can be seen from space.

Mama Lolita’s Mexican: Chris Zeier’s El Otoño Ahumado offers a smoky ode to fall.

Welton Room: Sash Nguyen is luring you to The Dark Side, and spoiler, you won’t want to leave.

Wildflower: Alexis Osborne goes Neither Here Nor There, just like our commitment issues.

Local Jones: Daniel Frenchmore’s Double Dutch will have you skipping with joy—or tipsiness.

What’s Next? More Drinking, Obviously

Starting Sunday, November 12, and running through Saturday, November 18, it’s your chance to play mixologist matchmaker once again. Visit The Ritual 2023: A Tableside Cocktail Competition’s website—ElevateYourRitual.com.com— to watch the videos showcasing these top-shelf talents and their signature creations. Then, cast your vote for the cocktail that truly stirs you (or shakes you—whatever your preference). 

Remember, though, it’s not just about the taste—it’s about the show. It’s about celebrating the creativity, flair, and passion that these mixologists pour into every glass. Each of these finalists has not only mastered the mix but also the mystique. Now, it’s your turn to shake up the leaderboard and crown the king or queen of cocktails.

The Final Countdown

The suspense is as thick as a well-shaken egg white. Who will be the ultimate champion of The Ritual 2023? We’ll all find out when the winner is crowned on Monday, November 21st. But let’s be honest, in a city buzzing with such mixological wizardry, we are all already winners indeed.

A Toast to Our Spirited Sponsors

A heartfelt cheers to Rémy Cointreau and the entire lineup of spirit sponsors for fueling this cocktail crusade. Without these liquid legends, our glasses would be half empty.

Bruichladdich (both Scottish Barley and Port Charlotte)
Mount Gay Rum
Rémy Martin
The Botanist Islay Dry Gin

Let the final round of The Ritual begin! 

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Steph Wilson

Steph Wilson is a writer, editor, and creative maximalist in Denver. She makes magazines for a living and throws color around the world like confetti for fun.