Reach Out and Punch (Bowl) a Friend

BY Linnea Covington

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At bars across the city, innovative drinks are taking inspiration from culinary traditions, garnishing your cocktails with a savory twist.

Go big or go home, or better yet, go big and then go home. You’ll need to after indulging in these large format cocktails. 

That’s right, bartenders around town have embraced the punch bowls of yore, only with a modern kick in tandem with the growing crafted cocktail culture. Not only does the drink inside wow, but in some cases the vessel it comes in does too. 

The only remaining question is, who will you share one of these large-format cocktails with.

Welton Room

Scrub a dub dub, try this cocktail in a tub. The only catch, you can only get Sunday’s Bathtub on, you guessed it, Sundays. But make the trek to Five Points for the $38, three-person drink that wows not only with a whimsical presentation, but with flavor too. Inside the vessel find a light and floral concoction singing of spring thanks to the vodka, elderflower liqueur, strawberry, and lemon. Read more about the chef and Welton Room here. 2590 Welton St., Denver, weltonroom.com

Adrift Tiki

punch bowl with flowers on top
Grab some friends and get down with a punch bowl at Adrift Tiki Bar. | Photo by Harrison Warters Photography

Punch bowls have long been a staple of tiki culture, and the best place in town to find legit iterations of the historical beverage is this South Broadway bar. On the menu there are three options. The Bajan Badman wows with a combination of Barbadian rum, simple syrup, lime juice, bitter, and nutmeg. Order a two-person bowl for $36, or super size it for four people at $68. Ta Kill Ya Pain mirrors the same sizes and prices, but comes with blanco tequila, coconut liqueur, house-made coconut cream, pineapple and orange juices, and lime. 

For a big party, the $150 Trouble in Paradise, DiningOut’s 2022 The Ritual Cocktail competition winner, serves up to eight people, with a minimum of six people at the table. After all, while booze is celebrated, no one likes a sloppy drunk. 218 S. Broadway, Denver, adriftbar.com

Bacon Social House

Head to the Sunnyside location of this breakfast paradise to try the Bramble Brunch Punch. Inside the glass you’ll find lemon-infused vodka, blackberries and sparkling wine. It’s the perfect patio pounder to share with a group, and runs $27.95 for the punch bowl size. Best part, it totally pairs well with bacon. 2434 W. 44th Ave., Denver, baconsocialhouse.com

Wonderyard Garden + Table

glass purse with a cocktail in side on a table
Grab this boozy accessory and settle in with some friends and some straws. | Photo by Wonderyard Garden + Table

The newest Instagram-friendly spot in the Ballpark neighborhood has opened with a bang, complete with a glass purse full of a delicious cocktail. Enter The Queen of Hearts, an $80 drink made with grapefruit and rose-infused Milagro tequila, beet shrub, chinola passion fruit, lychee, lemon and sparkling wine. The intricate beverage serves four people, and yes, you can sort of carry it around like a real purse, though you won’t want to spill a drop.  2200 Larimer St., Denver, wonderyard.com

Forget Me Not

Take a break from the boutiques and galleries of Cherry Creek and slip into Culinary Creative’s sexy little lounge. The bar serves four large-format cocktails ranging from $120 to $160. Each one is meant to serve a crowd, as long as you can agree on which one to get. The Prospector’s Payoff features bourbon, honey, pineapple, ginger, lemon, and bubbles. Or go spicy with the Firebird, made with blanco tequila, ancho reyes chilies, guava, citrus and sparkling wine.  227 Clayton St., Denver, forgetmenotdenver.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Linnea Covington

Linnea Covington is the managing editor of DiningOut. She comes to us with a long background in food, restaurant and drinks journalism. Over the last two decades she’s written for tons of publications including Denver Post, Washington Post, Forbes Travel Guide, 5280 Magazine, New York Magazine, New York Times, Time Out New York and more.

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