Come Christmastime, there's absolutely nothing better than gathering with the family to enjoy festive holiday cocktails...then, once they're tipsy, ditching them to enjoy even more festive holiday cocktails at a bar. In that spirit, we've asked local wonder-mixers to holiday-magic up secret, off-menu merry-time 'tails which'll be available at their respective joints (by request only) from now until New Year's
The 12-21-10 @ Green Russell (Adam Hodak) The subterranean lounge's "rum dream" mixes Smith & Cross Navy Proof + Oronoco rums with Bowmore Scotch/allspice dram/ black pepper syrup and a "sink of apricot for a sweet warm finish", and is named for the first day of winter -- though given the potency, you may also have your shortest night of the year
The Alpine Drive @ The Bitter Bar (Mark Stoddard) The well-dressed chaps over at Boulder's finest are whipping up a blend of "holiday flavors" with maple bitters from Vermont, Italian vermouth, a ginger snap digestif from the Czech Republic, and French apple brandy, as opposed French Apple-Bottomed Brandy, which will just piss off Ray J
La Ultima Palabra @ The Squeaky Bean (Sean Kenyon) This old-school American cuisine temple heads festively south, giving lime wheel-garnished Olmeca Altos Plata tequila and Del Maguey Vida mezcal Christmas colors via green chartreuse and maraschino liqueur, an inventive take on the classic "Last Word": a Prohibition-era 'tail originally created at a Detroit athletic club -- those dudes knew how to get totally Piston'd
The Christmas in Cascade @ OAK at fourteenth (Bryan Dayton) The prez of the Colorado Bartenders Guild (and co-owner of the brand-spanking-new OAK) pays homage to his Tennessee hometown by pouring George Dickel whiskey into a mix of allspice dram/ vermouth/ Licor 43 Cuarenta y Tres/ bitters/ shaved nutmeg/ orange peel, which's then chilled by a singular hand-chipped piece of ice that looks like a melting glacier – at least according to Tennessee's biggest swinging dickel: Al Gore
The Brussel Bastard @ Root Down (Anika Zappe) This red/green "take on a dirty martini" is stirred for a "good long time", garnished with an heirloom tomato, and named for the bastardization (via an injection of nitrous oxide) of a co-worker's Brussels sprout-infused gin, leaving him at a total loss as to what to serve mothers looking for a cocktail their kids will refuse to finish at dinner
The French Quarter Flip @ Colt & Gray (Kevin Burke) From a recent Denver Mixologist of the Year finalist, this 17th century "predecessor to modern eggnog cocktails" blends rye, cognac, benedictine, and a whole egg for a "fantastic rich texture" that avoids "being cloyingly sweet", unlike Dakota Fanning, whose texture's just crap.