First, a big congratulations to happygrape2, who commented on the “Surprise Package” post, writing:
happygrape2 | June 3, 2012 at 8:22 pm
I love getting things in the mail! The best thing I have ever received is a box of organic treats!
Happy Friday happygrape2! You were randomly chosen to win the goodies that Tundra Kitchen Supply so generously sent to me. Please shoot me an email with your full name and mailing address so I can pop your goodies into the mail this weekend!
And, as it is Friday, I think it’s high time to get to talking about cocktails – specifically, those from The Bitter Bar here in Boulder.
The Bitter Bar is one of my favorite places to settle in for a few cocktails, either on their patio for some people watching in the warmer months, or cozied up inside by their substantial bar when it’s chillier. You might remember me mentioning that we celebrated James’ thirtieth birthday there back in late April, where we had a great time with friends and family taking over their outdoor space and to enjoy their uniquely crafted libations well into the night.
I was excited to be part of a small group who was invited to visit the popular bar and restaurant a few weeks ago, to not only sample some of their fantastic cocktails (and food!), but also to have a chance to grab the ear of their head mixologist, James Lee, and resident beer specialist and bartender extraordinaire, Burton Daniel.
The Bitter Bar is not your typical bar, choosing to focus on quality and execution over drink specials and watery mass produced beers. They have one of the most extensive liquor collections in all of Colorado, and pride themselves on being original, fresh, and innovative when it comes to crafting the perfect drink and offering local craft brews.
It was a really fun evening spent learning about the intricacies of mezcal and tequila, debating points on what makes a really great cocktail, and discussing what James and Burton see to be the biggest up and coming trends in the cocktail world (note: drinks of yesteryear are seeing a massive resurgence – think twists on manhattans and tastes from the roaring twenties). Every single aspect of a drink was discussed, from the obvious factors of quality and provenance of the alcohol, to the more finicky things, like the shape of the glass, the method of mixing, and the size of the ice cube. I had a perfect margarita, which was very citrus forward, and not sweet at all, and followed that up with a recommendation of Burton’s, called “That Green Drink,” which was definitely my favorite – a fresh and herbal combination of fresh lime, dolin blanc, chartreuse, and cucumber.
Feeling a little gutsy, I ordered up a cocktail called the “Bett’s and Torrey’s,” made with a smokey and leathery tasting mezcal and my favorite, St. Germain. The two sound like they wouldn’t make a great match, but somehow they worked – albeit in a very smoky, gutsy, and dark way. It is not a drink for the faint of heart, but I am so glad I experienced it, as I discovered one of it’s components, an interesting liqueur from the Denver based Leopold Brother’s Distillery, called ‘Three Pins Alpine Herbal Liqueur’. It tastes exactly like you bottled the way the ski slopes in Colorado smell after they receive their first giant dump of snow – fresh, piney, and clean – and I cannot wait to experiment with using it in fall and winter cocktails this year.
To balance out all of those drinks, we ordered up some creamy duck pate and their fat garlic fries, which come with an addictive aioli. My new business cards had arrived a few weeks earlier, and I was excited to have something new and fresh to hand out to all of the new Boulder based bloggers I met. It was a wonderful night, and I feel very lucky to be part of a community that takes itself very seriously when it comes to food and cocktails.
This weekend I am off to a the first ever Boulder Food Truck Party, which is teeing up to be an awesome event with live music, tons of cool local trucks, and beer from Avery and Upslope. I’ve got lots of pool time, relaxing, and some furniture refinishing on the menu as well – so far, it’s shaping up to be a good one.