No-Fuss Cocktail

Keep summer sips at the ready with this easy-to-make Spring Thyme Lemonade from Missy Ihli at Elway’s Cherry Creek.

You’ll Need

2 cups thyme simple syrup*
4 cups fresh lemon juice
2 cups gin (such as Hendricks)

Make It

Mix all the ingredients in a large pitcher. Pour over ice. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs. (Makes 8 servings.)

*To make the simple syrup
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 bunch fresh thyme (10 to 12 sprigs)

1) In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups of water with the sugar and thyme.
2) Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.
3) Remove from heat; let the mixture cool to room temperature. 
4) Pour the mixture through a fine sieve and discard the thyme.
(Makes 2 cups.)

The 5280 Summer Six Pack 

Hot days call for cold beers. Here’s what we’re stocking our fridge with this month. 

Odell 5 Barrel Pale Ale

Few brewers can deftly balance a beer like the crew at Odell Brewing Co. in Fort Collins. Those skills are on display in the brewery’s 5 Barrel Pale Ale, which has a bright hop character that is somehow never overpowering. 
Pair with: a classic cheeseburger

Ska Modus Hoperandi 

Ska Brewing describes this IPA, one of our faves, as “a mix of citrus and pine that will remind you of the time you went on a vision quest with your Native American cousin and woke up in a pine grove full of grapefruit trees.” Yup, it’s something like that.
Pair with: anything smoked or spicy 

River North White

Wheat beers, white ales, and hefeweizens play nicely with triple-digit summer days. We dig River North’s no-nonsense take on the classic style: sweet and fruity, with a hint of spice. 
Pair with: grilled white fish

Great Divide Hoss Rye Lager

Hoss is something of a hidden gem in the Great Divide lineup, as it’s often overshadowed by wildly popular mainstays such as the Titan IPA and Yeti Imperial Stout. Pleasantly complicated, Hoss has a strong malt character, dark fruit flavors (think: cherry), a little bit of rye, and a smooth finish. 
Pair with: barbecue chicken

Black Shirt Brewing American India Red Ale

Don't let the name confuse you. Black Shirt incorporates “red” into each of its brew’s names. But this American India Red Ale still behaves like an IPA: It boasts a malty backbone and some bitterness from a hefty dose of six different hops, plus a subtle kiss of caramel. 
Pair with: carrot cake

Coors Banquet

Sure, it’s not a “craft” beer, but Coors Banquet is quintessential Colorado: light, crisp, and equally at home at the ballpark or in a backyard. 
Pair with: another Coors Banquet