Colorado Cocktail Contest: And The Winner Is...

Announcing the (Unofficial) Colorado State Cocktail
February 28 2014, 8:09 AM

In our February “Top Shelf” feature, we asked three top cocktail makers to dream up a drink fit to claim the title of Colorado State Cocktail. Then we filmed each crafty drink maker concocting their signature libation and asked you to vote for your favorite.

You have spoken.

With more than half the vote, the Centennial Smash, from Williams & Graham proprietor Sean Kenyon, claims the crown. A beautiful blend of fruit and bourbon, the Centennial Smash recalls Colorado’s Frontier days, when whiskey and smash style cocktails were king. (A smash is generally considered a thirst-quenching drink that combines a spirit, in-season fruit, ice, sometimes sugar, and often an herb, such as mint.)

“This cocktail showcases Spring44’s bourbon, while featuring all state-grown ingredients,” Kenyon says. “It’s got our famous Palisade peaches, local wildflower honey, locally grown mint, and Leopold Bros. Three Pins, an alpine liqueur containing botanicals all indigenous to Colorado.”

Alexandra Parks, bar manager at new RiNo hot spot Acorn, secured second place with her Central Slope Sour, an inventive cocktail featuring two of Colorado’s favorite drinks: beer (Avery IPA) and bourbon (Breckenridge Distillery). And Colt and Gray’s Kevin Burke wasn’t too far behind with his The 4th Pin, a whiskey-centric ode to skiing (telemark skiis use three pins; the drink is the fourth).

Feeling thirsty? Us too. Fortunately, we’ve got all of the recipes for you.

Follow senior editor Kasey Cordell on Twitter @KaseyCordell