I first tried chef Paul Reilly's house-made pickles at last August's Denver Burger Battle . The crisp, garlicky slices were less acidic and more addictive than most grocery store varieties, and months later I'm still thinking about that pickle.
When I heard that Reilly had added a pickle-inspired cocktail to Encore on Colfax 's bar menu, I was anxious to belly up.
Paul's Briny Barnacle is a simple blend of Monopolowa vodka, pickle brine (leftover from Reilly's summer batches), and a teensy splash of olive juice served up in a martini glass—all garnished with a slice of pickle threaded on a pick. As an admitted olive hater, I was skeptical, but the cocktail is smooth and delicious (and devoid of all obvious olive-ness). The pickle taste is overt but not overwhelming, and the acidity is almost completely dissipated by the vodka.
Warning: This drink produces one unexpected effect: It'll make you crave a hamburger. Order the Encore burger with Gruyère-bacon-blue-cheese compote and a side of fabulous house-cut fries with hot mustard drizzle.
2550 E. Colfax Ave., 303-355-1112