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Basic Beach coctail from Jungle general manager Jake Novotny. Photo courtesy of Evan Grainger

Mix Up 3 Tropical Cocktails From Local Pros

Your beach vacation may be on hold, but thanks to these Denver mixology masters, your Tiki drink is just a few ingredients away.

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Right now, nothing sounds better than lounging on a beach in Turks and Caicos, sipping rum punch from a hollow coconut. But you don’t need sand in your swimsuit to enjoy a Tiki-style libation. Colorado mixologists concocted these shortcut recipes to the usually labor-intensive, fruity drinks to give you a taste of the tropics from your own backyard.

We’re Jammin’

We’re Jammin’ cocktail from Lady Jane’s Minetta Gould. Photo courtesy of Minetta Gould

Basil from your quarantine herb garden adds a savory note to this fizzy offering from Minetta Gould of LoHi’s Lady Jane.

2 oz. Jones House gin from Denver’s the Family Jones (or any clear spirit)
½ oz. lime juice
1 Tbsp. berry jam (Gould likes strawberry)
2 medium basil leaves, plus more for garnish
Flavored seltzer water, such as passion fruit

1. Place all the ingredients except the seltzer in a pint-size mason jar. Fill with ice cubes and seal.
2. Shake for five to 10 seconds, or until the glass becomes cold.
3. Remove the top and add seltzer. Garnish with basil.

Basic Beach

This approachable cocktail (pictured above) from Jake Novotny, general manager at Boulder Tiki bar Jungle, gives you a reason to add falernum to your bar cart: The almond- and clove-flavored liqueur gives many tropical drinks an extra dimension beyond booze and fruit notes.

1½ oz. Montanya Oro rum from Crested Butte (or another gold rum)
1 oz. lime juice
½ oz. honey syrup (two parts honey mixed with one part warm water)
½ oz. John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum
½ oz. grapefruit juice
Mint sprig

1. Put all the ingredients, minus the mint, into a shaker filled with ice. Shake for five to 10 seconds.
2. Strain into a tumbler filled halfway with
crushed ice.
3. Garnish with mint.

Punch Drunk Love

Photo courtesy of Kendra Anderson

Kendra Anderson, owner of RiNo’s Bar Helix and advanced sommelier, calls her at-home libation “a Negroni and mai tai’s love child.”

1 oz. Montanya Exclusiva rum (or another dark rum)
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Cointreau or Grand Marnier
½ oz. orgeat
½ oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
Lime

1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all liquid ingredients.
2. Shake for 30 seconds and strain into a tall collins glass filled with fresh ice.
3. Garnish with a lime wedge (and a tiki umbrella, of course).

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