We’re all about River North lately (see this year’s Top of the Town list and our guide on what to do in the area)—and for good reason. It’s one of Denver’s up-and-coming neighborhoods. Whether I’m meeting a friend for happy hour on the the Populist‘s patio or catching a show at the Larimer Lounge, I seem to be in RiNo more often than not. And recently, that meant a visit to Mile High Spirits, a small-batch distillery that opened its tasting room last year.

Mile High Spirits is one of only a handful of distilleries around the world to use an all-glass still, which helps churn out a smooth line of Elevate Vodka, Fireside Whiskey, Peg Leg Rum, and Denver Dry Gin. Pull up a seat at the bar—or a spot on the couch in the eclectic, living room-esque warehouse space (pictured, left)—and sample any of the brands solo or mixed into a cocktail of your choosing. The distillery also offers a rotating lineup of infused spirits. My suggestion: Skip those (the flavors often overwhelm the drink) and order the spirits straight-up or in a classic concoction like a Moscow Mule.

With a tasting room open seven days a week, in a burgeoning neighborhood, you can expect Mile High to be pretty busy. Head over right after work for less crowds and a more suitable noise level for chitchatting. If you go later, expect a people-watching mix of young professionals, older men who appear not to venture out much, and a few stereotypical RiNo hipsters. On the outdoor patio dogs are welcome, and you’ll find cornhole and other park games perfect for whiling away a summer evening.

Try This: Your first trip to Mile High must include a sample of Tingala (pictured, right). The liqueur, made from South American flowers, goes down smooth and tastes primarily of cinnamon. The caveat: It makes your tongue and lips feel numb and tingly for about a minute. Your best bet is to sip a small taster first before asking for the spirit swirled into a cocktail. At 50 percent ABV, this booze is no joke.

2920 Larimer St., 303-296-2226

Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at daliahsinger.com.