Do you consider yourself an adventurous drinker? Are you looking to up your cocktail game? Well, my friend, you’ve come to the right place. The cocktail bar culture scene is alive and well in Colorado Springs. The lines have blurred between mixologists and bartenders; not only are these imaginative entrepreneurs blending elixirs and pouring pretty concoctions, but they are also creating well-balanced experiences for patrons.

We’ve put together an innovative list of drinks from some of our favorite Colorado Springs haunts. While we’ve sorted each libation based on seasonal appropriateness, feel free to indulge in any of these selections whenever you get the urge to shake up your life.

SPRING

These invigorating mixtures are derived with refreshment in mind, reminding us that winter thankfully isn’t forever.

Awkward Love Child

Where to get it: The Wobbly Olive ($13)

Ingredients: D Los Altos blanco tequila. Cointreau. Green Chartreuse. Housemade strawberry cordial. Fresh lime juice.

Scorecard: Taste: 4.5; Presentation: 4.5; Originality: 4.5

Why you’ll love it: Fruity and floral, with well-balanced sass, this pretty blush-colored potion flourishes with just a hint of sweetness. Spring fever has hit, and love is in the air.

 

Where to get it: Coquette’s Bistro ($12)

Ingredients: Vodka. Fresh lime. Honey. Athena’s Goblet ginger kombucha.

Scorecard: Taste: 4.5; Presentation: 3.5; Originality: 4.5

Why you’ll love it: This komboozie puts a lighter spin on a traditional mule, and will leave you wishing for one more. The honey and ginger team up for a little sugar and spice.

 

Where to get it: Cork & Cask ($9)

Ingredients: Lunetta Prosecco. Crème de rose. Fresh citrus. Peychaud’s bitters.

Scorecard: Taste: 4.5; Presentation: 3.5; Originality: 4

Why you’ll love it: Tart and elegant, this bubbly invention delivers a rejuvenating zing accompanied with a just touch of feistiness. Try not to smile as you sip this drink.


SUMMER

Whether you’re chilling by the pool, day drinking on your well-deserved holiday, or enjoying a sweet summer night on the town, we’ve got something to match your unique style.

Where to get it: Alchemy ($9.50)

Ingredients: Vodka. Cilantro. Coconut. Ginger. Sriracha.

Scorecard: Taste: 4.5; Presentation: 3.5; Originality: 5

Why you’ll love it: The Caribbean-inspired flavors of this unique blend will bring your tropical escape to life without all the sugar. Bon voyage!

 

Where to get it: Axe and the Oak Whiskey House ($10)

Ingredients: Red bell pepper juice. Jalapeno cilantro Hill Shine. Fennel bitters. Lemon juice. Cardamom liqueur. Honey. Sea salt.

Scorecard: Taste: 4; Presentation: 3.5; Originality: 4.5.

Why you’ll love it: Swap your vodka-tomato pairing for red bell pepper juice spiked with shine. This vibrant cocktail fuses multiple flavors into a surprisingly tasty blend.

 

Where to get it: Chiba Bar ($10)

Ingredients: Bombay Sapphire East gin. Shiso leaf. Lychee. Yuzu.

Scorecard: Taste: 5; Presentation: 4; Originality: 4.5.

Why you’ll love it: Forget that Mojito — this Japanese inspired medley might just become your new favorite. The spicy shiso leaf beautifully balances out the sweet and citrus flavors.


FALL

As the temperature (and the leaves) begin to drop, many people seek comfort in rich, thick, warming flavors.

Where to get it: The Burrowing Owl ($5)

Ingredients: Benchmark whiskey. Apple cider vinegar. Agave nectar.

Scorecard: Taste: 5; Presentation: 3.5; Originality: 5.

Why you’ll love it: Simple in composition yet intricate in flavor, this innovative recipe will have you wondering why you’ve never paired whiskey with apple cider vinegar before.

 

Where to get it: The Archives ($13)

Ingredients: Sotol. Lime. Sugar. Blackberries. Sage.

Scorecard: Taste: 5; Presentation: 4.5; Originality: 5.

Why you’ll love it: A spirit sourced from a Mexican desert plant, sotol differs from tequila in that it has a mellower, lightly smoky profile. This libation is both complex and delicious.

 

Where to get it: The Principal’s Office ($11)

Ingredients: Spring 44 Vodka. Campari. Demerara. Frangelico. Espresso.

Scorecard: Taste: 4; Presentation: 4.5; Originality: 4.

Why you’ll love it: Unlike the typical hot, boozy after-dinner drink, this frothy brew is served cold. Equally bitter and smooth, its coffee-forward nature will put some pep in your step.


WINTER

As you sit by the fireside and still can’t quite shake your chill, look to one of these appealing cocktails to warm you from the inside out.

Where to get it: Brooklyn’s on Boulder St. ($10)

Ingredients: Lee Spirits Co. barrel stave gin. Lee Spirits Co. Ginfuego. Lillet. Aperitivo. Luxaro maraschino cherry. Agave nectar.

Scorecard: Taste: 4; Presentation: 3.5; Originality: 4.5.

Why you’ll love it: With a dual gin-base, the rich, oaky barrel stave flavors provide a mellow front while the Ginfuego (gin + “fire”) adds a warming kick to this creative cocktail.

 

Where to get it: The Rabbit Hole ($12)

Ingredients: Vanilla vodka. Coconut rum. Dash of cream. Flaming marshmallow.

Scorecard: Taste: 4; Presentation: 5; Originality: 3.5.

Why you’ll love it: The playful presentation of The Rabbit Hole’s signature martini is a great reflection of the fun flavors that you’ll taste on your first sip.

 

Where to get it: Axe and the Oak Whiskey House ($10)

Ingredients: Tobacco. Bourbon. Maple syrup. Bitters.

Scorecard: Taste: 4.5; Presentation: 3.5; Originality: 5.

Why you’ll love it: Served in a glass smoked with oak, the tobacco twist on this timeless classic will have you convinced that old dogs can indeed learn new tricks.


Words by: Gillian Sheehan

Photos by: Julie Warren and Gillian Sheehan