The mile-high city is only an eight and half hour drive from where I live in Kansas City. Denver is home to many great things including some of my and my husband’s family and my husband’s office. So, we have been visiting more over the past few years. We visited last in August of 2021. I had the chance to visit (and revisit) some awesome cocktail bars. Since many people enjoy visiting Colorado, I want to share some of my top picks for drinks in Denver. I think no matter your cocktail preference, you’ll find something that fits your style on this list.
1. Lady Jane
- Address: 2021 West 32nd Avenue
- Hours: Tuesday-Wednesday, 4-10pm | Thursday, 4-11pm | Friday, 4pm-midnight | Saturday, 2pm-midnight | Sunday, 4-9pm | Closed Mondays
- Hospitality: 4.9, great staff who took the time to chat and visit with guests
- Atmosphere: 5.0, any space that makes me wish I could move in gets high marks from me
- Drinks: 5.0, really fresh and delicious cocktails
Lady Jane opened in the LoHi neighborhood of Denver three years ago. After walking through an adorable patio, you’re transported into a chill, California-vibe bar. They serve a rotating menu of fresh, seasonal cocktails and classics, along with some tasty snacks. The seating is varied with booths, stools, and padded benches to choose from. It’s definitely a hip and relaxing spot for drinks in Denver. I would highly recommend putting this place on your list.
I enjoyed two cocktails, plus a sip of my husband’s. The drink on the left, “High & Tight”, was brand new to the menu on the day we visited. I hope it’s still on the menu when you visit. The cocktail is made with Arette Blanco Tequila, Palisade peach, habanero, ginger honey, lemon, and mint. For my second drink, I enjoyed something at the other end of cocktail spectrum called “Make It a Mastik.” This delicious old fashioned riff is made with Law’s Four Grain Bourbon (made in Denver), Borghetti Espresso Liqueur, and a phò-spiced demerara.
- Address: 1280 25th Street
- Hours: Every day, 3pm-midnight (until 1am Thursday-Saturday)
- Hospitality: 5.0, great service from very attentive staff
- Atmosphere: 5.0, gorgeous but not stuffy environment
- Drinks: 4.9, very good cocktails from world-renowned bartenders
Death & Co, the renowned NYC cocktail institution, partnered with The Ramble Hotel to open its second outpost in Denver. (There’s a third location in LA.) The Denver location has two beautiful bars, one inside and a rooftop garden bar. I’ve been obsessed with D&C’s cocktail books, working my way through them during quarantine. When we decided to go to Colorado in July 2020, I had to make a reservation. It did not disappoint. From the decor to the hospitality and the cocktails, it was a great experience. The food was also really good. I returned for breakfast in August of 2021 and that was also a treat. (They have a DC/AM Coffee Bar in the hotel lobby.) If you like their drinks, you can also check out one of their newest concepts, Little Palm, in Charleston, SC.
I enjoyed the Return to Sender on the rooftop garden bar (center photo). It is made with blanco tequila, mezcal, rhum, pineapple, and chili-honey. A really nice summer drink. When I went back in August this year, I enjoyed a coffee tonic which has espresso, tonic water, and Angostura bitters. A nice, very low-ABV drink to start my day. I am looking forward to returning and trying out the New York and LA locations as well.
- Address: 1615 Platte Street, Suite 145
- Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 4pm-midnight | Closed Sunday-Wednesday
- Hospitality: 5.0, very friendly staff and welcoming vibes
- Atmosphere: 4.9, beautiful space
- Drinks: 5.0, great selection but I need to try more on my next visit
Room for Milly is a beautiful bar that opened in February of 2020. And although it’s been crazy times since then, this bar has gained a reputation for all the right reasons. Founded by the owners of @queenseleven and @bluesparrowcoffee, the bar is the perfect place to grab a drink with a friend or solo. The drinks were excellent. The bar takes its name and inspiration from Milly Parker. She was an adventurous woman who pushed boundaries and sought out interesting people and experiences while traveling the world during the years between the world wars. The decor is artistic and whimsical.
The Delta Royale is pretty much the perfect cocktail. While the drink is listed on the menu with blanco tequila, you can also order it with mezcal. And you should. The version I enjoyed was a combination of mezcal, lavender blanc vermouth, lime juice, Giffard Fraise de Bois, and aloe. I honestly had a hard time moving on to anything else on the amazing menu because this was that good.
- Address: 1543 Champa Street
- Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 5pm-midnight | Closed Monday-Tuesday
- Hospitality: 4.8, busy but attentive staff
- Atmosphere: 4.7, a nice, laid-back spot for a drink
- Drinks: 4.8, delicious cocktails with a range from classic to seasonal offerings
Union Lodge No. 1 stands as a tribute to the American bars of the late 19th century. The menu features specialty cocktails and libations reminiscent of the Pre-Prohibition era. The historic 1889 building was home to the first union in Denver, hence the bar’s name. The bar is cozy with just 40 seats where the art of creating and enjoying fine cocktails is the main event. All tonics, bitters and tinctures are made in-house, with some delivering a contemporary flavor profile for the staff’s deliciously daring seasonal creations. Next time you’re looking for great drinks in Denver, definitely put this spot on your list.
I enjoyed the “Acapulcolypse Now.” It’s a blend of spiced rum, Creme de Banane, Angostura, amaro, cinnamon, lemon, pineapple, and egg. My husband had “Dem Hips,” which I also tasted more than once. This stirred sipper is made with Derrumbes San Luis Potosi, Dimmi, Batavia Arrack, and orange bitters. Really smooth and sophisticated. I look forward to trying even more of their offerings very soon.
5. The Rally Bar at The Rally Hotel
- Address: 1600 20th Street
- Hours: Wednesday-Thursday, 4-11pm | Friday-Saturday, 4pm-midnight | Sunday, 4-9pm | Closed Monday-Tuesday
- Hospitality: 4.8, the bartender was friendly and told me all about the place
- Atmosphere: 4.6, a really nice hotel lobby bar with a great view
- Drinks: 4.8, classics made well
In the shadow of Coors Field (where the Colorado Rockies play) you’ll find a brand new hotel (@rallyhotel) with a stylish bar. The Rally Bar serves up twists on classics, alongside local beers, under a baseball-inspired chandelier. When I visited in August, they’d been open for less than six months but they’re already starting to attract plenty of baseball fans and visitors like me who only put the theme together with the name after I’d sat at the bar for awhile. The menu bound in baseball glove leather was a good clue. No matter your feelings on baseball, it’s a chill place to grab a quality drink after work or on the weekend.
It is hard to capture just how cool the chandelier is. You might have to pop in for a view. I enjoyed a nice riff on a Negroni. Three True Outcomes is made with The Botanist Gin, Campari, Attimo Rosato, orange bitters, and club soda. It was a perfect sip for the end of a work day. If you visit on a game day, be prepared to wait but enjoy the time with your fellow baseball fans.
I love this speakeasy so much I wrote an entire post about it. If you want to read more before taking my word for it, feel free to read it first. Located in the Dairy Block in Denver’s LoDo neighborhood, this spot makes you feel like you are stepping into secret club. With a creative deck of cards as the menu and a great selection of liquor, you’ll be well cared for here.
I am ending this drinks in Denver list with a place that I have yet to visit. It came as a recommendation from a friend who is a local. I am returning to Denver in December, and Retrograde is on the top on my list. I’ll come back and update this post once I do visit. In the meantime, you just need to know that this speakeasy is in the back of an ice cream shop, Frozen Matter Uptown. You access the bar through a freezer, full instructions for entry are here.
Hope you found something that appeals to you for the next time you’re looking for drinks in Denver. Cheers!