September is somewhat of a tricky month here in Colorado. The fall spirit is in the air, yet the sometimes 90-degree daytime temps argue that summer is still to be enjoyed. Autumn foliage, while gorgeous and golden on the aspens, does not turn the fiery hues of the sugar and red maples of the iconic New England autumns of my childhood. And it is difficult to crave pumpkin everything while we are still enjoying the Indian summer harvest of tomatoes, zucchini, and watermelon. But one thing about September everywhere is absolutely certain, no matter the climate or location.
September is National Bourbon Heritage Month. A whole month to celebrate all things bourbon.
A month to celebrate the history, the craft, and the many delicious and complex cocktails that can be artfully constructed to strike whatever mood you might be in. Locally, we can celebrate the impressive number of distilleries that take such great pride in what they create. These craftspeople truly celebrate all year long in an ever-present striving for perfection and a general love of all things bourbon. The best part? We generally love all things bourbon all the time, too! I can tell you for certain that I’m not the only WideFoc.us staff member with bourbon on the brain...
Lately I’ve made a rule to try a new, local brand of whiskey every time I restock. It is a fun way to get acquainted with the offerings of our home state. Breckenridge bourbon has climbed to the top as my all-time favorite (so far…). The flavor is smooth and rich, with elements of both sweet and spicy that play well with almost anything. However, I’ve been known to enjoy it simply with rocks, because it is seriously that good.
Have what we're having at https://www.breckenridgedistillery.com
Over the summer, I have been exploring the Highlands neighborhood, trying to get a taste of what Denver has to offer. Not surprisingly, it offers plenty of menus with local spirits and artfully-crafted drinks. I will, without question, be revisiting these places and their delicious creations. First up, is Spuntino’s The Bourbonator. This simple and refreshing drink has local Colorado Fireside bourbon, fresh lemon, fresh basil, and sea salt. Each ingredient complements the other and has me wondering when I can next go back for more. The other cocktail that has lingered with me long after I paid my tab is the Centennial Smash at Williams & Graham. With peach, mint, lemon, and honey each playing a vital role in this libation, it is difficult not to feel summery, even with chillier nights slipping in.
While they aren’t your traditional bourbon cocktails (like a sazerac or an old fashioned), these drinks have stuck with me long after leaving the bar. They are creative and fresh, which is what I believe National Bourbon Heritage Month to represent. It is a nod to the past and strong roots, as well as a healthy dose of bright personality that keeps you coming back for more.
Tweet to us @WidefocusCO with any must-try recommendations to help us round out our celebrations this month.
—by Rachel Mincarelli
Rachel Mincarelli enjoys writing because it connects her to communities and their stories while simultaneously allowing her to express her own interests.