As summer’s blazingly hot weather gives way to the slightly more bearable temperatures of fall, it’s time to usher in yet another blissfully beautiful autumn in Boulder County.
Below, celebrate and welcome fall with these tasty cocktails at Boulder-area restaurants.
The Kitchen: La Luz de Flores
1039 Pearl St. in Boulder
The La Luz de Flores is a fun, seasonal take on a classic coin-style margarita. “Taking its name from Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XVII, this drink highlights one of my favorite spirits: Genepy,” says Lex Madden, head bartender at The Kitchen. “Bitter, herbaceous and floral, Genepy is absolutely perfect for warm weather, and this drink offers a wonderful introduction to the alpine spirit as the mezcal and tequila play beautifully against the wildflower notes.”
By replacing the Cointreau found in a traditional coin-style marg with the Genepy, Madden says she was able to create a margarita that is both more floral and more citrus-forward. “It’s bright, refreshing and tastes just as good on a snowy spring day as it does on a sunny, hot afternoon,” she says.
Pizzeria Locale: Negroni
1730 Pearl St. in Boulder
Inspired by the iconic pizzerias of Naples, Pizzeria Locale brings a slice of Southern Italy to Pearl Street—with Napoletana-style pizzas, a regional Italian wine list, and a lineup of spritzes and amaro-based cocktails. For a classic Italian order, opt for the Negroni. “It’s a super refreshing spring and summer cocktail that embodies our pizzeria and pairs brilliantly with the menu,” says Will Lewis, general manager of Pizzeria Locale Boulder.
Swaylo’s Tiki Restaurant and Bar: Vanillakilla
1315 Dry Creek Dr. in Longmont
It’s always summer at the new Swaylo’s Tiki Restaurant and Bar, which opened up in a former Outback Steakhouse restaurant in Longmont. Here, you can pair dishes like mahi-mahi tacos, banana leaf braised pork and mango tempura fried shrimp with tasty tropical cocktails that come in Instagram-worthy glasses (think: the rum Junglebird served in a pink flamingo glass). One must-try cocktail here is the Vanillakilla, which is a play on the classic painkiller cocktail. “We wanted to add another layer to play with the spice of the nutmeg and sweetness of the coconut and pineapple,” says beverage director Matt Grimes. “We added whole Madagascar vanilla beans to a cognac barrel-aged rum and loved the additional layer it added to this cocktail. It’s become an instant favorite.”
T-Zero at St Julien: Isla Diablo
900 Walnut St. in Boulder
Fun fact: St. Julien Hotel and Spa’s rooftop is home to a pair of bee colonies, with each hive housing between 20,000 to 60,000 bees depending on the season. The hives can produce honey for the hotel’s bar program and a guest favorite is the Isla Diablo, which is a tequila cocktail with fresh pineapple and lime juice, a dash of tiki bitters, and a dollop of the rooftop honey. When Palisade peaches are in season, the bar incorporates Palisade Peach puree. Isla Diablo is so popular it’s often used as the signature cocktail for weddings at the St Julien.
Frasca Food and Wine: Frasca Gimlet
1738 Pearl St. in Boulder
The Frasca Gimlet is a classic gin gimlet with a fresh, Italian twist. It incorporates Dimmi (a floral, herbaceous Italian liqueur) and a drop of celery bitters to help the vegetal notes in the gin shine. “The bright green color of this drink is achieved by adding just a touch of pea puree to the simple syrup, which also bolsters the vegetal flavors,” says Margaret Leidenfrost, bar lead at Frasca Food and Wine.