Jan 16, 2024 - News

Savory, "meal-flavored" drinks are the top new trend in Denver's cocktail scene

Illustration of a fork in the olive of a martini glass.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Savory sips are in. Sugary drinks are out.

What's happening: The hottest new trend shaking up Denver's dining scene is imbibing your entree.

Details: We rounded up some spots to find cocktails with a culinary twist across the city.

  • Williams & Graham's "Give 'Em Hell" includes butter-infused mezcal and coconut oil-infused rum, while its "Ain't No Tellin" features broccoli shrub and peppercorn.
  • Molotov Kitschen + Cocktails slings a mushroom-infused old-fashioned and a drink made with duck fat that tastes like ramen broth — its latest spins on the salty trend after serving up a ranch dressing-inspired cocktail late last year.
  • Honey Elixir Bar serves "Freyr's Brew," crafted with pancetta fat-washed rum and saline.
  • MAKfam's "The Golden Pig" mixes pork belly fat wash with bourbon and walnut bitters, while its "MSGin" — a play on a dirty martini — includes MSG, rice vinegar, plum brine and Shaoxing, a savory Chinese cooking wine.

What they're saying: MAKfam's pork belly drink — a byproduct of staff looking for ways to reduce food waste — "has been one of our best selling cocktails ever since we [recently] put it on the menu," lead bartender Grace Tomczak tells us. "I can barely keep up with it."

  • "When we do infused vodkas … the ones that are more savory tend to be the most popular," Molotov chef and owner Bo Porytko says. "So if they're most popular for shots, we wouldn't see why they wouldn't be more popular for cocktails too … and we found that was absolutely the case."

Zoom out: It's not just the Mile High City where umami-forward drinks are having a moment.

  • The New York Times and Time magazine named them the latest food fad to watch in 2024 nationwide.
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