Whether you’ve become an expert home mixologist or are more focused on healthful drinking this season, there is a bevy of new options to add to your bar cart — and they’re made right here in Colorado.
From aperitifs to adaptonics, the latest in local craft beverages is less straightforward than just your typical beer and wine styles. Here are five new drinks to try, including alcohol-free, low-ABV and some that are slightly stronger.
Atost aperitifs (21% ABV)
Cindy and Kyle Pressman launched their aperitif brand Atost (pronounced uh-toast) in late 2020, with three flagship bottles ($35 each) to appeal to different drinkers. Roots is an earthy and herbaceous spirit that mixes well with ginger beer; Bloom is sweet and floral and pairs nicely with tonic; and Citrus combines lemon and orange and makes for a boozier mimosa. All of the aperitifs are also sippable on their own, over ice. And each season, a special edition is released so you can experiment with fresh flavors. atost.co
Hooch Booch (8.5% ABV)
This brand new hard kombucha is the brainchild of University of Denver alum Anna Zesbaugh, who was furloughed from her most recent hospitality job during the pandemic. Zesbaugh is working with Teakoe Tea Supply Co. and Woods Boss Brewing to make a double-fermented (alcoholic) kombucha in three prohibition-inspired flavors ($15.99 for a four-pack): Bee’s Knees pairs lemon and honey, Clover Club combines raspberry and lemon, and Old Fashioned mixes black tea with oak and orange flavors. hoochboochkombucha.com
Rowdy Mermaid Adaptonics (non-alcoholic)
Boulder-based Rowdy Mermaid is already beloved for its kombuchas, but creator Jamba Dunn just expanded the brand this year to include “sparkling adaptogen tonics.” Not sure what that means? Adaptogens are types of herbs believed to have natural medicinal properties. And Rowdy Mermaid’s new tonics are packed with them, from reishi mushroom extract to ashwagandha. Even if you don’t buy into the benefits, though, the flavors are lovely in combos such as chamomile lime and matcha yuzu ($39.99/dozen). rowdymermaid.com
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3rd Bird Kombucha (non-alcoholic)
Sara Lemmon, a Denver science teacher and mother of three, brews her own kombucha and delivers it right to customers’ doorsteps. She started 3rd Bird as a healthful homemade beverage for her youngest son (and third bird), Silas, who is autistic. Lemmon loves kombucha’s probiotic properties, she says, and she’s making the tea from organic plants, fruits and herbs that she grows in her own Park Hill garden. Current flavors include pear lavender, raspberry elderflower, blackberry sage, strawberry basil and hibiscus lime mint. You can try a bottle for $12 or join a monthly subscription ($40 for four bottles). 3rdbirdcollective.com
Boulder Beer reborn (4.5-8.1% ABV)
With the help of local craft companies Sleeping Giant and Stem Ciders, the once-shuttered Boulder Beer is now back on store shelves with new and improved flavors and a complete can redesign. Fans can find Hazed & Infused, Mojo and Bubbly By Nature IPAs; Shake Dark Chocolate Porter; and SKO Buff Gold (all sold separately and in mixed 12-packs for $19.98). The Bubbly By Nature is a fun newcomer — it combines flavors of a tropical IPA with an easy-drinking lager and the mouthfeel of a hard seltzer. boulderbeer.com
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