Monday, August 29, 2016

Denver Speakeasy: The Cruise Room

Speakeasies were secret bars that thrived during Prohibition and 83 years after the repeal there are quite a few cities that boast modern day bars with a speakeasy flair. Kerry Hammond joins us today to tell us about a Denver-based bar inside the historic Oxford Hotel. 

At Mystery Playground we love to visit speakeasies, both in our hometowns and in cities we visit. At the top of my list in Denver are Williams & Graham, and my most recent discovery Retrograde—hidden inside an ice cream shop. Both were created to reproduce some of the secretive nostalgia inevitably created during Prohibition. 

The Cruise Room, located in the historic Oxford Hotel, isn’t just a reproduction. It boasts that it is “Denver’s first post-prohibition bar.” That’s because it opened the day after Prohibition was repealed on December 5, 1933. Visitors to the bar will notice that there are no windows to the outside, causing one to speculate that it was also in operation during Prohibition—how else would it open the very next day?

I’ve had drinks at this bar many times and have always loved its Art Deco style and the fact that it makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time. I decided to make another trip to The Cruise Room, just for this post, to take a more in-depth look at the drink menu and to try another of the great cocktails prepared by in-house mixologists. No arm twisting was necessary.

The bar serves quite a few interestingly named and unique cocktails, including Corpse Revived, Red Widow, White Lady, and The Other Woman. I asked bartender Ben Lacy to suggest a drink, and he suggested one of his own recipes, a Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita. Ben even shared the recipe with me:

Muddle 3 cucumber slices and one seedless jalapeno slice in your shaker. Add ¾ ounce agave nectar, 1 ½ ounces of Milagro tequila, ½ ounce Cointreau, and a splash of lime juice. Shake and pour over ice in a glass. Garnish with a cucumber and a jalapeno slice.

Are there any Speakeasies in your hometown?

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