Friday brought Artini, a well-attended kick-off to Colorado Springs arts month, at The Mezzanine. The Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region hopes to spur Springs residents to come out of their comfort zone and attend at least one arts-related event during the month of October.

Top local mixologists from Cowboy Star, The Wobbly Olive, TILL, The Principal’s Office, Cowboys and The Collective: A Social House (opening this fall) each created specialty cocktails. The fruits of their labor were available for all to enjoy and attendees voted for their favorite drink.

Left to Right: John Siran, Dylan Currier, Phil Arana, Alejandro Sanchez, Jessica Martinez, Katie Toth, Nate Johnson

Cowboy Star’s Dylan Currier took home first for his Sage Brush Sour; made with Tanqueray Gin, lime juice, egg white and sage-infused syrup. Savory and refreshing.  Fellow bartender John Siran also used the popular London dry spirit to create My Darling Clementine, adding St. Germaine, Aperol, absinthe, orange blossom and lime juice.


The Collective’s Phil Arana won second place using one of the evenings sponsors, Ketel One Vodka, adding St. Germaine, Rothman and Winter crème de violette, homemade chamomile tea syrup and lemon juice.  It tasted floral without being overpowering, with a balanced sweet nuance.


The Wobbly Olive walked away with bronze. Bartender Jessica Martinez opted for Bulleit Bourbon with an in-house concoction of pear honey cordial and lemon juice. Simple and divine.  A great bourbon cocktail for someone that doesn’t typically drink whiskey.

Alejandro Sanchez of TILL used Tanqueray, green chartreuse, lightly toasted black cardamom, cardamom bitters and lemon honey syrup from Black Forest bees. Citrusy and fresh with a hint of heat, mellowed out by sugar.

“I drink to make other people more interesting,” said Ernest Hemingway, and it’s in that spirit that Katie Toth from The Principals Office took the author’s classic daiquiri and turned it into Hemingway’s Lover, made with Bulleit Rye, St. Germaine, grapefruit juice, agave syrup and fresh lemon juice.

Nate “Dos” Johnson, representing Cowboys, created a blood orange cocktail, made of Bulleit Rye, Henry’s Hard Soda, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur and bitters.  A revved-up adult orange crush.


“Events like Artini allow the public to be exposed to the world-class bartenders we have here in our small city,” says Arana, co-owner and lead bartender of The Collective: A Social House and The Wobbly Olive.  “Where else can you find seven unbelievably talented bartenders behind the stick at one time? We get the opportunity to showcase the art form of our craft and broaden people’s perception of grabbing a drink.”

For more information about arts month and to see upcoming events visit here.

[Images: Dionne Roberts]