It’s a gorgeous autumn day in Boulder. The kind of day where Coloradan’s have nothing to complain about. The sun is shining. It’s not too hot, it’s not too cold. There’s a gentle fall breeze blowing nature’s discarded burnt orange and yellow leaves around the streets. It’s the perfect day to leave work early and jump on one of Local Table Tour’s fall-themed cocktail tours.
Local foodie, food blogger, and walking Boulder-restaurant-guidebook, Megan Bucholz, started Local Table Tours a little over five years ago, and has been sharing her love of food and local dining establishments with tour guests of all kinds ever since. A “food tour and foodie event company,”Local Table Tours offers a full calendar of events filled with visits to Megan’s favorite places in Boulder (and Denver) for seasonally-themed cocktails, tasty food, and even coffee and dessert tastings.
Today is Thursday, so I jumped on the weekly “Thirsty Thursday Fall Flavors Cocktail Tasting Tour.” I meet up with Megan and the rest of the group on Pearl Street at 4 PM, and it’s away we go. First stop is Oak at Fourteenth, where we belly up to the bar for some face-time with the prohibition-era clad mixologist who gets to work mixing up some Autumn in Jailsco’s for the group. It’s always “bartender’s choice” on the tours, and I was definitely looking forward to checking out each mixologists take on a “fall-flavored cocktail”. This fall, apple appears to be all the rage as far as seasonal ingredients go, and it makes its first appearance on our tour in the form of apple tequila—which mixed with honey, lemon, a little spice, and Ancho Reyes (an ancho chili pepper liqueur), creates one well-balanced drink that can currently be found on Oak’s drink list.
Tours last approximately 1.5 hours, so we finish our last sips at Oak, and head west to our next stop: Riffs Urban Fare. It’s a little after 4:30 PM and the sunlight is streaming into Riffs’ open dining area, creating an inviting atmosphere to post up at the bar and enjoy a cocktail. As the tour group chats away, sharing stories about local eateries and favorite recipes, Riffs’ bartender is busy chopping fresh apples and meticulously arranging his ingredients. Each drink is carefully crafted by hand. The fresh apples are muddled, releasing their tart juices. Lemon juice, thyme-infused simple syrup, apple bitters, and brandy from Dancing Pines Distillery, are all added to the glass, vigorously shaken, and carefully poured into a martini glass where the concoction joins a drizzle of house-made caramel to create a hearty seasonal drink. Look for The Brandied Apple to make an appearance on Riff’s drink menu this month.
“A margarita is more than just a margarita if you put some love into it,” Megan said to the group as we began out tour that afternoon—and boy was she right. Our third and final stop of the day was at Tahona Tequila Bistro. Our talented bartender, Tina, used us as taste-testers for some new tequila infusions, and I was more than happy to help out. Apples from owner Peter Soutiere’s apple tree were used to create an incredibly delicious apple and cinnamon-infused tequila. As with all of Tahona’s infused tequilas, patrons have the option to turn their favorite flavored tequilas into margaritas using a house-made tequila mix. Add a little agave nectar to the apple/cinnamon/tequila/margarita/deliciousness and you have fall—in a glass. Keep an eye out for the apple cinnamon infused tequila as well as a Colorado peach infused tequila to be added to the tequila infusions board this month.
The Fall Flavors Cocktail Tasting tours run every Thursday through the end of October at which time they’ll switch over to a Holiday Cocktail Tasting Tours. Megan also offers a Happy Hour Tasting Tour from 4-6 PM every Friday, a Coffee and Chocolate Tasting Tour every other Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon, and a Taste of Boulder Food Tour every Saturday from 2:30-5 PM. Click here for a full calendar of Local Table Tours events happening in Boulder.