The Green Russell is a hot spot for anyone that wants to try new, inventive and high quality cocktails. This speakeasy is in the heart of the LODO area and provides a unique atmosphere that is hard to find anywhere else in the city.
The Green Russell is located on Larimer St, a busy section of the Denver area. However, the second you enter the bar you are brought into a quiet and intimate setting where you can enjoy incredible craft cocktails.
The main bar is surrounded by quaint, stylish chairs and tables that resemble the ambience of the late 1800s.
We were introduced to Adam Hodak, our bartender and educator on craft cocktails that the bar provides. Adam is the beverage director and partner of Green Russell and has been with the company since 2010 when it originally opened.
Adam explained to us that a common misconception of this speakeasy is that it is an example of bars during the prohibition era. However, we learned that this bar actually provides a clear view into what cocktails were like pre and post prohibition. During the prohibition era, drinks were few and far between and the alcohol provided to people wasn’t ideal. The drinks we tried with Adam have more ingredients and sophistication than anyone in the prohibition era would have experienced.
Green Russell stands apart from other speakeasies and bars in the area because of their care, consistency and quality of the drinks provided. Green Russell’s signature drink is ever changing and is always developed from the preferences of their customers.
Adam taught us that care makes the difference in every drink made. Fancy is simply perception. What truly matters is the craft that goes into every drink. Being professional does not automatically mean being pretentious. We learned that if a drink isn’t made after seven “touches” (or ingredients added) then it isn’t worth creating in the first place.
When creating a signature drink for someone, the bartenders at Green Russell base the drinks on the preference of the customer. They ask the customer questions, for example, what alcohol they like and what spirits are an absolute “no”. They will also ask if what matters to the customer is if the drink is spirit forward or citrus based. From there, they will create drinks that they think will appeal to that specific customer.
Adam created five different craft cocktails for us that can be used as bride and groom signature drinks for weddings. These drinks are easy to recreate without losing the sophistication and quality in the craft of the beverage.
The Something Blue
Leopoldo Silver Tree Vodka (1 oz)
Creme de Rose Liqueur (1/2 oz)
The Something Blue is a cocktail created for the bride’s signature drink. This drink is bubbly, citrusy and refreshing. It incorporates a hint of a flowery flavor and is perfect for any bride that needs a signature drink for their summer wedding!
You can grow violas in your own garden! $25 of violas can provide up to 200 flowers for your signature drinks!
The Blushing Bride
Pamplemousse Rose Liqueur
Blanco Tequila (1.5 oz)
Strawberry Syrup (1/2 oz)
Fresh Grapefruit Juice (1/2 oz)
Lime Juice (1/2 oz)
This drink is a spin off of the typical Paloma, which is usually made with tequila and grapefruit soda. However, in this version of the drink we add the pamplemousse rose liqueur for an even more refreshing and delicious flavor. This drink is also perfect for weddings because bartenders are able to pre-batch everything and just have to add soda water when serving your guests.
You can make the strawberry syrup at home! Just puree strawberries with sugar and water.
The Suit and Tie
Rye Whiskey (2 oz)
4 Dashes of Bitters
The Suit and Tie is simply an Old Fashioned, which is a great option for the groom's signature drink. This cocktail is a very traditional option and a big crowd pleaser (especially if you're a whiskey fan)! An orange rind is also added to the drink, creating a subtle burst of citrus.
No one is going to want to pay for large, round ice cubes. You can create them yourself by spending a week before your wedding freezing ice cubes in larger molds. Use saran wrap so they won't stick together!
The Black Tux
The Black Tux is a sophisticated version of the gin and tonic. This can be a great option for either the bride or the groom and can also be referred to as the "2018 gender fluid cocktail". The creme de violette liqueur adds a soft purple hue to the drink, creating a pretty visual that brides will love!
Marry Me Martini
A typical martini is traditionally made with gin, vermouth and a touch of bitters. This martini substituted vodka for gin and added a simple twist of lemon. We can't recommend this drink enough!
Dash of Bitters
Twist of Lemon
We had an incredible time taste testing cocktails at Green Russell and can't thank Adam enough for his help! We've learned a lot and can't wait to keep learning more about how to create signature cocktails for weddings and how to personalize them for each and every couple we meet!
xo Emma & Sarah