Leading what could safely be called one of Colorado’s most passionate teams of mixologists — at the speakeasy-esque Bitter Bar in Boulder — is Mark Stoddard, the gold-medal winner of the 42 Below Cocktail World Cup in New Zealand and the Guinness World Record holder for making the most cocktails in one hour (233). Few people are as connected and know Colorado’s cocktail scene as intimately, so we checked in with him for the latest on what he’s drinking, mixing and excited about in Colorado.
Did you grow up in Colorado or are you a transplant?
I am from Boston and moved here in 2002 to attend CU Boulder.
What’s your personal drink of choice right now?
Do you have any drinks on your menu or in your repertoire that are inspired by Colorado?
Three come to mind: Rock’N’Thyme (CapRock gin, Cynar artichoke aperitif, homemade Colorado apple bitters and thyme syrup), Grays & Torreys (Silver Tree vodka, Leopold Brothers Three Pins Alpine Herbal Liqueur, lemon juice and St. Germain elderflower cordial) and Brecklyn (Breckenridge Bourbon, Leopold Brothers American Orange Liqueur, and homemade vermouth made from Colorado wine and local herbs, spices and flowers).
Where do you see the cocktail industry headed in Colorado?
There are huge things on the horizon for Colorado. Our bartenders and distillers continue to win national and international competitions, firmly establishing us as some of the best in the industry in the United States.
How would you describe the nightlife scene in Boulder?
The amount of award-winning restaurants in such a small market like Boulder is remarkable. The live music scene is also impressive for a city this size. The bar scene in Boulder mostly revolves around the university, but you still have a few hidden gems that the hip, affluent and educated seek out in Boulder.
If you had to go somewhere other than the Bitter Bar for cocktails in Colorado, where would you go?
What’s your favorite thing about living in Colorado?
The weather, open space and natural beauty.
Photo: Courtesy of Bitter Bar.