Cool Cocktails for Summer Sipping

June 6, 2023

As temperatures rise, menus are changing to cater to the summer season. That includes drink offerings, which are attempting to serve refreshing rebuttals to the summer heat. Derailed Pour House General Managers Morgan Kirkpatrick and Grant Gibson join us to talk about creating the perfect summer cocktail. By Connor Shreve. This story is sponsored by Kroegers Ace Hardware and Serious Texas BBQ

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Summer temps need summer drinks. We're talking about what makes the perfect summer cocktail on this edition of the Local News Network, brought to you by Kroger's ACE Hardware and Serious Texas Bar-B-Q. I'm Connor Shreve. Well, summer is certainly right around the corner, and for me at least that conjures up thoughts of sitting on a patio, soaking up that Colorado sunshine, of course, a fine summer cocktail in hand. And that is part of what has inspired our journey out of the studio today down to Derailed Pour House. I am joined by Morgan Kirkpatrick, the general manager who has just crafted a new summer cocktail menu. So we're going to learn all about the art, maybe the science, of crafting a perfect summer cocktail. Morgan, thank you for having us.

Yeah, thank you for being here.

What were you trying to accomplish when you were crafting this menu?

I feel like when it comes to summer, people think light, crisp, refreshing. So we went for all of those type of ingredients, really fresh ingredients, something kind of like a Porch Pounder, you know? Something that you can enjoy in the sun, refreshing, and it's easy to drink.

For me, I'm old school, I guess. My favorite summer cocktail is just a traditional gin and tonic. What does it for you?

Mostly something that has a little bit of citrus in it. Almost like aperol, some soda water, or some champagne. Usually my favorite thing during summer is a rose.

I feel like when you turn on a show like Cocktail Wars or something, the idea of a cocktail has changed so dramatically lately, right? You have to have a scene for your cocktail or food or turn it into a terrarium or something stupid, right? How do you deal with that changing landscape when you're making a cocktail list?

Yeah, so I'm very fortunate enough that the owner of the restaurant gives us so many tools to be unique and to be different. And we use a lot of ingredients that spruce up the drink but doesn't make it overwhelming. So a dehydrated fruit is a beautiful addition to cocktails but it's nothing crazy. We have a Ripple machine that makes a print on the cocktail. We have a flavor blaster that does a smoke bubble on top of the drink. So we definitely try to bring in innovative things and stuff like that but try to keep the cocktail as simple as possible 'cause I'm just like you. I like the basics. I don't need something crazy and over the top. But to make my drink look beautiful makes me feel unique and that's what we try to do.

What are some of your favorite flavor combinations in terms of summer drinks?

I love cucumber, mint, grapefruit, and I'm kind of weird. I love raspberries and blueberries, really fresh ingredients is my favorite when it comes to summer.

Speaking earlier about like just how this world has evolved, what are some of the trends you think we're going to see this summer?

I definitely think we'll see a lot of rum-based drinks. I feel like rum always tries to make an appearance during summer, but this summer I feel like we've tried really hard to focus on rum. We're doing a pina colada. Who doesn't love pina coladas, you know? So that's what we're kind of focused on, something that's more light on this summer. Mezcal I think is going to make a huge scene for the summer. So it should be fun.

Now, one of your bartenders or co-general managers is going to show us how to make a drink in just a little bit. If we try to recreate it, for those of us who mix cocktails at home, is there maybe a mistake we make or a piece of advice you would give us when we go about trying to create a drink of our own?

Yeah, absolutely. Don't be afraid to be creative. If you're like, Ooh, I don't know if this is going to work good together. Just make it. See what happens. You would be very surprised on how well things work together that you would think in your head wouldn't, and use the freshest of ingredients, but mostly just have fun with it.

Okay. So this cocktail we're going to check out is on your new summer menu. Tell us about it and who's going to be helping us pour?

Yeah, so Grant Gibson, the other general manager of the restaurant, he is going to be making the drink for you. And it is, there's gin in it, there's vodka in it, there's some pea flower, which is really interesting in there. And it's butterfly pea flower, I apologize. And it's like a powder. It makes it super purple, which is really different, unique. There's some lavender, there's ginger in there. Definitely screams summer. And then we're going to put the cocktail, a little image print on it and make it fun.

Okay. Let's get behind the bar.


All right. We have made our way behind the bar. I'm now joined by Grant Gibson


who's going to take us through making this drink.

All right. You ready?

Yeah, let's do it.

Okay. So what we're going to start with is we got our shaker here, and the first step is going to be taking some Aquafaba here. And this Aquafaba is basically an egg white substitute. So for those of you that are vegan or just don't like egg whites in your drink, Aquafaba is a great substitute for that. So we're going to put a little bit of Aquafaba in here, about an ounce and a half, I guess a little more than a little bit. Some Aquafaba to start.

And can you just pick that up at a standard bar supply?

I believe you could probably stop at the liquor stores. I think the liquor stores sell it. Maybe the grocery stores as well. We order ours online just 'cause we get it in bulk. So Amazon sells it. It's pretty reasonably priced.


Yeah. So, and it's just a powder to be specific, it's just a powder and you mix it with water and then you get the solution. So, we start with an ounce and a half of our Aquafaba and then we're going to take just one little ice cube to put in here. And after we put the ice cube in there, we're going to shake it. And what this is is it's going to froth up the Aquafaba inside the drink.

Take a step towards me just so I make sure we get all the style and camera.

So we're going to shake it for a little bit, usually like 20 seconds. I usually go till it kind of starts to sound quiet. And then once I stop here in the ice cube, we can open it back up and then inside it's frothy. I'd show the camera, but I don't think you guys can see in there yet, but it's okay, you'll see the finished product. So now once it's frothy, we can take our butterfly pea flower, which is going to give the cocktail a little bit of a purplely color. Now this has no flavor to it. It's simply cosmetic. It is, you know, vegan, GMO-free, all that kind of good stuff. And I believe it's good for your health as well. It has some benefits to it.

Sure, let's go with that.

Yep. It's a good pitch, right?

Always got to be thinking about your health when consuming alcohol.

Exactly. So we put a little scoop of that in there. Then we got some Spring44 gin, and we're going to put two ounces of this gin inside our cocktail.

See, I said my favorite drink was a gin and tonic and they're catering to me here at the Derailed Pour House.

Exactly. That's what we love to do. We love to make everyone that visits us feel special and cater to what everybody likes. So then we got our lemongrass vodka, which we make homemade here in-house. So we're going to do an ounce of this in our drink.

And it's just like an infused vodka?

It is. So yeah. So it's an infused vodka. We make it and it sits for probably three to four days before it's ready to rock and roll.


So we got that in there. Then we got a little bit of honey simple syrup which we're going to put three-fourths of that in our drink. And then next, just some normal simple syrup. We got just a quarter of an ounce, just a little bit. We have some intense ginger liqueur to kind of give it a little bit of a gingery taste, but not too much. It's very subtle. So we do a fourth of that.

I'm getting a lot of like spicy citrus herbal notes you're going for so far.

Exactly. Yep. And then we got to add a little bit of lemon juice, kind of give a little bit of citrus to it.


So we do a quarter of an ounce of lemon juice in there. And last but not least, our favorite part, some lavender bitters, which we also make in-house. And I'd like to point out that all of our syrups and everything we make in-house, so we make our own bitters, we make our own syrups. We try to make everything from scratch to make us special.

I imagine you go through a lot of R&D in terms of like there's a lot of flavors on the table right now, making sure flavors don't step over each other and instead are sort of layered.

Absolutely. Yeah. It takes us a handful of times to create our cocktails. We, you know, make 'em, everybody kind of tries 'em. We like to have our staff interact with the cocktails as well. We have 'em try 'em and be like, what do you think about this? They give their input, which is great. We like including our whole staff as a team, and our bartenders create cocktails for our cocktail menus, which is great. So everybody gets a little bit of say, can try the cocktails, say, oh, suggest this, suggest that. And then we come to a final cocktail-

Team understanding.

Yep. So we'll do a couple dashes. Usually I do three to four dashes of lavender bitters in there. Give it a little hint of lavender. So now we have all our ingredients in here, so we can take our shaker and we can fill it with some ice, put a couple scoops in there, and then the fun part, shake it on up, get it going. Once it's done, we can grab our strainer and grab a martini glass, which I think I forgot the martini glass. Let me grab one . I missed the most important part of the whole thing. So we got our martini glass here, and we have a couple kinds of martini glasses. We have these little Coupes, just like your normal martini. We also have metal martini glasses as well. They're kind of fun and unique. Adds a little bit of a different taste to Derailed. But we like putting this one in the clear one because as you can see,


It's got a beautiful purple hue to it.

That's gorgeous.

So, now our cocktail's almost finished. All we have to do is print a really fun design on top.

This is what I've been most looking forward to. I'm going to let you have it. Go for it.

Alright, so we're going to kind of relocate over here to our Ripple machine. And what this device is, is it just prints on top of anything that has a frothy, foamy top to it. So you can print on coffee if you want to. You can print on stout beers. You can print on the cocktails with the egg whites or the Aquafaba substitute. So anything that has that foam on top, you can print on top of it.

Oh, okay.

Which is really fun. This is not sponsored by Ripples by the way. So we select our design here, and for our design today, we're going to use obviously the Durango local news network design.

Not premeditated by the way.

So the device is going to print on top of the cocktail, and then once it's finished, we can take the cocktail out, and I'll slide it on up here.

And Morgan, if you could tip that camera a little bit just so we can get a view of that.

And that's our finished cocktail. And we call this one, the "We're All Mad Here."

Well, it's fitting. We've partnered, the two of us then let's say.

Yes. Yes.

All right.

The moment of truth.

The moment of truth. Oh man, that's so good.

It's dangerously good.

It really is. It drinks super easily. I'm getting, what's really nice about this to me is that the gin comes through. The gin is not overwhelmed, and I get some of that lavender. I get some herbal notes. Boy, that is really nice.

Yes. So it's a delicious cocktail. It's great. Even during wintertime, I mean you can never go wrong with the gin cocktail anytime of the year.

For Sure. Well, I'm going to need a moment as "We're All Mad Here" to enjoy my summer cocktail at the Derailed Pour House. Thank you, Grant.

Thank you, Connor.

Thanks very much to Morgan. You can come check out their summer cocktail list. They are also opening up a new patio on the backside so it should be a great place to hang out this summer. You can learn more about this and other stories online at Durango Local News. Cheers.


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