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  • Writer's pictureEric Elkins

Ode: Another Century at The Wild

We’re fortunate in Denver, because you never have to walk far to find a well-balanced negroni or its cold-weather cousin, the boulevardier. Our local bartenders know that the deceptively simple recipe (gin for the negroni and whiskey for the boulevardier, plus sweet vermouth and Campari in equal measure) can easily go sideways — whether from improper measurement or a variation that wanders off in an ill-advised direction. Too much Campari or its bitter alternatives, and you overload the flavor of the drink. Too much sweet and it tastes like cough syrup. Too many ingredients and it’s not a negroni/boulevardier anymore.

So I tend to approach “improvements” to the most perfect cocktails on the planet with some skepticism.

But the Another Century takes all that’s wonderful about a boulevardier and gives it a little extra love with two tweaks. The first is the gentle hit o’ crème de cacao that lifts the sweetness slightly and makes the drink richer. But it’s the coffee-infused Campari that truly inspires the cocktail.

When you lift the glass to your lips, you get a whiff of the hazy comfort of that first coffee in the morning. You know what I’m talking about. You’re not quite awake, sort of nudging yourself out of the somnolence that seems stuck to your heavy eyelids and four-ton limbs. It’s a wrenching effort, but then you smell it.

It may not even be real — you’ll probably still have to get yourself to the kitchen to grind the beans — but your brain makes the promise of a rich, brewed roast, which fools your olfactory system into launching you out of bed, in search of the nectar that will finally tell Somnus he can fuck off for now because you have shit to do.

It’s that same promise you smell just before the Another Century hits your tongue — the essence of hope and potential. You sip away, marveling at the subtle but substantial twists on the classic — an adaptation that captures the spirit of the boulevardier while giving you something new to ponder.

Which is pretty much how I’d describe The Wild itself. It has all the ambiance of a classically modern cocktail bar but somehow manages to feel new, fresh, and fun. They happen to have the best London Fog you’ll find in Denver, and their Dalgona coffee is a take on the pandemic craze that delivers only happiness.

It all makes a visit to this hidden gem a treat.

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