As we fly away from Negroni Week (I wish they’d move it back to a mid-summer celebration) and turn our taste buds to fall cocktails (looking at you, my boulevardier), I’m all about the drinks that somehow fall into the middle and help fuel the transition from joyously warm and gentle evening rambles to crisp, cool light jacket nights.
The Tokyo at Sky Bar in the Stanley Marketplace is just such a cocktail.
It’s a whiskey drink with a bright, sippable lightness — a little sweet from the Toki and Amaretto, a touch of tartness, and a citrus finish that lifts the drink above the clouds and into the sunlight, even on a chilly autumn evening. Lemon and ginger notes rise above while the egg whites give the cocktail its whimsical cumulonimbus froth. And I love how the sesame furikake mix is smashed against the side of the glass, less of a spiced rim and more of a savory wall that you sort of crunch off with your bottom teeth and tongue as you sip away.
If you haven’t yet been to Sky Bar, it’s a small, stylish wonder — step off the elevator and walk back in time into an airplane bar mid-flight on some 1960s Pan Am 747. The sleek mid-century modern style is apportioned with just enough kitsch to make the illusion complete, with a throwback lounge feel that’s immediately comfortable. Sean Connery’s Bond wouldn’t be out of place in the slightly sumptuous surroundings, sharing a late-night cocktail and commiseration with Felix Leiter somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean.
If the bar feels a little out of the way in the far reaches of east Denver, maybe that’s kind of the point. Take a journey out of your comfort zone and land in a luxe lounge unique in its time and place.