How to Find the… Best. Cocktail. Ever.

By Samantha

Thankfully neither you nor I will ever know the pain of “Prohibition” days. It was a dark time when there was no “Happy Hour,” no last call, no nightcap, no keg stands.   Okay, maybe that’s not exactly true…

You’ve heard about those hidden little bars and drinking clubs called “speakeasys,” right? In these secret places, the cocktails kept flowing despite Prohibition (i.e. the doomed-to-failure 18th Amendment), which banned the manufacture, transportation, and sale of liquor from January 29, 1919 to the day it was repealed with the passing of the 21st amendment on December 5, 1933.

That must have been a loooooooooooong 14 years, LOL!

But I don’t know. Maybe it was a little thrilling to secretly sip hand-crafted cocktails with friends behind closed doors. You want to find out? Well, as it turns out you can do just that… thanks to The Bookcase & Barber.

Where might you find this place? Well, yes, go ahead and use Google maps. You’ll find it. But will you find the speakeasy inside?

Not unless you have the password, of course.

On approach, you’ll see that this place is a legit barbershop. They’re not kidding about that. So if you need a trim, just walk in or book an appointment with one of the 3 professional barbers: Pedro, Pat, or Brendan. They’ll make sure you look dapper for your cocktail hour behind the bookcase. But I remind you: you’ll need that darn password.

Before we get to that you should know what to expect. How about a cozy, relaxed atmosphere where welcoming bartenders serve up the most phenomenal craft cocktails known to man? I’m talking about drinks that take 10+ minutes to make because they’re true works of art.

The incredibly creative drink menu is inspired by the favorite books and authors of the proprietors Beau and Jenna Black. This place is located behind a bookcase… so that just makes sense.

The couple has lived and worked in Durango for many years. Both are in hospitality. In fact, Beau is a Professional Chef. He’s the genius behind the awesome presentation of the cocktails, but the unique drink recipes are a collaborative effort—a blend of improv and creative input from the entire A-team of bartenders and mixologists.

And you may need the password to get into their speakeasy, but Beau, Jenna, and team are not keeping secrets. In fact, they are all about educating us on the art of craft cocktails. Discover your favorite new drink there? They’ll give you the recipe! Seriously. (I’m going to post the recipe for my fav drink here soon so make sure to subscribe at NakedMobile.com/Wanderlove if you haven’t already.) Imagine serving up fun new drinks to your guests this holiday season, such as…

The Faulkner

“Mint Julep” Basil Hayden’s bourbon, fresh mint, simple, Barber’s bitters, fresh crushed ice, and lemon wedge

St. Vincent Millay

“Between the Sheets” or “Sidecar with Rum” Germain Robin brandy, Cointreau, Diplomatico Blanco rum, fresh lemon juice, and flamed orange peel

Hemingway Part 2

“Death in the Afternoon” Leopold Bros absinthe, verte, agave nectar, and Prosecco

So why haven’t you heard about this place? I’m not sure. But the important thing is that now you do. (You’re welcome!) And, of course, the word has been getting around since they opened 2 years ago on December 5th. Yes, that’s the exact date that Prohibition ended in 1933. “The date seemed fitting,” Jenna told me. Ummm, yeah!

If you know anything about Durango you already know it’s a pretty cool, eclectic place. It’s home to a mix of Colorado natives as well as happy transplants from Los Angeles, New York and all around the world. And yet there is a distinct sense of local pride and authenticity.

Nowhere is that more obvious than at The Bookcase & Barber. This place may be in its infancy, but it’s got soul. It came by its name honestly as it was previously the site of Durango’s beloved local bookstore for 32 years. In fact, the shopkeeper Anne Perkins (who was already planning to retire in 2015) gifted Beau and Jenna with the books that you’ll see on the shelves when you visit. Even the restroom is wallpapered with repurposed pages from a set of torn 1920s magazines, which the snarky publisher at the time called The Police Gazette.

Okay, okay. You’re eagerly awaiting the password, aren’t you? To find it just hit up their Facebook page @thebookcaseandbarber and scope out their cover image. There you have it. The keys to the kingdom. Cheers!!

 Want to go?

Address:  601 East Second Avenue, Suite B, Durango, Colorado 81301

Hours (always double check their website):

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – 5:00 pm to Midnight

Thursday, Friday, Saturday – 2:00 pm to Midnight

They don’t take reservations, but you can book a private party or event (max is 25-30 peeps)!

Questions? Go ahead and email:  info@bookcaseandbarber.com or call 970-764-4123.

What to wear?

It’s Durango so it’s casual. But hey, if you’re feeling inspired then check this out.

Want some fresh ideas for holiday cocktails?

Drop your name and email into the Wanderlove subscription form here on the main page of our blog and you’ll receive it all before Thanksgiving is upon us! Promise. But first, you’ll have to give me the password. JK!

Thoughtcrime

Something Special to Freshen Up Your Holiday Cocktail Offering

GUEST POST BY JENNA BLACK, CO-OWNER OF THE BOOKCASE & BARBER (WITH HER HUSBAND BEAU)

This popular little ditty has been in our craft cocktail lineup since day one! It has become a longtime favorite, especially with our regulars. #BookcaseOriginal

It’s really perfect any time of year—but it’s an especially nice prelude to big meals like Thanksgiving dinner as it has a lovely light, grapefruit nose and a well-balanced citrus herbal flavor.

The main players? House-infused Hopped Vodka, Combier Liqueur de Pamplemousse Rose and Leopold Bros. Three Pins Alpine Herbal Liqueur … served in a chilled large coupe glass and garnished with a citrus twist, of course.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 oz. of Leopold Bros. Three Pins Alpine Herbal Liqueur – from Denver, CO.

2 oz. House-infused Hopped Vodka… We infuse Pine River Hops from LePlatt’s Pond in Bayfield, CO. Beau’s brother grows and harvests them for our local breweries. We get a bag of hops every season and make our own “Hopped Vodka” using Spring 44 Vodka… another Colorado-made product out of Loveland, CO.*

3/4 oz. Grapefruit Liqueur
1/2 oz. Fresh squeezed Lemon Juice

GARNISH:

Create a grapefruit peel twist. Take a fresh grapefruit (or lemon), make a slice through one side of the peel and the pulp—all the way up to the rind on the other side. Cut the pulp off of the peel so that you have one long thin strip of peel. Twist the peel into a curly-q shape. Balance it on the edge of the coupe glass

METHOD:

Add Three Pins Alpine Herbal Liqueur, hopped vodka, grapefruit liqueur, lemon juice and ice to your metal mixing tin and shake. Train into a large coupe glass. Garnish with a grapefruit peel.

* If you would like to learn how to infuse vodka with hops check this out: https://youtu.be/ilpI014TgqE

Thanks for enjoying this cocktail responsibly! Enjoy your Turkey day! xo