Best Cocktail: Breckenridge Distillery | SummitDaily.com
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Best Cocktail: Breckenridge Distillery

While Breckenridge Distillery makes award-winning whiskey, gin, rum and vodka, drinking the aged beverages neat isn’t the only option when patronizing the distillery’s restaurant. To complement chef David Burke’s food menu is an equally diverse cocktail menu crafted by liquid chef Billie Keithley.

Keithley has been with the distillery for 10 of its 11 years, absorbing knowledge and honing her passion. “If it’s edible, I can make a cocktail out of it,” Keithley said. “Cocktail creativity is my passion in life and so is putting smiles on guests faces.”

Working alongside bar manager Connor Bovich and head bartender Liz Cleary, Keithley balances the menu with spins on classics and new craft creations. A few of these drinks reference one of Keithley’s favorite media franchises: “Star Wars.”

Guests can usually find the Obi-Wan Old Fashioned made with Breckenridge Port Cask Whiskey, raw simple syrup, barrel-aged whiskey bitters and a brandied cherry; or the Yoda’s Elixir, the PX Sherry Finish Whiskey combined with seasonal flavors like pomegranate, cranberry and cinnamon. Because the distillery cannot purchase outside liqueurs, anything alcoholic in the cocktail beyond the base spirit is made in-house.

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She tries to focus on fresh ingredients from farmers markets and frequently implements honey in some fashion, but the ideas for cocktails can come from anywhere.

“I can be looking at a tree, snowflake, talking to a chef, trying to fall asleep, but wheels are turning,” Keithley said. To relax her mind, she plays the classic Atari video game “Centipede.”

The Breckenridge Distillery restaurant is at 1925 Airport Road in Breckenridge. Their tasting room is at 137 S. Main St. in Breckenridge.


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