About Kevin Burke

Kevin is an occasional barman and fulltime practitioner of the Janitorial Arts at Colt & Gray.

Conversations with a bartender

Bar managers have periods. Let that sink in. Every 2 weeks we pull our entire inventory–every bottle of beer, wine, and booze is pulled, counted, and noted down to the tenth of a bottle. The primary reason is to compare our P&L. We purchase booze several times per week to replenish stock and acquire new […]

No. 3: Your Christmas Workout aka Grand-ma’s Eggnog

Eggnog comes in two varieties: shitty store bought and teen-age-male forearm of fortitude. Why the fuck anyone would mess with that stuff called ‘eggnog’ on the shelves is beyond me. If you want to drink that stuff, go full-hobo and sneak a shot of bourbon into your Starbucks Eggnog Latte. The first step to making […]

A janitor’s advice on Classic Cocktails: Daiquiri Time Out

The British Royal Navy mandated in 1740 that every member be given a ration of Grog in 1740.  It was necessary to keep morale high and scurvy at bay. By 1795 the recipe for Grog included Rum, Lime or Lemon juice, and sugar.  The Navy brought this recipe throughout all of their voyages through the […]

A janitor’s advice on Classic Cocktails

Colt and Gray

I was recently offered the opportunity to pontificate about Classic Cocktails for Colorado’s first Distillers Festival, sandwiched between Rob Masters of Boulder Distillery/303 Distilling (and President of the Colorado Distillers Guild) and Rob Dietrich the newly appointed master distiller of Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey.  I excitedly accepted, understanding that someone needed to take up some time […]

School is in session: Distilling 101

Alright kids, school is in session.  This is going to be a rough and tumble crash course on distilling.  I’m not a chemist, I’m not a professional, hell, I’m surprised my chef lets me touch the mop bucket to swab the deck. That being said, I know my way around a bottle of booze and […]

Ask the Janitor – South of the Border edition.

Janitor, tequila cocktails

A question submitted from Twitter: Why the hell can’t I get a clean, simple marg instead of a sugar bomb at most places? –Suburban Marg Huntress** **For the short answer and to skip all of my blovating, scroll to the bottom. Margaritas terrify me.  Everyone has secret recipes and tricks that make theirs the best […]

Barcode: Sazerac Cocktail

Denver has amassed a small but significant number of bars and restaurants doing craft cocktails.  It’s not uncommon for the neighborhood local to have a few copper mugs behind the bar for a proper moscow mule, a few julep tins are even lurking in unexpected corners.  Unfortunately, Manhattans are still being shaken to death and […]

BarCode: take the cue.

The janitor is rusty.  I just got back from a working vacation, put in a massive order Monday afternoon, and was then happily surprised with some sweet tickets to the Nuggets game Monday evening. Tuesday was a day of laundry, recovery, and book keeping at the restaurant, and tonight I return to being behind the […]

Martini BarCode

The menial tasks at the end of the shift give you ample time to focus and deconstruct the rollicking dinner party that just unfolded.  You polish the stemware and replace it for tomorrow’s bartender to find. Leave a few notes for tomorrow’s staff about prep, and stocking, a few notes for yourself about what to […]

A Janitor’s advice to a craft beer drinker

Dear Mister Janitor, I’m generally a (craft) beer drinker, but sometimes I find myself somewhere with a crap beer selection, or just in the mood for something different. When I check out a bar’s cocktail list, however, I rarely see anything that’s not sticky sweet. Besides an olive martini, Bloody Mary, or the occasional spicy […]

A janitor’s advice on the Cosmopolitan

Dear Mister Janitor, My girlfriends and I drink Cosmos, unfortunately at times they seem cliche’d, or like we are ordering and drinking something behind the times. I wish I was more adventurous, but I also like what I like.  Is there a cosmopolitan recipe out there that you prefer, and is there something that could […]


I was cleaning underneath the hand sink a few nights ago and I found a promo bottle of Jim Beam Red Stag. Curious from how it found it’s way into my bar I didn’t want to disturb it’s resting place or my JuJu so I scrubbed the tile underneath it and returned it to its […]

A janitor’s advice on Flips.

Dear Mister Janitor, One of my favorite things to make now are flips, particularly fernet flips. This is my home recipe: 2 parts Fernet Branca 1 part simple syrup (1:1) 1 whole egg dry shake, add ice, shake and strain and serve with a dash of Angostura bitters What can I do to make it […]