When Sean Kenyon was in grade school, a teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. His answer: a bartender. The teacher didn’t much like that answer and called his parents. But they couldn’t have been prouder. Kenyon comes from a bartending family. He says the path he's chosen has never felt like work.

In 2011, Kenyon opened the Denver speakeasy Williams & Graham. It’s designed to look like something out of the prohibition era. You have to walk through a secret door (disguised as a bookcase) to get in. 

The alluring bar at Williams & Graham in Denver's LoHi neighborhood.

(Photo: Courtesy of Williams & Graham)

Kenyon was just named “American Bartender of the Year” at an industry gathering in New Orleans.

He hasn't just created a retro environment in his bar. The menu also reflects his passion for cocktails and ingredients of yore. A recent check of the menu turned up drinks like the Negroni, Ginn Fizz, Sazerac and Tipperary.

Asked for a refreshing summer cocktail, Kenyon suggests The Palisade Fizz:

1.5oz Spring44 Gin

.5oz Honey Syrup (1:1 honey to water)

.75oz Lemon Juice

1/8th peach or .75oz peach nectar or puree (no sugar added)

1 dash angostura bitters

2.5oz soda water

Shake all ingredients except soda water with ice. (Muddle peach if using fresh). Strain over fresh ice into a collins glass. Top with soda. Garnish with a peach slice.