With ski season in full effect, it is becoming clearer with each trip to the mountain that things are different this year. The slopes have been less crowded, booting up at the car is now back to being the norm and eating and drinking on or at the mountain has its many challenges. These changes, particularly the last one, has had a direct effect on our beloved après-ski sessions. It is not that our favorite end-of-the-day celebrations don't exist, but rather they exist in a different way than in years past.
With indoor dining having its limitations, the days of boot dancing on tables amidst large crowds have been put on pause. Instead many are opting for a quick tailgate in the parking lot prior to heading back to their homes (or wherever they are staying) to finish off the night. Doing so adds a whole new element of preparation to après-ski that was previously not necessary.
I mean who is going to shake up your favorite cocktail now that your favorite bartender isn't available to?
You, of course! And, I've enlisted a few friends to help you out.
Stirring Up Cocktails on the Beyond the Après Podcast
If you haven't been listening to the Beyond the Après podcast, it's time to start. Being the co-host along with The Snow Report's Halley O'Brien, I am a bit biased but I know you'll enjoy the jovial back and forth between us. We also get to know the stories behind some of the people that make après-ski so fun. So, If you have ears and like beer, Beyond the Après is for you.
Although we give you some great craft beer selections on the show, beer is not the only thing Halley and I are drinking. We're also mixing up some excellent cocktails that are, not only delicious, but simple enough to stir (or shake) up on your own. With the help of our friends at Montanya Distillers, Breckenridge Distillery and High West Distillery, here are three cocktails that will help you take the après-ski home this winter.
A Classic Daiquiri With Montanya Rum
On episode six of this season's podcast we sit down with Karen Hoskin, owner of the award winning Montanya Distillers. If you haven't been to the Montanya Distillery, you must go. It is one of Crested Butte's finest après-ski bars. Not only are they serving amazingly creative cocktails with their award winning rum, they are also well known for their delicious food and incredibly fun scene.
In this episode, Karen Hoskin talks about how simple making a good cocktail can be. In fact, she emphasizes that simple is often better and highlights the taste of good rum. This is particularly true of their famous daiquiri. Inspired by the daiquiris of old and not the frothy blue, green and pink ones you may be more familiar with, their classic version is made with only has three ingredients.
Yes...just three! That is all it takes to make this simple and delicious cocktail.
Montanya Distillers Daiquiri
In a shaker with ice:
Mix 2.5 ounces of Montanya Platino Rum
1 fresh lime, juiced
.5 oz of simple syrup.
Shake and serve in a coupe glass.
Genevere Juice With Breckenridge Distillery
Not stranger to après-ski in Colorado, Breckenridge Distillery has been crafting award winning spirits since 2008. Since that time, the world's 'highest distillery' has become a fixture in the Breckenridge après-ski scene. The experience of visiting a distillery this high up in the mountains, combined with their unique craft cocktails and delicious food from famed restaurateur, David Burke makes stopping in a must when you're in town.
On episode four this season, Halley and I caught up with Breckenridge Distillery Director of Marketing, Jessie Unruh, and their liquid chef, Billie Keithley. On the show, we actually make two drinks, their Backcountry Old Fashioned and their Genevere Juice. The Backcountry Old Fashioned was an integral part of the Après in the Backcountry campaign and short film that Breckenridge Distillery did in the winter of 2019. It is also a worthy cocktail to make at home or even while skiing and snowboarding off piste like the video suggests.
However, for this post, I'm highlighting their Genevere Juice. Made with gin it is once a again simple and oh so tasty. Trust me. I'm not a gin drinker but Breckenridge Distillery makes an excellent variation of this spirit that when mixed in this cocktail will have you craving more.
Breckenridge Distillery Genevere Juice
In a shaker combine:
1/2 oz Breckenridge Gin
1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 oz rosemary simple syrup*
Shake and strain over ice into a Collins glass
Garnish: sprig of rosemary and lemon
*Rosemary simple syrup: 1 cup water, 1 cup white sugar, 5 sprigs of rosemary. Simmer until dissolved and steep for 15 minutes.
A Unique Old Fashioned With High West Distillery
Park City's High West Distillery is no stranger to the media lists featuring the top après-ski bars around the world. If you have ever been there it should come as no surprise. With a location right at the base of Park City Resort's Quittin' Time run and directly across the street from the Park City Town Lift, it is the world's only ski in ski out gastro-distillery.
What does this mean for you?
Simple. You can ski right into the back of the saloon and drink one (or more) of their many tasty cocktails made with their award winning whiskies while eating some of their excellent dishes. Try their famous Dead Man's Boots a creative combination of tequila and whiskey and pair it with their wings or even the Shisito Peppers. Both are the best I've had.
When you are ready, you can make your way back up the mountain for a few more runs using the town lift. Chances are this won't happen and you'll find yourself still standing, rather sitting there, at 10 pm when they close down for the night.
This week's episode on the podcast with sit down with High West Distillery's Head Beverage Director, Steve Walton. He walks us through how they create their renowned Old Fashioned. We also have the opportunity to taste their new, pre-bottled Old Fashioned. It's super good and takes the guesswork out of après-ski cocktails whether in the parking lot or at home.
High West Distillery Old Fashioned
1.5 oz Double Rye!
.5 oz Demerara Simple Syrup
2-3 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
Orange/Lemon twist to garnish
Combine ingredients in a rocks glass with cubed ice and stir until chilled. Garnish with orange and lemon twist
Try These Cocktails and More
Try one or try them all. You really can't go wrong with these cocktails or any of the others that we feature on our craft beer, wine and spirits blog. There you'll find many other great recipes from apres-ski bars and mixologists across the country. Also, be sure to tune in to the Beyond the Après podcast to listen to our past episodes as well as future episodes like High West. And if you're looking to stay extra warm while imbibing at your tailgate, our new Work Sucks I'm Going Skiing Hoodie is the perfect addition.