Celebrities Who Ski

Whiskey Winter: Après-Ski Cocktails of 2015

After the Moscow Mule and those shiny copper mugs ruled 2014 (prompting some bars to implement hefty anti-pilfering measures), this year’s reigning spirit reflects a more refined ski culture — one harking snifters, dinner jackets and cigar rooms.

This is the year of whiskey.

From twists on the hot toddy to “Mountain-hattans,” America’s après-ski bars have increasingly hit the barrel. Here are some of our favorite results:


The Town: Telluride | The Bar: SMAK | The Drink: The Spiral Stairs

SMAK Bar – Telluride

With several new flights into Telluride, the fabled favorite ski town of Warren Buffet and Oprah Winfrey isn’t so hard to reach anymore, making the Spiral Stairs cocktail ever-easier to try.

Can’t jet to Colorado? Make it yourself: Start with Jameson and Domain de Canton ginger liqueur. Add honey, lemon juice, and hot water, then top with candied ginger and a lemon wedge.


The Town: Jackson | The Bar: Million Dollar Cowboy Bar | The Drink: Wyoming Manhattan 

Million Dollar Cowboy Bar - Jackson
Million Dollar Cowboy Bar – Jackson

Yes, it’s the obvious choice for any après-ski roundup, but the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is ardently devoted to whiskey, dedicating an entire tab on its website to Jack Daniels — not that they’re limited to the Tennessean classic. One of the Cowboy’s best cocktails uses local Wyoming Whiskey, a bourbon, for a local take on the Manhattan.

How to make it:  Add sweet and dry Vermouth to Wyoming Whiskey, throw in a touch of bitters and top with a cherry. Don’t live in the West? You can order up your whiskey here.


The Town: Stowe, Vermont | The Bar: Roost | The Drink: Mr. Figgy

The Roost at Top Notch Resort - Stowe
The Roost at Top Notch Resort – Stowe

Vermonters get some things overwhelmingly right: tree houses, cheese, maple syrup, slip-on footwear….The local fig-and-maple-infused bourbon cocktail at the Top Notch Resort’s Roost Tavern (delightfully named Mr. Figgy) adds mixed drinks to this list, then tops it with a slice of bacon. Count on Stowe to launch artisanal apres-skiFor other Green Mountain specialties, the Boston Globe has kindly done reconnaissance of the best East Coast hot spots.

Make your own Figgy cocktail (not the real Mr. Figgy): Add 1 oz. fig-infused maple syrup and 1 oz. lemon juice to 2 oz. bourbon and 6 oz. hot water.


The Town: Aspen | The Bar: 39 Degrees | The Drink: Aspen Slush  

39 Degrees at Sky Hotel - Aspen
39 Degrees at Sky Hotel – Aspen

To call 39 Degrees a “bar” is something of a misnomer. A popular Playboy hot spot (yes, as in the magazine), this pool-side lounge is the kind of place where Stefano Gabanna’s 2010 Winter Collection makes perfect sense. It therefore also makes perfect sense that the menu would feature a whiskey cocktail as fitting to a femme fatale in furry boots as one of the town’s 50 resident billionaires. Aspen Slush is just that cocktail, featuring a hint of fruity complements and a touch of Grand Marnier.

How to make it: Start with Stranahan’s Colorado whiskey, add Grand Marnier 100th Anniversary Liqueur (darling), apricot puree, lemon juice and Regan’s orange bitters.


The Town: Park City | The Bar: High West Distillery | The Drink: Superfly


What’s better than skiing right to a distillery that makes its own whiskey? Sitting down and enjoying said whiskey while channeling one’s inner “Superfly.” This gingery cocktail mimics a Moscow Mule, and if you ask nicely, the nice staff at High West might even give you the copper mug.

How to make it: Combine 1 oz. High West Silver Whiskey – OMG Pure Rye to three-quarters oz. Green Chartreuse and an equal amount of fresh lime juice. Shake together with ice and strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Add 2 oz. of ginger beer and dress it up with lime. High West is nice enough to give you all their cocktail-making secrets online. 


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