Creative drinks from the slopes
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek
One of the beer floats served at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek in Avon, Colo. The drink features local beers and ice creams and sorbets made in house at the hotel.
Montage Deer Valley
Montage Deer Valley in Park City, Utah, serves a martini named for S'mores, the classic childhood treat of melted chocolate and marshmallow on a graham cracker. The cocktail includes Baileys Irish cream, vodka, cocoa and graham cracker.
The Aspen Crud is served at the Hotel Jerome's J-Bar in Aspen, Colo. The drink was first served clandestinely during Prohibition when bourbon was added to milkshakes, but today's version is served hot, with bourbon added to vanilla tea, cinnamon syrup and cream.
For Brian Sbrocco, the perfect end to a recent day of skiing was a beer float.
Yes, a beer float.
"It's not quite the root beer float I grew up on," Sbrocco said. "It's one of the concoctions that you wouldn't normally do; you wouldn't combine beer and ice cream but it blended it beautifully."
The drink at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek in Avon, Colo., is just one of the latest trendy cocktails designed for those coming off the slopes.
With his beer floats, Christian Apetz, the executive chef at the Park Hyatt, has taken a childhood favorite and added a bit of kick. All floats feature local beers and ice creams or sorbets made in house at the hotel.
In one drink, he's paired the New Belgium Brewing Company's 1554 Enlightened Black Ale with a regional version of rocky road ice cream called Rocky Mountain Road, plus raspberry-Champagne sorbet. Another drink takes the Left Hand Brewing Company's Milk Stout and pairs it with cocoa sorbet.
On the other side of the mountains, the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colo., has just taken one of the oldest ski town drinks and added a twist.
During Prohibition, the Colorado hotel's saloon was converted into a soda fountain. But that didn't stop the alcohol from flowing. Patrons were known to have a few shots of bourbon in their French vanilla ice cream milkshakes. The drink was known as the Aspen Crud. It is still served today at the J-Bar, the name of the one-time soda fountain.
At the Four Seasons Whistler, in British Columbia, Canada, cups of the ultimate hot chocolate come in large mugs with a chocolate lattice work over the top. Skiers can order the drink with a Belgian or Verona chocolate in dark, milk or white. Then they top off the beverage with three "boozy truffles" filled with either mint liquor, Baileys Irish Cream or Kahlua.
Several other resorts across North America have also recently launched some creative winter cocktails:
• The Montage Deer Valley, in Park City, Utah, offers a S'mores martini inspired by the classic childhood s'mores treat of chocolate and marshmallow melted on a graham cracker. The drink includes Baileys, Stoli Vanil vodka, cocoa and the quintessential graham cracker. It is topped off with a marshmallow created by pastry chef Ray Lammers.
• The Handle Bar restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole, in Wyoming, has put its own unique spin on the traditional hot toddy. It offers three modern takes on the drink: one with Bols Genever, a Dutch gin-like liquor, and chamomile tea; another with Hakushu whisky, raspberry tea and honey and a third with Spanish brandy, coffee, and Vov Zabaglione egg liqueur (similar to eggnog).
• Moonlight Basin Resort in Big Sky, Mont., offers a bloody mary with vodka from Montana's Vigilante distillery, topped off with a bit of locally sourced elk jerky.
• The 1930s Parisian-themed Sweet Spot sits at the base of Colorado's Crested Butte. Inside, skiers will find an arcade, candy counter and locally produced ice cream. But the real gem here is the martini bar and the establishment's signature martini: European sipping chocolate mixed with Godiva vodka, a touch of Grand Marnier topped with mini marshmallows, lightly torched.
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