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What to drink Après-Ski?

Après-Skito social activity following physical activity (i.e., skiing). In the Alps. With a wealthy spouse and/or benefactor. Well, in the movies. It might be different in Colorado or even after skiing in Utah. Either way, you should factor in hot cocktails.


A Neat Host
Though I’ve technically never been on a bunny slope, I imagine the after-party taking place in a hunting lodge or Swiss chalet or someone’s log cabin filled with taxidermy and crushed beer cans. Let’s imagine, for the sake of argument, that the setting is one of the former two. When hosting the après event, consider setting up a bar for neat pours. Think about bone-warming beverages, probably of the brown variety: cognac, Armagnac, Scotch, bourbon. Add a couple of nice amari to round out the selection. On the higher end, Martell Cordon Bleu ($110) or Highland Park 18 ($85) are just the thing after a wintry run. Carpano Antica ($30) and Knob Creek 9 Year Small Batch ($55) are perfect for those who prefer a liquid cinnamon-toast crunch, and even better put together to make a bourbon Manhattan.

The Lighter Stuff

Of course, not everyone wants a high-proof pour after strenuous outdoor activity. Wine and beer are equally essential for any crowd cooling down from a workout. Spicy, ripe zinfandels like Ridge Lytton Springs ($25) do well in cold weather, as do soft but rich Beaujolais Crus like the Morgon 2009 from Domaine de la Chaponne ($18). Strong and winey farmhouse saisons like Ommegang Hennepin or big, creamy beers like Rogue Mocha Porter are also good choices for twilight happy hours.

The Cold Drink: Absinthe Suissesse
Traditionally a New Orleans breakfast cocktail, the frothy, herbal Absinthe Suissesse is also perfectly delightful for frosty-eve celebrations.

• 1 1/2 ounces absinthe
• 1/4 ounce crème de menthe
• 1/4 ounce orgeat
• 1 dash orange flower water
• 1 egg white
• 1 1/2 ounces half and half

Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake without ice to emulsify. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The Hot Drink: Wassail
A warm, mulled sort of punch, wassail comes from the tradition of wassailing, or a ritual anointing the season’s orchards to guarantee a plentiful harvest. This is a cider-style recipe (without the original addition of eggs) that can mull while you’re out on the powder, or be quickly prepped while guests are de-layering and warming up.

• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 10 whole cloves
• 5 allspice berries
• 1 inch fresh gingerroot peeled and chopped
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 18 ounces strong ale
• 1 gallon apple cider
• Fresh apple slices for garnish
• Freshly ground nutmeg
• Bourbon or rye

Let first 7 ingredients come to a boil. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes and ladle into mugs with an ounce and a half of bourbon per serving. Garnish with apple slices and freshly ground nutmeg.

The Last Drink: Champagne Cocktails
As with any occasion that includes fur, canapès, snow, and red noses, champagne is to be called upon. A twist on the original champagne cocktail with any one of Haus Alpenz’s alpine liqueurs would be apropos for fireside carousing.

• 1 sugar cube
• Champagne
• Angostura bitters, Zirbenz pine liqueur, Lauria Alpensahne cream liqueur, or Nux Alpina walnut liqueur from Haus Alpenz
• Orange peel, rosemary, pear slice, or lemon peel to garnish

Soak sugar cube in bitters or liqueur of choice. Drop into a champagne flute and top with champagne. Garnish with respective ingredient depending on bitters or liqueur choice (orange peel with bitters, rosemary with pine liqueur, pear slice with cream liqueur, or lemon peel with walnut liqueur).

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