SNOWMASS VILLAGE - The inaugural Apres-Ski Cocktail Classic is March 14 through 17 in Snowmass Village, and co-founder Kim Haasarud is hoping to make it an annual affair for the town.
The four-day event features tastings, demonstrations and pairings - all celebrating the cocktail and its close partner, apres-ski.
"If you go and look at, like, Chamonix, when they do apres-ski, it's a huge party," Haasarud said. The Classic will "highlight the craft of the cocktail and highlight the apres-ski experience," she said.
Haasarud, a mixologist herself, said the demonstrations should appeal to people of all levels of familiarity with the topics.
"People just want to learn more about what they're drinking," she said.
Haasarud is producing the event along with her husband, Kevin, who formerly directed the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, and Joe Lang, former executive director of Jazz Aspen Snowmass. Haasarud said the team chose Snowmass for a few reasons.
"Aspen sort of owns Aspen Food and Wine," she said. "(Snowmass is) a huge mountain and gets a lot of traffic. ... But also, it's a little funkier, a little more casual. Maybe they can own this."
The event's home base is the Westin Snowmass, with most tastings in the conference center, but some events also will be on the mountain and in Aspen. Some weekend highlights include a pub crawl in Aspen on St. Patrick's Day, an opening-night party at the Bar at Wildwood on March 14, grand tastings and a cheese-fondue-and-champagne pairing.
Weekend passes and individual event passes are available. Tickets can be purchased online or at The Overlook inside the Westin Snowmass. For a full schedule, visit www.apresskicc.com.