Aspen Gay Ski Week: Drink It In

by Jeanne McGovern


Check out the entire Gay Ski Week party schedule — including planned drink sponsors — at

If you’re on the slopes or in the bars — or really just about anywhere this week — it might seem like all fun and games. And, truth be told, Aspen Gay Ski Week is a lot of fun and games (Drag Queen Bingo, anyone?). But look a little deeper and the reality of what it means to be a part of this annual event becomes apparent … even to those whose entire purpose is the party.

“We see this as a great way to support the gay and lesbian community in working toward equality,” says Chris Sherman, regional sales manager for Cutwater Spirits, one of several beverage sponsors of this year’s Ski Week. “The community is ever-growing as more individuals are truly using their voice as a platform and we want to show our support, as well.”

In fact, Cutwater joins a list of local and national spirit sponsors ­­— Suerte tequila, Woody Creek Distillers, Bud Light, Marble Distillery, Whispering Angel, the Green Russell and others — to throw their collective cocktail-making weight behind Gay Ski Week’s goal of fun with a message.

“We believe in supporting local events that benefit a greater cause, and this is one of those,” says David Matthews, head disttiler and vice president of operations for Woody Creek Distillers. “And, of course, it’s a really fun party to be partnered with.”

Paul Chevalier, who represents Whispering Angel, says his company has a similar bent: “Château D’Esclans was founded back in 2006 with great innovation, but at the end of the day, we just like to have fun, drink good wine and enjoy life to the fullest… #joiedevivre,” he wrote via email.

And fun it is when it comes to the “renaming” of drinks around town; we suggest seeking out the #loveislove, Deputy Doggie Style and others.

“The staff had a lot of fun with this,” Marble Distillery spirit liaison Michelle Marlow explains. “But we also recognize the importance of the message being sent out this week.”

On this note, we highlight a few of the drinks worth tasting, with a nod to importance of supporting spirit brands that care.

The Little Nell

#LoveisLove White Cosmo

Made with a special edition of Absolut Vodka (pictured here), St. Germain, white cranberry juice, lime juice and served with an ice sphere with pressed flowers, this special Gay Ski Week libation is sure to be a winner at $10 per cocktail. Also of note: half-bottles of Ruinart Rosé for $40. Available for a limited time only, Thursday, Jan. 18, to Sunday, Jan. 21, at The Little Nell’s Chair 9, element 47 bar and Ajax Tavern.

Cutwater Spirits

Find Cutwater Spirits canned cocktails — made with Fugu Vodka, Old Grove Gin, Three Sheets Rum and the new Black Skimmer Bourbon — at various Gay Ski Week events. These spirits are made with Cutwater’s own mixers (bloody Mary mix, cola, ginger beer, soda water and tonic) from the company’s distillery in San Diego. Our top picks: Cutwater Spirits Moscow Mule, Cutwater Spirits Lime Vodka Soda, Cutwater Spirits Grapefruit Vodka Soda, Cutwater Spirits Gin & Tonic and Cutwater Spirits Rum & Ginger Canned Cocktails, as well as house-made Cutwater Spirits Bloody Mary Mixes and Cutwater Spirits Three Sheets Rum for Mojitos (recipe below).

Three Sheets Rum Cutwater MojitO

2 oz Three Sheets Rum

6-8 Mint leaves

1 oz Lime juice

1 oz Simple syrup

Combine Three Sheets Rum, lime juice, simple syrup and mint leaves into a Collins glass. Lightly muddle mint leaves then add crushed ice until full. Garnish with big bouquet of mint.

Whispering Angel

An Aspen favorite at the Food & Wine Classic, Whispering Angel is bringing it home at Gay Ski Week 2018: “Whispering Angel has a strong and loyal following in Aspen throughout the summer season, so it only seemed natural to partner up with Aspen Gay Ski Week to help support this event,” says Château D’Esclans’ Paul Chevalier, who represents Gay Ski Week’s official rosé sponsor.

Look for bottles of this crisp and trendy rosé around town and at Friday’s popular downhill competition, where the winners will be awarded large-format bottles — “which will then be consumed at the late-night parties around town,” Chevalier says.

Woody Creek Distillers

A longtime supporter of Gay Ski Week (and countless other Aspen events), Woody Creek Distillers has offered up its vodka, rye and gin to the 2018 mixologists. While there are sure to be cocktails of all types being shaken and stirred, you can always count on a mule to keep the party going.

Woody Creek Mule

Fever Tree Ginger Beer

Woody Creek Vodka with angostura bitters or Woody Creek Gin orange bitters

Served over ice in a copper mug.

Marble Distilling Co.

One of Aspen’s newest bars promises to be Ground Zero during Gay Ski Week. With a full tasting menu and cocktails renamed to fit the spirit of the week, this sleek hangout is a winner. Among our favorite drink choices: the Deputy Doggie Style (aka Deputy Dog); Ru Paul (aka Marble-Rita) and The Ellen (aka Crystal Cosmo).

Another favorite, pictured here and well worth a sip: The 8-Incher, more commonly referred to as the Osgood Sleuth Marble Manhattan. the 8-incher

Hoover’s Revenge Ragged Mountain Rye, sweet vermouth and a cherry. $14/cocktail.

Aspen Times Weekly

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