Bar Talk: A bloody good drink at 11,212 feet |

Bar Talk: A bloody good drink at 11,212 feet

Sundeck’s Bloody Mary mixes mustard, Mexico and TLC

Drinking in the views from atop Aspen Mountain with the Sundeck's c Bloody Mary, which has been mixed the same way for two decades.
David Krause / The Aspen Times

Editor’s Note: This article originally ran in the Aspen Times Weekly on March 7, 2019, but just as the Sundeck Bloody Mary recipe remains unchanged and beloved, why would we rewrite a good thing? (Although we did do some slight updating to reflect the passing of time …)

Aspen 75

Not a fan of Bloody Mary’s (or Bloody Maria’s as they are known when they are made with tequila)? No problem. The bars at all the on-mountain restaurants are well stocked and can make just about anything you’re craving. New this year for the 75th anniversary of Aspen Skiing Co. is the Aspen 75 cocktail. This spin-off of a French 75 – traditionally made with gin, simple syrup, champagne, lemon juice and lemon twists – is a festive way to toast your time on the mountain and is available for $7.50 in all on-mountain restaurants that have bar service. The Aspen 75 will also be available in The Little Nell and the Limelight Hotels.

When something works, why mess with it? And when it involves mustard, don’t muck with it.

If you’ve been to the top of Aspen Mountain over the past, say, two decades, and perhaps stopped by the bar at the Sundeck, you will know what we are talking about.

Every bar, restaurant and breakfast spot has their version of the Bloody Mary, each putting a unique twist on it. But what’s been going on atop Aspen Mountain is a spin on the drink that got its roots in the land of tequila.

According to the man responsible for concocting the blend every morning, the recipe started 22 years ago and came from a busboy from Mexico who suggested a few things. (That busboy now is a successful businessman in Basalt.)

Jeff Williams has been mixing the Sundeck’s Bloody Mary nearly every season since then and said they have not messed with the ingredients.

While measurements remain behind closed doors, the blend starts with V8 juice and includes Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, Tabasco, pepper, lemon juice, fresh dill weed, celery salt and my piece de resistance … Grey Poupon. Oh, and a little TLC at the end.

“That’s it,” said Williams, who is more of a margarita man but does taste the mix each morning. “I started making this 20 years ago, and it has not changed.”

The mix is served with Skyy vodka. Texans ask for Tito’s; locals usually want Woody Creek.

With garnishes at a premium when you have to lug them up to 11,212 feet, the Sundeck bar crew keeps it simple with an olive, a couple of pepperoncinis and a lime wedge. Remember, you’ve already got the dill and celery in the mix.

On an average day they serve 50 to 60, Williams said. On a busy Sunday, they will dole out nearly 100 of them.

“The private club next door to the Sundeck will take the mix, as well,” Williams said. “We mix it downstairs and then they steal it for the club. But other than that, nowhere else can you find this mix.”

Aspen Times Weekly

This week in Aspen history

“Without any exception the worst snow storm known since the advent of the railroad west of Leadville has been raging over the crest of the continental divide since last Thursday,” asserted the Aspen Tribune on January 31, 1899.

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