Bar Talk: Where to have a drink in offseason in Aspen
The chairlifts have stopped turning, the J-1s have gone home and many hotels and restaurants have closed up shop for the next few weeks as they undergo a deep clean or refresh.
It must be offseason in Aspen.
Many Aspenites take this time of year to run off to a warm, sunny destination (ahem, Mexico) for a few weeks or at least pack up the 4Runners for a few day escape to the Utah desert.
But what about for those of us that don’t work a seasonal job or have the PTO left to escape for the offseason?
Where are those left behind to keep an eye on the spring thaw in Aspen supposed to go for happy hour?
Here’s a roundup of the bar spaces that are open for the offseason at the time of publication on May 5. (List is in alphabetical order)
Aspen Public House
Hours: 4 p.m. to late, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays
What to drink: I recently really enjoyed a Hip Hop Kids cocktail – Spicy Corazon Silver, mango puree, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao, simple syrup, lime, Tajin rim – or if you’re looking for beer, you can’t go wrong with a draft from Capitol Creek Brewery
Hours: 12 to 10 p.m. every day; Happy Hour: 3 to 5 p.m.
What to drink: Excess in Moderation Hazy IPA and This Seasons Blonde are always fan favorites
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
What to drink: Bar Talk kicked off the season featuring Bear Den and highlighted the Local Jungle cocktail – Tito’s vodka, St. Germain Liqueur, lime, agave, pineapple, secret house herb infusion – but also recommend is their Espresso Martini.
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day
What to drink: Bruno’s as it’s affectionately called makes this list because if you’re looking for a place to watch the NHL or the NBA playoffs, this bar is the spot.
Hours: 4 to 10 p.m. every day
What to drink: Again, check out the “Bar Talk: Spirit forward at Catch Steak Aspen” column for all the details, but I highly recommend the Passion Project – Casamigos Reposado, yuzu passionfruit house-made Orgeat
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
What to drink: Go ahead, pretend you’re on the beach like all your Instagram friends and order a Gamechanger – Gold Caribbean Rum, Spiced Caribbean Rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, frozen together with a dash of fresh nutmeg and a floater if you opt in.
Meat & Cheese
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., closed Sundays and Mondays
What to drink: Their bar area is small, but I’m including it on the list because I’ve never had a bad cocktail here and their patio space is great when the weather behaves. Right now I’m eyeing the Sherbert Lemon cocktail – Woody Creek Gin, L’Aperitivo Nonino, Cocchi Americano, honey, lemon, lime, meyer lemon salt, absinthe spritz, egg white
Hours: 11 a.m. to late; Happy Hour: 4 to 6 p.m.
What to drink: The day this column is published is Cinco de Mayo, so might I recommend a Margarita …
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day
What to drink: Grab a beer and hang out with all your local friends who are also stuck in Aspen.
Hours: opens at 12 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, weather permitting
Woody Creek Tavern | Open all offseason
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
What to drink: If it’s a nice day and you’re enjoying the patio, why not opt for the Aperol Spritz or Spicy Margarita. However, if you want to be authentic to the space, a beer and a shot should do the trick.
“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.