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Get Aspen extreme with extravagant drinks

“Cocktails have come a long way in the past 20 years,” says Betula bar manager Justin Hass.

From smoked-in-the-glass cocktail creations to drinks served in Instagram-worthy vessels to unique flavor combinations, sometimes you crave a little more flair in your cup than just a gin and tonic, and Aspen’s cocktail scene has evolved to offer some drinks that are anything but basic.

If you feel like going to the Aspen extreme at après, or during a night out, might we suggest one of these delicious and photo-worthy drinks?



Yellow Paloma – Betula, $21

Yellow Paloma – Betula, $21

“This drink still is, and forever will be, our best seller,” Hass says. On presentation alone, it’s easy to see why the bartenders are making a couple hundred a week, but once you take a sip, the unique and well-balanced flavors back up the buzz around this drink, which deserves a spot on your Insta feed. The tequila-based drink — made of Casamigos blanco tequila, fresh house-made yellow bell pepper juice and grapefruit and ginger syrup, cilantro tincture and lime juice with a savory salt rim — is bright and balanced between the crisp flavors of peppers and the tart and spicy notes of the grapefruit and ginger.

Anejo A La Mode – Betula, $21

Anejo A La Mode – Betula, $21

With “a la mode” in the name, you might think this tequila cocktail has something to do with ice cream, but there’s not a drop of dairy in the glass. The a la mode it refers to is the French term meaning “in fashion, stylish,” and since tequila seems to be Aspen’s trendy spirit of choice, the name suits this drink. It’s made with Casamigos anejo, cinnamon agave and aromatic and hopped grapefruit bitters. Served over a giant ice cube and smoked in the glass with white oak and cinnamon, it’s perfect for someone who is looking for a tequila cocktail with no lime in sight (it tastes like a tequila old fashioned). What ups its presentation score is: Servers lift the cover of the glass in front of you so the smoke rolls out (best seen via video or boomerang on Instagram).




Weekend at Ernie’s, 7908

'Weekend at Ernie's' at 7908 puts a little rubber-ducky fun into your tipsy evening. Photo credit: Vivo Visuals.

Rubber ducky, you’re the one, floating in my cocktail having fun. This cocktail — made with Sipsmith lemon drizzle gin, Grey Goose, Verdenne Curacao, lemon, Verdenne Blue Curacaao, lemongrass and passionfruit foam — is the one that will have everyone at the bar looking over and asking, “What is that drink?” Served in an American Girl doll-sized bathtub with a rubber ducky floating on top and a mini umbrella, this show-stopping drink will inspire you to dive into the night.

Want it nonalcoholic? No problem


Hickory Smoked S’mores Latte — Felix Roasting Co., $18 (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Need a break from alcohol (or maybe you don’t ever drink the stuff) but still want your drinks to be Aspen extreme? No need to feel left out; here is a fun option for our sober friends.

Hickory Smoked S’mores Latte — Felix Roasting Co., $18

Like watching a skilled bartender craft a complex cocktail, it’s an experience to see the baristas at Felix Roasting Co., located just off the Hotel Jerome lobby, create this stunning coffee drink. From witnessing the drink (made with espresso, house-made, graham-cracker-infused steamed milk and dark chocolate) blend with hickory smoke in a large bell jar to seeing the homemade marshmallows on a skewer get toasted to perfection, you could think of it as a drink and a show. To enjoy the drink (after you’re done taking all your Instagram pics), it’s recommended that you take a bite of the marshmallow and then take a sip.

“It gives you a bonfire feeling,” Felix barista Asiya Baibolova says. “It’s really warming to your heart in the winter time.”

Another non-alcoholic drink found at this lux coffee shop, the Deconstructed Espresso Tonic, is $16.