Libations: Chilling in the Living Room away from home

Rose Anna Laudicina
The Hot Toddy and Aspen Thymes cocktails at The Living Room at the Hotel Jerome.
Rose Laudicina/The Aspen Times

If you go ...

What: The Living Room

Where: Hotel Jerome Hours: 2 to 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; 2 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday Mood: Relaxed, cozy

Sometimes, after a long day, all you need is a well-made drink and a comfortable place to enjoy it.

Enter: The Living Room at the Hotel Jerome.

According to the Hotel Jerome website, “The Living Room is designed to feel exactly as it sounds — an open, inviting space where guests can sink into plush arm chairs and sofas.”

My drinking companion and I thought the space — tucked off the back of the hotel lobby — could be best described as an old-time, Wild West adventures club, where men would come together, drink whiskey, smoke cigars and tell grand stories.

The well-curated and cozy ambience is unrivaled in Aspen.

To help my body combat the well below freezing temperatures Aspen has been consistently experiencing this winter, I chose a classic Hot Toddy.

The Living Room Hot Toddy is made with Buffalo Trace whiskey, chamomile tea, honey and fresh lemon. Served in a good-sized glass mug, the Hot Toddy was everything I hoped it would be: warm, fresh and filled with well-balanced flavors — tart from the lemon and a subtle sweetness from the honey.

The other cocktail my friend and I enjoyed was the Aspen Thymes.

Paying homage to the Hotel Jerome’s former neighbor — the old Aspen Times building now houses the hotel’s newest bar, Bad Harriet — and my current employer, the Aspen Thymes consists of thyme and cardamom-infused gin, spiced red wine reduction, lemon Dolin vermouth and is topped off with an egg white foam and a stripe of crushed thyme.

The bar manager who affirmed our choice of drink said that the cocktail was a well-balanced favorite at The Living Room and a lot of thought and effort went into creating this drink.

The red wine reduction and lemon vermouth is very present, giving the cocktail an enjoyable if not bolder than expected fruit and citrus taste. The foamed egg white on top provides the drink with a creamy smoothness that gives way to a tart finish.

The two drinks we enjoyed alongside the bar snack offering of spiced and candied nuts and what seemed to be cheese straws couldn’t have been more different, but they were both exactly what we were looking for.

If you’re looking for something with unique flavors that you can’t find at any old bar, go for the Aspen Thymes — you won’t be disappointed. But if you’re in the mood for something warm grab the Hot Toddy and cozy up on the couch by the roaring fire in The Living Room.

Libations was created by beloved Aspen Times publisher Gunilla Asher, who died June 2, 2014, after a brave battle with cancer. Cheers — to Gunner!