Libations: Drink in the views from Venga’s patio with a spicy orange margarita |

Libations: Drink in the views from Venga’s patio with a spicy orange margarita

Sitting on the Venga Venga patio overlooking the Skittles chairlift, it came to me that the rainbow of colors on the Snowmass Ski Area people-mover resembles those of the establishment’s margarita choices.

The Mexican restaurant with incredible views, thanks to its location at the end of the Snowmass Mall, has a five-marg menu ranging from the light-green standard house option to a prickly pear-blueberry concoction. Lately, I have taking a liking to the spicy orange, which is a nice change of pace and a bit of a kick to start your hangout on the deck.

Popular on a mellow Monday in the summer or a roaring powder day in the winter, you only have to visit the Venga patio once to appreciate its vantage point. Yes, you really can drink in the views.

But back to the libations.

The serrano peppers and 15 bottles of blanco tequila hang out together for a couple of days behind the bar before they are worthy of the drink, one of the bartenders said with pride. That infusion is the base for the orange drink (and also used in Venga’s Pepio margarita, paired with cucumber).

The spicy orange, made from fresh orange juice and a splash of sweet-and-sour mix, really gets its kick from the slices of peppers mixed in the glass along with an orange wedge.

While some might think it gauche to gnaw on garnish, this orange wedge is a bit more sophisticated than the ones we had at halftime of youth soccer, and the pepper slices are, well, a kick. See how many you can chew on before you need to suck on one of those ice cubes left behind.

Oh, and that amusing epiphany about the Fanny Hill gondola to start this review, it came just halfway through my first drink. You’re welcome.

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