Libations: Drinks with a one-two punch
To get it out of the way up front: If you’re in town for X Games and going the (ill-advised) energy drink and alcohol route, try Jagermeister and Monster instead of vodka and Red Bull. However, that’s not the focus of this article, because drinking either of those cocktails would technically be considered a relapse. It’s been at least three years since my twice-daily energy drink habit.
Heading into Aspen for X Games can feel daunting, especially if you have the budget of the average person near college age. Take a wrong turn, and drinks can reach $20-plus very quickly. However, a little observation and know-how can reveal a local’s favorite special: The beer and shot combo.
Going by multiple names, including a “standoff” or “boilermaker” depending on the alcohol involved, a shot and a beer is an easy way to jumpstart an evening, and many bars in town have some sort of specific deal.
Only issue: It may not necessarily be on the menu.
Start with a local favorite watering hole, Aspen Public House. A quick look through the drink offerings doesn’t mention any kind of combo, but disregarding norms and ordering with confidence is key. The beer is simple and the liquor is well, but you get to pick your poison and, at less than $10, it can’t be beat.
If you’re looking for something similar with a slight elevation, Jimmy’s offers a list of five or six options of beer and shot combos at around $12 each, ranging from Aspen-made alcohols to wider-themed affairs going beyond beer and simple spirits. The Oaxacan combo is a standby, and the True Believer isn’t for the faint of heart. Start the night off with something different, and then stick around for the fantastic food and cocktail options before heading back into the cold.
While the Aspen standard drink fare may feel overwhelming with high prices and complicated recipes, the town offers plenty of standbys that appeal to a wider audience. It only takes a little searching and some respectful conversation with a local or two to learn the secret art of affordable drinking.
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Jazz Aspen Snowmass will hosts its annual June Experience and JAS Cafe concert series in-person this summer, releasing details and lineups Monday.