Bar Talk: Boisson goes with the Snow Lodge |

Bar Talk: Boisson goes with the Snow Lodge

Boisson is an online and brick-and-mortar spirit-free bottle shop. The company’s mission is “to bring a world of amazing nonalcoholic products to you in a welcoming judgment-free zone.
Courtesy photo

I was introduced to Boisson in June at the Snow Lodge at a Food & Wine Classic summer season kickoff dinner. It seems only fitting that my next encounter with the brand would again be at the Snow Lodge to close out the winter season.

Boisson is an online and brick-and-mortar, spirit-free bottle shop. According to their website, the company’s mission is “to bring a world of amazing nonalcoholic products to you in a welcoming judgement-free zone that sparks curiosity” and “to provide #sophisticatedsips to those looking for an alternative to alcohol, no matter their reasons why.”

The zero-proof enthusiasts partnered with Snow Lodge – the Aspen outpost of Montauk-based Surf Lodge, which in previous seasons teamed up with Dante NYC on their alcohol-included cocktail menu – this winter to create a diverse, eight-item menu section of mocktails for guests to imbibe in. Flavors range from smoky spirit-free spirits to a take on a dark and stormy called a Light & Stormy to even a hot cider, perfect for the cold entry into spring the area has been experiencing recently.

In addition to Boisson’s full lineup on the regular cocktail menu, the company and Snow Lodge revisited their offerings in honor of Mindful March (which will also spill briefly over into April) and created a Mindful Menu with three specialty zero-proof cocktails and eight vegan dishes.

Unlike Dry January, the premise behind Mindful March is not to completely abstain from drinking alcohol but instead, as the name implies, to take stock of your relationship with alcohol, choices made around alcohol, and to “practice mindful drinking.”

The three special, zero-proof cocktails on the Mindful Menu are intended to be fun and unique drinks that provide another option for people to indulge without the impact of alcohol. The pairing of the alcohol-free drinks with animal-product-free dishes brings together two trending sectors in the food and beverage industry.  

The Daily Dose, the first of the three mindful mocktails, is mix of Seedlip Garden 108, apple cider vinegar, lemon, elderflower, and soda. If it sounds like a lot of flavors, it is. There is a lot happening in this drink.

Seedlip Garden, while not a strict emulation of alcohol-free gin since it has no juniper, hints at the botanicals nature of gin with the inclusion of rosemary, thyme, and other herbs. The zero-proof spirit has as savory taste, which is its presenting flavor in the Daily Dose. All the herbal notes, along with the inclusion of elderflower in the cocktail, gets lost as the spicy taste of the apple cider vinegar is the overpowering flavor. The ACV also seemed to overpower the bubbles of the soda, which I would argue the drink needed.

The Daily Dose tastes like it could be good for you, making it feel even more like a mindful choice, and while the more sips I took, the more I enjoyed it, I can say the flavor profile is probably not for everyone. 

Next on the list is Green Goddess, made of Ritual Gin Alternative, cucumber, green tea, mint syrup, and lime.

The Green Goddess was the cocktail I was most excited about on the list, as I really enjoy green tea and mint. The earthy dryness of the green tea was definitely present, along with making itself known in the faint green hue the drink had, but I wasn’t able to capture much of the mint flavor. Instead, the drink was instantly tart with the herbal notes of the Ritual Gin Alternative – juniper, pine, etc. – coming through and complemented by the cucumber.

The author tries some select Boisson beverages at Snow Lodge.
Courtesy photo

It was adorned with a slice of lime and a few shakes of red pepper flakes, but the spice didn’t hit until the last few sips once the pepper settled to the bottom of the glass. Overall, the Green Goddess was the most neutral of the three mindful mocktails but enjoyable and would pair well with any of the food items (Tip: order the crispy roman artichokes; they were light, lemony, and exceeded my artichoke expectations).

Finally, the Jeng Paloma, which you can purchase in a four-pack from, is the simplest of the bunch, just grapefruit, rosemary, and CBD, and the cheapest at $10, but it was also the favorite of the three for the group I was with at the Snow Lodge.

The cocktail was surprisingly floral, maybe from the addition of CBD, although I can’t say for sure since that’s an area of cocktail additions that I still know little about. The drink was fresh, light, and bubbly – one member of the group said it had “Fresca vibes” – with the hint of grapefruit that you would expect in a paloma.

Even as someone who isn’t alcohol-free and writes about bar-related beverages, I am excited about the growing number of options to enjoy zero-proof cocktails because I don’t always want a drink or more than one, but I still want to stay out and be social and sip on something more flavorful than soda water and lime.

Although the time to get these Boisson-created cocktails is limited in Aspen (Snow Lodge closes for the season on Sunday), the encouragement to be mindful about consumption and to try new things goes beyond closing. I am hopeful that the creative impact Boisson is having on the industry continues as does its partnerships in the valley.

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