It’s A Classic:The Great Aprés Ski Pub Crawl caps off a weekend of cocktails (videos) |

It’s A Classic:The Great Aprés Ski Pub Crawl caps off a weekend of cocktails (videos)

The Great Après Ski Pub Crawl bartenders pose for pre-competition photo. Cocktails for this year's event are being crafted with spirits ranging from Stoli and Don Julio to Stranahan's and Glenfiddich.
Courtesy photo |

Aprés ski might be the best part of any day spent on the slopes — it’s fun, easy and always a good time. So what, then, is the Aprés Ski Cocktail Classic all about? You guessed it …

“What this weekend is really about is having fun; we don’t take ourselves too seriously … because that’s what après ski is all about,” says event co-founder Joe Lang. “We’re not pretentious — if you want to have a beer, then just have a beer. But if you want to experiment a little, you can do that too.”

Pasote Pistol – Hotel Jerome Apres Ski Cocktail Classic by Jeremy Wallace on Vimeo.

Today, Classic attendees will have the chance to experiment in seminars such as “How to Put the ‘Hot’ in Your Toddy” and “Know the Difference: Martinis and Caviar, with Belvedere.” There are also pop-up bars, micro-seminars, cocktail competitions, a Grand Tasting Village, late-night gatherings and more to whet your whistle.

But remember, “You don’t have to be an expert, you just have to be open to changing your thinking,” Lang says. “It’s about living large.”

And on Sunday, living large is the name of the game with the Classic’s signature event: the Great American Pub Crawl, scheduled from 2-6 p.m. with 13 bars vying for crown (learn more at

“It’s friendly competition, and a great way to soak in the scenes while trying some very unique creations,” says Lange. “I really can’t think of a better way to spend an weekend in Aspen than skiing and après skiing.


Ginger Tea – Nello from Jeremy Wallace on Vimeo.

With that in mind, we asked the local talent mixing drinks for the Pub Crawl to share with us the secret to creating the perfect apres-ski cocktail? Here is what they had to say …

“The perfect après cocktail should embody a hard day riding the slopes and the relaxation that follows. You need something lively but soothing.”

– Mattias Horseman and William Golde, Chefs Club by Food & Wine

“Just finding a balance with what that one particular person likes and going from there. Everyone’s palate is different so don’t be afraid to ask what they like.”

– John “JC” Clark, Chair 9 @ The Little Nell

“A perfect aprés cocktail should be refreshing and inviting. Something easily quaffable, to quench the thirst and lift the spirits embodies the fun of relaxing after a day on the slopes.”

– Alex Guevara, Jimmy’s — An American Restaurant

“The secret to a perfect aprés cocktail is knowing your audience…and having fun! Cocktails taste better in the right atmosphere.”

Ryan Sterling, J-Bar

“Having a cocktail that reflects the seasonality and locality of Aspen with a flavor profile that is just a little off the beaten path.”

– Jeff Solondz, The Living Room @ The Hotel Jerome

“Have fun making it so they’ll have fun drinking it. Fun across the board!”

– Kelsi Moore, Casa Tua

“To me, the secret of making a perfect aprés ski cocktail is to make something that sounds quenchable, but different from what I have ever seen before. Originality scores big with me, but it should be something I desire after descending 3,000 feet rapidly.”

– Zachery Bowersock, HOPS Culture


A sampling of what’s being served at this year’s Great Après Ski Pub Crawl. Check out the accompanying videos of a few of these cocktails being mixed up for imbibing.


from Patrick Flanigan and Rae “Chewie” Raymond, Justice Snow’s

2 oz. Woody Creek Gin

1 oz. coconut milk

1/4 Anjou pear, muddled

2 oz. lemon sorbet

Large pinch of dried hibiscus leaves

1/4 oz. Chinese 5 Spice Honey Simple Syrup

2 dashes Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters

All ingredients are combined and shaken, double fine strained over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnished with a lemon peel (discarded) a spritz of rose water and a few slices of Anjou pear.



from Mattias Horseman and William E. Golde, Chefs Club by Food & Wine

2 oz. Hennessy VSOP

1 Barspoon Allspice dram

1 Barspoon Orange Marmalade

1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

1/4 oz. Vanilla Syrup

1/4 oz. Heavy Whipping Cream

1/2 oz. Garbanzo Bean Brine*

3 dashes House blended bitters

Place all ingredients in to a mixing tin. Shake it with ice until your muscles are sore with disco fever. Then shake again with no ice to aerate and produce a wonderful light texture. Pour into a gold rimmed cocktail glass spritz the top of the drink with Hennessy XO. The drink is also served with a side of Hennessy X.O. Chocolate Truffles.

* We’re trying to push the boundary of cocktails that are being made here in Aspen at Chefs Club by Food & Wine. We are using the Chickpea (garbanzo bean) brine as a substitute for egg white, because it has Aquafaba in it that acts as a natural emulsifier.



from John “JC” Clark, Chair 9 @ The Little Nell

1-1/2 oz. Don Julio Blanco

1/4 oz. Amaretto

3/4 oz. Fresh Pomegranate Juice

1 oz. housemade lemonade

1/4 oz. Jalapeño Fresno Syrup

Garnished with an edible flower and silver shavings.



from Alex Guevara, Jimmy’s — An American Restaurant

1-1/2 oz. Stranahan’s Colorado whisky

1 oz. Amaro Nonino

1/2 oz. Cappelletti

1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

1 dash Reagan’s orange bitters

Lemon twist

Absinthe wash

Combine all liquid ingredients, shake well. Double strain into an absinthe washed coupe. Garnish with lemon twist.



from Ryan Sterling, J-Bar

2 oz. Pasote Tequila

1 oz. Grapefruit Juice

Charred Lime and Avocado Agave Syrup

Smoked Pineapple Salt Rim



from Daniel Munger, The Living Room @ Hotel Jerome

2 oz. Michter’s Bourbon

1/2 oz. Campari

1/2 oz. Freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 oz. Strawberry simple syrup

Génépy / Lavender egg white foam

7 Fresh Mint Leaves

Combine bourbon, Campari, lemon juice, simple syrup and 6 mint leaves in a shaker with ice. Shake hard for 10 seconds. Fine strain into chilled coupe glass. Top with a layer of foam. Garnish with mint leaf.



from Justin Haas, Casa Tua


Pomegranate liquor


Fresh lemon



from Stephen Gaache, Aspen Kitchen

1 slice Green Apple

1/4 oz Lemon Juice

1.5 oz Neige Apple Ice Wine

1.5 oz Stoli Regular

Green Apple Jolly Rancher / Cayenne powder garnish

Muddle the apple slice and lemon juice in a mixing glass. Add the Neige and Stoli and ice. Shake. Rim glass with Jolly Rancher / Cayenne mixture. Double Strain cocktail into rimmed glass.



from Zach Bowerstock, HOPS Culture

1-1/2 oz. Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon

1/2 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liquor

.5 oz Black Pepper Simple Syrup

.75 oz Grapefruit Juice

2 oz Iced Chamomile Tea

1 dash Orange Bitters

2 smoked cherries

Served in a Rocks Glass



from Costin Tarsoaga and Noora Alobaidi, Nello Alpine

1-1/2 oz. tequila anejo

1/2 oz. King Ginger

1/4 orange blossom

5 p blackberries

5 p siege leaves

1 slice ginger

1 oz. lemon juice

1 oz. simple syrup

Dash Pimento bitter

2 oz. ginger tea

Muddled all together in a cocktail shaker then shake and strain into an old fashion glass. Garnish with lemon & tea bag

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