It’s never too early for a Bloody Mary

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times
Jeff Clark serves up a Bloody Mary at Justice Snow's. In addition to its own take on the cocktail, Snow's offers a DIY Bloody Mary bar during its weekend brunch.
Aspen Times file photo |

It’s the day after New Year’s Day, and while most of you might already be well on your way to recovery from the week’s festivities, we’d thought we’d answer that question we know is burning in your mind: Where can I get a bloody mary in this town?

The answer is, of course, several places. Aspen has no shortage of establishments serving liquor, and any such place that’s open during the day is sure to serve a bloody. But certain locations stand out.

Take the St. Regis: The bloody mary is the signature cocktail of the St. Regis brand, which claims that one of its bartenders created and perfected it at the original hotel in Manhattan after Prohibition. The Shadow Mountain Lounge in the Aspen location offers both the original recipe, known as the Red Snapper, as well as Aspen’s own twist called the Downhill Snapper.

“The Downhill Snapper is an herbaceous twist on the classic bloody mary with its fresh dill and basil. This cocktail can really hit the spot for any time of year, whether it be the cold winter months or a refreshing cocktail on a hot afternoon,” said David Viviano, executive chef of The St. Regis Aspen Resort.

While the St. Regis has history and tradition behind it, no list would be complete without a mention of Justice Snow’s bloody mary bar. A second coming of a tradition started in Bentley’s, Justice Snow’s predecessor in the ground floor of the Wheeler Opera House, the bar lets consumers mix their own drink with ingredients from pickled vegetables, different types of jerky and spices to the more traditional olives and celery sticks.

“It took us awhile … but I was insistent on continuing that tradition,” said Michele Kylie, manager and co-owner. “And I happen to love our bloody mix that we make ourselves.”

A mix that includes somewhere around 30 different ingredients, said bartender Will McAlpine. When asked how he would mix his own bloody at the bar, McAlpine said he would use chipotle, habanero sauce, pickled beans and asparagus and top it all with a Guinness float.

The bloody mary bar is available during brunch, typically served on Saturdays and Sundays but on other special occasions, too, such as New Year’s Day.

Another much-loved Bloody Mary is at Hickory House, where the mix has been handmade for 17 years, general manager Bryan Baker said.

“I really think that’s what makes it,” Baker said.

Customers get their choice of vodka, or some people prefer tequila, Baker said.

“Add lemon, lime, pickles, olives, and you got yourself a Hick House Bloody Mary,” he said.

The restaurant is serving breakfast from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. this weekend but a Hick House bloody can be ordered anytime.

That rounds out our top three choices, but there are certainly more options than that. Establishments such as the bars in the Hotel Jerome, bb’s and The Little Nell know their cocktails, and the twists they put on this classic concoction are no exception. Wherever you land, enjoy one for us.


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