Holidays and gluttony go hand in hand (first world problems, I know). And in the mountains we can’t help but feel, well, spoiled rotten. While droves of people move in, out, and all around us, poised for their holiday ski vacation, we find ourselves hunkered down with our loved ones or out on a remote backcountry excursion. Avoiding the hype, however we may.
And while we spoiled mountanites enjoy holiday spreads made with game shot by the neighbor or pasture-raised roasts, we often overlook the holiday aperitif (after all, PBR is cheap and box wine travels nicely in a backpack). So this year instead of going for the easy out, enjoy a delectable cocktail pairing to get you through the turn of the New Year.
Santa’s Little Helper (aka Chai Tea Toddy) and Kate’s Stash Bar
One more gift to wrap, one more stocking to stuff … A warm aperitif and a Kate’s bar help Santa get through his (or her) late night. Spiced just right with Dragon Lady Tea, this toddy, paired with the Stash Bar’s dark chocolate, provides a nighttime meal choc full of antioxidants. Rest easy knowing you’ll awake with presents under the tree, sans hangover.
6 oz hot water
1 teaball Dragon Lady Red Chai
3 oz Knob Creek Maple Bourbon
1 oz half-and-half
Cinnamon stick or star anise
Pour boiling water over the tea ball. Let steep for 3 minutes, then remove it. Add the maple bourbon and half-and-half (or steamed milk for a fancier preparation). Stir to combine. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
* recipe adapted from the kitchn.com
The Chairlift Compadre (aka St. James Flip) and Kate’s Tram Bar
This pairing will come in handy when you have to skip lunch to squeak in a lap at the Village free of crowds. And with this cocktail in your flask, no one will want to be your friend! GUARANTEED! This mix-at-home elixir pairs the Argentinian ski-bum favorite, Fernet Branca, with coffee, a local brew, and a farm fresh raw egg. Plus, this bitter spirit made from myrrh, rhubarb, aloe, saffron, and fermented beets, just might be up to hipster standing. Follow it up with a Tram Bar… if there’s any room left.
1.5 oz Irish whiskey
1 oz espresso or cold brew coffee
1/2 oz cinnamon simple syrup (make your own by tossing a tsp. of cinnamon into a quart of simple syrup)
2 dashes Chocolate Chili bitters
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1 bottle Snake River Zonker Stout
Dry shake all ingredients for 15 seconds to incorporate the egg. Get it nice and creamy. Add 4 to 5 ice cubes and shake for another 2 seconds. Dust with a pinch of chocolate powder or nutmeg if you’re feeling festive. Strain into your flask with a funnel. Shake again before downing it on the chairlift. No one will want a sip. Promise!
*recipe adapted from lalovingcup.com
Cold Party Heater (Dark and Stormy Cocktail) and Tiki Bar
If you’re afraid of the bubbly (and its dreaded repercussions), this pseudo fizzy drink will wake up any flailing party scene. Black Seal Rum pairs lovely with the coconut in Kate’s Tiki Bar and the ginger aids any digestive woes caused by costume constriction.
Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour in the ginger brew, then pour the Dark Rum over the back of a spoon to help float the darker layer on top. Garnish with a lime wedge. For an optional sugar garnish, rub a lime wedge around the rim of an empty glass and then tip the glass onto a plate of turbinado sugar before assembling.
*recipe adapted from The Framed Table
Enjoy your holiday libations and make sure to chime in if one of the above sets you straight.
Happy Holidays From Kate’s.