In The Before Times, you’d signal the end of a ski day by clicking out of your boots and bellying up to a crowded bar for some après-ski cocktails—order a hot toddy or espresso martini, whatever libation warms your soul or fires you up for an epic night. This season, the après-ski scene isn’t canceled altogether, but it has become more of a BYOB situation.
The good news: Many of your favorite ski bars, as well as iconic hotels within ski villages, are slinging to-go après-ski cocktails that are great for ordering on your lunch break or once you’ve completed your last run of the day. More good news: You can make damn good après-ski cocktails on your own, pour ’em in flasks, and sip at your leisure. Your booze canteen, afterall, is always ready to accompany you on a backcountry skiing adventure and the very best ones can keep your cocktails warm (if that’s how you like ‘em). We like BrüMate Liquor Canteen 8oz.
Of course, no one’s stopping you from funneling your favorite bourbon into a flask and calling it a day, but why not try your hand at an easy-to-assemble craft cocktail that matches the celebratory feel of a bluebird day?
We asked bartenders and craft cocktail connoisseurs to share their favorite winter warm-up cocktails that can be made in a flask and enjoyed as an après-ski cocktail. They gave us a little something for everyone, from an old fashioned to a flask-friendly toddy.
7 Après-Ski Cocktails You Can Make in a Flask
1. Gold Rush
“The classic three-ingredient cocktail is essentially a hot toddy sans the hot water,” says Jake Larragoite, food and beverage manager at the Apothecary Lounge at Hotel Parq Central in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- Typically shaken and stirred over ice, you can pour this straight into your favorite flask.
This three-ingredient mezcal cocktail is a riff on an Alaska (which is gin, chartreuse, and bitters). Stuart Jensen, co-owner of Brass Tacks Dine Bar in Denver, CO, loves agave spirits for après cocktails because they tend to be lower in calories and sugar (read: less chance of a hangover, which is especially important when you’re at a high altitude). This cocktail calls for sherry, preferably manzanilla, Jensen says, and you’ll want to steer clear of anything too sweet. The other ingredient, genepy, is an alpine herb that “smells like the mountains,” he says. “The proof should be high enough to prevent freezing, but if the temp is forecast to drop to the negatives, feel free to decrease the sherry and increase the mezcal,” Jensen says.
- Combine all ingredients in a flask.
3. Angel of Tombstone
This strong cocktail is great on-the-go and makes for a nice alternative to neat whiskey, says Steve Walton, beverage director at High West Distillery in Park City, UT. The three-ingredient libation will fit in your flask, but make a bigger batch in a thermos to pour and share with your ski buddies.
- Add all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice, and stir to chill. Strain cocktail into a flask.
4. LJ Old Fashioned
Put an old fashioned in your après rotation. We like this one—with orange bitters—that comes courtesy of Micah Emerson, assistant general manager of food and beverage from Local Jones at HALCYON, a hotel in Cherry Creek in Denver, CO. It’s a classic—an “old old fashioned,” as he calls it—with a spirit, bitters, and sugar. Add an expressed orange garnish if you want to get fancy with your flask.
- 2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
- 0.50 oz Demerara simple syrup
- 3 dashes orange bitters, any orange bitters is fine
- 3 dashes Angostura bitters
- To make simple syrup at home, bring sugar and water to a boil at a ratio of 1:1.
- Build in a glass on a large cube. Stir all ingredients together.
- Pour into your favorite flask. If you’re making it as an après drink in the lodge, garnish with an expressed orange peel.
5. Tanteo Chipotle Apple Cider Margarita
“Warm cocktails can often be overly rich, but this apple cider warms without overwhelming,” says Neil Grosscup, CEO and master blender of Tanteo Tequila. The smoky, spicy chipotle tequila dials up extra warmth after a cold day on the slopes.
- 1.5 oz. Tanteo Chipotle Tequila
- 4 oz. hot apple cider
- 1 oz fresh orange juice
- 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
- 0.75 oz light agave nectar
- Combine ingredients, stir, and funnel into your flask.
- Top with cinnamon and nutmeg, if desired.
6. Northwoods Sazerac
“A Sazerac is a great flask cocktail for winter days, says Dan Oskey of Tattersall Distilling in Minneapolis, MN. “The maple adds a non-traditional depth to this drink that echoes the flavors of the outdoors,” he says.
- Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass before funneling into flask.
7. Freed Heel
Skip the Schnapps in a flask and make this shelf-stable cocktail you can whip up in batches. “I batch it in a large mason jar for the weekend and refill my flask as needed,” says Bob Cutler, owner of Novio’s Bistro in Bangor, ME.
Ingredients for an 8 ounce flask
Ingredients for a single cocktail
- 1.5 oz Brugal Anejo Superior Rum
- 0.75 oz Zucca Rabarbaro Amaro
- 0.5 oz Amaro Dell’ Etna
- 0.25 oz St George Spiced Pear Liqueur
- 3 dashes Owl & Whale Persimmon bitters
- Combine ingredients over ice, stir, and strain.
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