It has always seemed to me that peoples’ drinking habits change as soon as the snow starts accumulating, or melting for that matter. The changing of the seasons seems to be a great justification for indulging in whatever our favorite beverage is for combatting the weather outside. An ice cold light beer on a hot summer day or a thermos filled up with a little hot tea, whiskey, lemon and honey on the chairlift. We all have sought to even out the atmospherical yin and yang with a tasty adult beverage.
There are a few restaurants around Jackson embracing the chance to create those cocktails with assertive flavors that remind us that just because it’s -20 Foutside, it can still be warm in your belly. I had the pleasure to try out a few places offering up their take on a wintertime in a glass and, despite a mild headache the next day, am happy to report back.
Local has always been a favorite spot of mine to grab a cocktail, and not just because they have such an amazing happy hour. I have found myself ordering multiple drinks well after the 6 p.m. cutoff because they do such a good job. The winter cocktail menu that came out last month has many highlights but, two of my favorites are the Black Apple and the Sidesaddle. The later having Wyoming Whiskey, Tuaca, gingersnap molasses, two types of bitters and a spiced sugar rim. It’s a great thing to sip while slowly pealing off layers at their bar.
Always excelling in the cocktail realm, The Rose doesn’t disappoint with their new drink menu that came out a few weeks back. Something about the high backed booths and dim lighting makes it a great place to unwind after a long day on the slopes. She’s a Little Pistil is a great wintertime beverage showcasing milk washed chamomile tea vodka, blanc vermouth, and creme de cacao. Also check out A Day Late which, perhaps not reflective of the season, is delicious. Don’t forget about the Rose’s new menu items for the perfect snack or shared plate.
I posted on Facebook a while back to find out if there was a certain drink or place that was a favorite when it comes to winter drinks. The Kitchen was recommended multiple times as having a menu that I needed to check out. Never one to shy away from drinking advice, I went to scout out their options. I tried two drinks, Pack Your Bags We’re Going To Milan won the hardest drink to order award for the night. Featuring Mt. Gay rum, Averna amaro, lime juice and allspice simple syrup, The drink was amazing, with the allspice flavor giving it the perfect hint of the holidays. I also opted for a tamarind margarita as I randomly get these kind of cravings, there was a hint of cinnamon, though, which tied it all back to being seasonally appropriate.
Last place on my list was Hayden’s Post. I have ran into their bar tender, Jean-Mark Roufs, a few times over the years. He makes you laugh from behind the bar and always fixes up some killer drinks, pretty much all you could want from a bartender. The winter drink menu was still in progress at the point I was there but should be all finalized now. My favorite had crown royal maple whiskey, hot water, honey and lemon, a truly perfect apres drink. If chocolate martinis are your thing, they make a pretty damn good one of those too. It was also yet to be named while I was there so just ask; it packs a punch and is probably best enjoyed sitting by their large fireplace.
There are many places around Jackson that do seasonal drink menus, but as I have a limited amount of tomorrow mornings in which I can wake up feeling like I did the appropriate amount of research, I haven’t been able to try them all. Next time you are out try doing some research for yourself, don’t be afraid of ingredients in your drink that also show up on your pumpkin pie shopping list.
Wanting to drink seasonally in Teton Village? The Handle Bar serves up some of the best gluhwein this side of the Alps. Check out the Whiskey Richard at Osteria; it is mixed to warm your soul. The Faceplant from The Spur features house infused bourbon and hot chocolate, just in case you need a little help getting those boots off at the end of the day.