Let’s just come out and say it: the après-ski culture of the American West desperately needs an upgrade. The French have their Génépi, the Swiss-Germans their Glühwein, and the US has, well, not much.
Thankfully, Linden Pride and Nathalie Hudson have a history in revitalization. The duo behind the restoration of New York’s legendary Caffe Dante, which culminated in the title of World’s Best Bar in 2020, were also indomitable during the early months of Covid, pioneering the cocktails in take-out coffee cups trend, then boldly opening a second restaurant in Greenwich Village in June. Now they have brought their flair for modernizing Old World traditions to Aspen in a partnership with The Snow Lodge, a slopeside ski-in hotspot founded in 2019 (the Rockies sister to Montauk’s Surf Lodge). With pine-plank walls hung in vintage skis and an evergreen-draped wide terrace for a socially distanced season, Dante at Snow Lodge is a Euro-American alchemy that conjures Robert Redford in Downhill Racer—as is the drinks menu that sidelines the brand’s signature negroni for a lineup of warming and thirst-slaking cocktails.
To help us carry over this liquid comfort to our backyard fire pits, we asked Pride to share a few recipes that will also go down smoothly at sea level. We’ll raise our glasses (or mugs) in thanks to a team whose spirits keep renewing ours.
Caffe Dante Spiked Coffee
Mix: Bacardi 8, drambuie, amaretto, amontillado, hot espresso, honey cream
“Nothing beats coming off the slopes and settling in to a spiked hot coffee. We chose to combine an aged rum, amontillado sherry and drambuie with honey cream to balance out the caffeine.”
Hot Smoked Toddy
Mix: Monkey Shoulder, Lagavulin, manzanilla sherry, creme de cacao, lemon ginger marmalade, lapsang souchong
“Hot cocktails had been in high demand in NY since the weather turned after Labor Day. The smoked hot toddy was developed by Chris Moore to offer a complex and tantalizing twist on the classic. Combining a cacao washed whiskey blend, ginger marmalade and lapsang souchong tea.”
Mix: Ilegal Mezcal, tequila, grapefruit, San Pellegrino Pompelmo, smoked jalapeño
“Tequila seems to be the spirit of choice in the mountains. The popularity of The Spicy Fresca has seen us offer this drink ‘on tap.’ We developed this drink to bring together the smoky mezcal with bright grapefruit citrus notes and a hit of jalapeño.”
Christian Novogratz works on PRIOR’s content & editorial team. He studied English at Princeton and is based in New York.