How to have the perfect Après Ski experience in Aspen

For those well-versed in the ritual of Après Ski, that delicious cocktail sipped fireside at the end of an awesome day on the slopes with friends is better than the skiing itself. But for the uninitiated, this rite of passage can perhaps be a bit “underwhelming”. What’s the big deal, you ask?

Well, “Après Ski” is French for “after skiing” and when the boots come off and the libations flow, there’s a feeling that happens that can only be described as “elation meeting the sublime.” Like a French soufflé you’ve just got to give it a little time.

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Here’s a quick hit list of Aspen favorites to help make your time “off” the slopes just as magical as “on.”

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Sundeck, Top of Aspen Mountain

At an 11,211 feet elevation sipping on something while enjoying unforgettable views is, well, unforgettable. For the non-skier or snowboarder, purchase the 15-minute gondola ride to the top and settle in for an hour or two to soak in the elements.

Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro

For those wanting the playful side of Après and with the wallet to accommodate it, a little time outside at Cloud Nine at Aspen Highlands watching the bottles of Veuve Clicquot flow will not disappoint. Be prepared to get a little wet!

Lynn Britt Cabin

Inspired by the culinary talents of Executive Chef Jim Butchart this rustic but elegant cabin mid-mountain at Snowmass is the go-to destination for a more relaxed hang, especially on a blue-bird day when you can sit outside on the patio with the campfire burning. For those interested in something even more special, reserve a seat for one of the snowcat dinners.

The Living Room, Hotel Jerome

Just a great hang with fireplace and a slightly lower-key ambiance in one of Aspen’s oldest and most iconic hotels. Make time to check out their newly minted “Bad Harriett” speakeasy next door.

Hooch Craft Cocktail Bar

For those who like to savor their craft cocktail experiences, the place to go is Hooch Craft Cocktail Bar located below Rustique restaurant. It has a great speakeasy vibe with comfortable seating and a top-notch cocktail menu.

Jimmy’s Restaurant

No trip to Aspen would be complete without a visit to Jimmy’s, especially to try something from their collection of agave spirits.

Home Team BBQ

A new addition to the Après scene located at the base of Buttermilk is a popular site for locals heading back down valley after a day of turns at nearby Highlands.

Après Ski Cocktail Classic

If you’re lucky enough to be in Aspen in March (14 – 17, 2019), count your blessings and look for the Après Ski Cocktail Classic, named “top five cocktail festivals in America” by Fodor’s. The (mostly free!) event takes place at multiple venues around Aspen and features celebrity mixologists, brand ambassadors, top of the mountain pop-ups, tastings, seminars, parties, and spirit-paired dinners.

Ajax Tavern Patio

Starting ‘round past noon, this is as close to on-mountain as you can get without jumping on the gondola. A fantastic place to share a glass of bubbly with friends and enjoy the sights and sounds of what has made Aspen legendary. Make sure to try the truffle fries.

This article originally appeared on Travel Squire.

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