Steamboat bars serve up an array of specialty drinks
Steamboat Springs — Whether it be a drink to warm up after a day of skiing or one to celebrate the holidays, Steamboat has a variety of bars to choose from. But what drinks are best to try?
Bartenders and locals offered their insight into the most popular drinks to try this season.
Known for their wide variety of Colorado brews, some may forget that The BARley also offers cocktails. Bartender Michael Ruby said one of their most popular drinks would be the Jam Cocktails. The customer decides the jam and spirit, then the bartender will mix the drink accordingly. Jam flavors include sarvis berry, strawberry Champagne, triple berry, pear and choke cherry.
A few of the Laundry’s most popular drinks include The Fresh & 43, made with berry-infused vodka, liquor 43, fresh lemon juice, orange bitters, soda water and a fresh fruit garnish. Another local favorite is the Fiery Margarita, and they aren’t messing around with “fiery”. The drink is made with habanero, jalapeno, poblano, red pepper infused silver tequila, triple sec, cilantro-lemongrass simple syrup, fresh lime juice and a splash of fresh orange juice. If spicy isn’t your thing, try the Smoke & Thyme cocktail made with Finlandia vodka, a pear and apple puree, St. Germain, mezcal, fresh lemon juice, and topped off with a raspberry and thyme sprig garnish.
Carl’s is known for its Rocky Mountain Mule, a refreshing drink in the summer but equally so for the winter. In the drink is Silver Tree CO Vodka, Gosling’s ginger beer and fresh lime. Carl’s Tavern bartenders also said the Carl’s Cider is a popular drink among patrons. This warm cocktail includes Leopold Bros. Colorado Apple Whiskey, Big B’s Organic Colorado Apple Cider and a cinnamon-chai whip.
Expert Sommelier Mike Lang said Harwigs/L’Apogee is known for having classic, old-school drinks like martinis, Manhattans and Old Fashioneds. Two of their popular cocktails include the Vesper, which has Beefeater gin, Grey Goose vodka and French Corgi Lillet. Or check out the Negroni cocktail with a mixture of Beefeater gin, sweet vermouth and Compadre.
Whenever newcomers ask for a locals bar, the go-to typically includes Sunpie’s. It’s a locals party with a New Orleans atmosphere. And ask any of those locals in town, and they will tell you about the Sunpie’s Hurricane. The drink consists of light rum, dark rum, orange juice, pineapple juice and grenadine — and can be a deadly concoction.
Known as a prime spot for après ski, The Paramount has variety of food and drinks for all palates. Their most popular drink, according to Rebecca Wheeler at The Paramount, is the Bloody Mary, which includes fresh spices, herbs and a homemade habanero vodka. Others include the Bellini, made with Blanc de Blanc and white peach puree, or the Greyhound Punch made with grapefruit juice, soda and Amarena cherries.
As one of the new additions to the Steamboat Springs bar scene, Aurum has a variety of signature drinks. Bartenders there agreed that the Game Changer is a drink that has a new take on the cocktail using an unexpected blend of mezcal and amaro. This original drink is stirred over ice then strained. To top it off, a caramel citrus foam and honey thyme “sipper” is added. Next is the Manhattan. To make it different, it is made with a Colorado Gold Bourbon, Luxardo cherry liqueur, green Chartreuse and a dash of sweet vermouth to add a twist on an old classic. It’s served “on the rock,” then garnished with a soaked cherry. If none of those interest you, try the Strawberry Rhubarb Fizz, a drink made with fresh strawberry puree and rhubarb biters for a bubbly cocktail when topped with prosecco.
One of Rex’s signature drinks includes the Burnin’ Bacon Bloody, made with a house-infused jalapeno and bacon vodka accompanied with spicy marinated peppers and strip of bacon. The other is their Strawberry Press, which is a house-infused strawberry vodka that is delicious and refreshing no matter what the season. For the holidays, bartenders recommend the Chocolate Truffle, made with top-shelf amaretto, raspberry liquor, hot cocoa and topped with fresh whipped cream.
Known for its Southern cooking and atmosphere, this establishment had its grand opened this spring. LOW’s most popular drinks is the Raspberry Smash, made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, fresh raspberries, raspberry vinegar, mint and soda. Another that is said to remind patrons of a Southern summer is The Charleston. It’s made with Gosling’s rum, Earl Grey-infused Buffalo Trace, peach brandy, peach syrup, basil, blueberries and lemon.
With a cocktail menu that varies as much as its sushi, Sake2U is known for its unique cocktails. A few of those include the Bling Bling martini with Efen vodka, St. Germain liqueur and TY KU citrus sake. Also try the Wasabi Bloody Mary that includes Absolute Cilantro Vodka with a wasabi bloody mary mix garnished with a cucumber and olives. In addition, another featured drink is the Truffluelopogus, with a truffled-infused vodka with blue cheese stuffed olives.
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It was a love story that brought Jason Erwin to Steamboat Springs from Nashville, Tennessee.