Post-ski trip drinks developed as their own category in the latter part of the 20th century, though the classification of an après ski is loose. Often served hot (like the beloved Toddy), though not always, the drinks are strong and intense, usually something bracing and invigorating after a day on the slopes. However, according to Jimmy Yeager—the owner of Jimmy’s An American Restaurant and Bar in the ski-obsessed city of Aspen, Colorado—their popularity has waned recently. “The days of après everywhere are over compared to 20 to 30 years ago,” he says, explaining that high-speed lifts and other technologies have shortened the ski day, causing skiers to wrap up on the mountain earlier.
Still, there’s plenty of room for some delicious, spirit-forward, botanical drinks after finishing a day of skiing. Yeager’s favorite après cocktail is the Flinn’s Après Steazy. Created by and named for former Jimmy‘s bartender Flinn Pomeroy, Yeager says it evokes the surrounding area perfectly. “Like Aspen, this cocktail is highly cultured and at the same time very approachable.”
The Après Steazy is unusual in that it uses an amaro as its base rather than as an embellishment. In particular, it calls for Lucano amaro—more than a century old, this Italian liqueur is a blend of 30-plus herbs and other botanicals. The cocktail is also bolstered with rye whiskey, and Pomeroy uses one from Woody Creek, a distillery in Basalt, Colorado, only 20 miles from Aspen. For those who can’t get their hands on a bottle, another American rye whiskey will fill in nicely.
While the base is already an amaro, Pomeroy adds another to the mix, the famed bittersweet Italian liqueur Campari, which adds additional herbal notes to the drink. Its bitterness is balanced by St-Germain elderflower liqueur, and lemon juice brightens all of it, leading to a strong but balanced cocktail. “I chose it because it’s delicious and balanced,” says Yeager. “The amaro is fortified by the rye whiskey and balanced by the bitter and sweet of the Campari and St-Germain.”
- 1 1/2 ounces Lucano amaro
- 3/4 ounce Woody Creek rye whiskey
- 3/4 ounce Campari
- 1/2 ounce St-Germain
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Garnish: lemon twist
Add the Lucano amaro, rye whiskey, Campari, St-Germain and lemon juice into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Double-strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.
Express the oil from a lemon twist over the drink and drop the twist into the drink to garnish.