By Damien Williamson | February 3, 2016 | Food & Drink
Whiskey (and bourbon) isn’t always for the faint of heart. But these five drinks at five of Aspen’s best bars offer a perfectly balanced take on the whiskey cocktail to satisfy even the most discerning bar patron. So drink up!
The Sky Hotel and 39 Degrees bar are going the way of the dodo come April, as the property is razed to make way for a new W Hotel in 2017. So don’t miss one of the last chances to sip whiskey poolside at one of Aspen’s favorite après-ski locales. And nothing is as nice as the Sky’s Spanish Manhattan. The cocktail features George Dickel whiskey, Lustau Pedro Ximenez sherry, and a dash of Angostura bitters, served in a martini glass with ice topped with a Luxardo maraschino cherry. 709 E Durant Ave., 970-429-7839
Locals know that Jimmy’s is much more than the tequila and steaks for which it is best known. The signature cocktails from its own group of dashing mixologists are also worth a second look. Our favorite is the Kentucky Mule, a southern take on the classic Moscow Mule, served with Four Roses bourbon and Gosling ginger beer. And, of course, it comes in a copper mug. 205 S Mill St #2, 970-925-6020
We couldn’t have a roundup of top whiskey cocktail without the one bar in Aspen with whiskey in its name. Whiskey Rush, known equally for its late-night dance grooves as its early evening lounging, does justice to the Whiskey Sour. It is made with the drinker’s choice of whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar and optional add-ons like a dash of egg white or pineapple juice. 220 S Galena St., 510-289-7055
The latest entrant into Aspen’s world-class culinary scene is Aspen Kitchen. And the quality of the cocktails is only rivaled by the food and the décor. We recommend the Black Cherry Sling, with Breckenridge bourbon, cane-sugar simple syrup, freshly squeezed lime juice, Fee Brother cherry bitters, and cherry cordial and soda. 515 Hopkins Ave. #200, 970-300-4525
The Living Room bar inside the historic Hotel Jerome is designed to feel exactly like it sounds: an open, expansive space for guests to relax and settle in over small plates and creative drinks. And the Bourbon Banshee is no exception. The perfectly balanced drink is crafted with Bulleit bourbon, Joseph Cartron crème de cassis, vanilla rooibos tea, lemon, and angostura bitters. 330 E Main St., 85-331-7213