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What are you doing on this fine New Year’s Eve? Skiing? Riding? Sharing a champagne toast with friends?

Whether you’re out on snow or planning to live it up tonight, we’re in a festive mood here at Liftopia, with plans to celebrate in Ski Town style.

Every ski town has a great bar, and nowadays, many have outstanding breweries and distilleries too. It won’t be hard to find a place to party.

So, if the start of 2014 finds you at home or far from snow, try whipping up these holiday cocktails from two of our favorite ski town distilleries. As a bonus, we’ve also included three local ski area brews to help you celebrate.

Enjoy!

Festive Holiday Cocktails: Montanya Distillers

The HotTanya by Montanya Distillers,
Crested Butte, Colorado

Montanya Distillers, Outside Magazine’s “Best Après Adventure Bar” for 2012, crafts a high-altitude rum in chilly Crested Butte. Owner, Karen Hoskin, recommends this warm drink for New Year’s Eve.

Festive Holiday Cocktails: HotTanya“Probably our most festive New Year’s cocktail is the HotTanya,” she shares. “It’s a decadent, hot buttered rum topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.”

If you’re lucky enough to be in Crested Butte tonight, ring in the New Year at the Montanya tasting room with free tastings (plenty of HotTanyas), distillery tours, holiday-worthy appetizers from their newly expanded menu, and live music.

Montanya Distiller’s HotTanya Recipe

2-3 Tablespoons HotTanya Mix (see recipe below)
3 ounces (that’s a double shot) Montanya Oro
Hot water
Whipped Cream
Nutmeg

Combine the mix, rum and enough hot water to fill your cup and make your drink piping hot. Top with whipped cream and a dusting of nutmeg.

Montanya Distiller’s HotTanya Mix

1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
1 pound brown sugar
1 pounds powdered sugar
1 pound butter.

Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Freeze. Will keep frozen up to four months.

The Back Bowls Bliss by Smugglers’ Notch Distillery
Jeffersonville, Vermont

Festive Holiday Cocktails: Distillery

It’s not any warmer in Vermont this time of year, but cold temps shouldn’t scare you away from a bracing cold cocktail, according to Jeremy Elliott, President and Co-Owner of Smugglers’ Notch Distillery in Jeffersonville, Vermont.

Jeremy suggests welcoming the New Year in northern style with the Back Bowls Bliss cocktail.

Not for a sweet tooth, this classically mixed cocktail goes best sitting by a fire and “reminiscing with friends about the awesome day of hiking, skiing and earning your turns.”

So says Jeremy.

Smugglers’ Notch Distillery Back Bowls Bliss

2 ounces Smugglers’ Notch Distillery Vodka
1 ounce Smugglers’ Notch Distillery Gin
Lemon peel
Orange bitters

Combine the vodka and gin in a Boston Shaker containing ice. Shake until well frosted. Strain into a martini glass. Add lemon peel and a dash of bitters.

Seasonal Beers, Mammoth Brewing Company,
Mammoth Lakes, California

Festive Holiday Cocktails: Beer at MammothSometimes nothing hits the spot like a good beer, even on New Year’s Eve. Here are three extra-special winter-themed beers from the Mammoth Brewing Company. While you’ll have to be in California to drink one tonight, perhaps they’ll inspire you to seek out something special at your favorite microbrewery.

Fire and Eisbock

Mammoth Mountain sits within an active volcanic caldera and is one of the few resorts where you can see and smell gases venting from inside the earth. Appropriately, Fire and Eisbock starts with heat to which local basalt rocks, supercharged to nearly 600 F, are added to the infant wort (the mix of malt, sugar and water from which beer is born). Amidst the resulting steam, the intense heat carmelizes the sugar.

“It’s a fun way to make beer,” shares Brewery owner Sean Turner.

After three weeks, the beer is frozen, or at least water within the beer is frozen. Using a centuries-old German method, the remaining beer is drained off the ice, concentrating and increasing the alcohol content.

Lair of the Bear

A dark, Imperial Stout, this beer is brewed one year in advance and aged in wooden bourbon barrels for release the following winter. With overtones of smoke, vanilla, and, of course, bourbon, Turner suggests that this beer be served in a tulip shaped glass to enhance the flavors.

Perfect for toasting, eh?

1953 Anniversary Ale

As we turn the page on 2013, Mammoth Mountain is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the year when founder Dave McCoy received permission to build a ski resort. A red Irish ale, with a retro label and a “hint of chocolate to honor Mammoth’s sweet terrain,” this one is a limited release, available only at Mammoth.

Cheers! And, best wishes for a vibrant, exciting and powder-filled New Year!

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