For many skiers, the last run of the day is not an end but a beginning. After a hard day on the slopes the first drink is always the best with the second usually not far behind. Après-ski scenes range from Old West cowboy chic to modernistic urban-inspired martini bars. Whatever your passion, when the clock turns to après time there’s nothing better than kicking off your boots and throwing back a few hot or cold ones with your friends. On a sunny day I will usually go for a cold beer or maybe a cider, but on a cold snowy day it’s hard to beat a hot cocktail. In the spirit of après and entertainment, here are a few drinks that’ll warm you right up.


Irish Coffee

2 teaspoons sugar

1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey

2/3 cup freshly brewed strong black coffee

1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

Combine the sugar, whiskey, and coffee in an Irish coffee glass. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the cream until slightly frothy. Gently pour the cream onto the back of a spoon resting on the surface of the coffee, so that it floats on top of the coffee. Serve without stirring.

Hot hint: Getting the cream to float on top of an Irish coffee may require a little luck of the Irish. To ensure success, don’t omit the sugar, even if you don’t typically take it in your coffee, and remember not to stir in the cream, as the secret to experiencing the true flavor of an Irish coffee is sipping through the floating cream.


3/4 cup water

3/4 cup white sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1 orange

10 whole cloves

1 (750 milliliter) bottle red wine

In a saucepan combine the water, sugar, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into the simmering water. Push the cloves into the outside of the orange peel and place peel in the simmering water. Continue simmering for 30 minutes until thick and syrupy. Pour in the wine and heat until steaming but not simmering. Remove the clove-studded orange halves. Serve hot in mugs or glasses that have been preheated in warm water (cold glasses will break.)

Hot Spiced Buttered Rum

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon finely minced lemon rind

3 pinches of cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

Pinch of nutmeg

1 jigger golden rum

Boiling water

1 generous teaspoon unsalted butter

In a china or glass mug rinsed with boiling water, put the light brown sugar, the lemon rind, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Pour in the rum, fill the mug with boiling water, and drop in the butter.

Hot Toddy

1 oz (2 tablespoons) bourbon

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup boiling-hot water

1 clove

Pour bourbon, honey and lemon juice in a 6-ounce mug. Top off with hot water and stir until honey is dissolved. Add clove for extra flavor. Brandy or Scotch also work well in a toddy, but the vanilla sweetness of good bourbon is my personal favorite.

Spiced Wine

1 750-ml bottle medium-bodied red wine, such as zweigelt

½ cup sugar

8 whole cloves

4 lemon wedges

4 4” sticks cinnamon

Bring ingredients to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and discard cloves. Ladle wine into 4 glasses and garnish each with 1 of the cinnamon stiks and 1 lemon wedge. Serve hot.

Tom and Jerry

2 large eggs, separated

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon Jamaican rum

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Small pinch ground allspice

Small pinch ground cloves

Large pinch ground cinnamon

2 2/3 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon freshly grated whole nutmeg or ground nutmeg

In a small mixing bowl, whisk yolks briefly. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon rum, vanilla extract, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon, and whisk again. Set aside. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another large bowl until stiff and glossy. Fold whites into yolk mixture, and set aside.

In medium saucepan over low heat, bring milk to simmer and remove from heat. While milk is warming, briefly stir egg batter, then add 1 1/2 tablespoons to mug. Slowly add 4 tablespoons of remaining rum, stirring constantly to prevent curdling. Fill mug with hot milk, stir, sprinkle with nutmeg, and serve.

These are just a few of my favorite après-drinks. What’re yours?

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