In Whistler, the thing to do after skiing is, well, après ski - which is code for hanging out and having a few drinks with friends as a way to celebrate a very productive day on the slopes.
Not all après are made equal, however, and that certainly applies to the practice of après at The Four Seasons Whistler, at their Sidecut restaurant. They recently collaborated with one of Vancouver’s most celebrated sommelier and award-winning bartenders, Lauren Mote, to develop a new cocktail program. But you may know her best as the co-founder of Bittered Sling Bitters, one of the top bitters manufacturers in North America.
The Spirit of the Mountains program contains six unique cocktails that are inspired by the numerous mountain ranges across the planet. Highlights include the Volcan de Fuego, inspired by one of the three active volcanos in Guatemala that showcases Guatemala’s Zacapa 23-Year-Old Rum, Amontillado Sherry, Cherry and Amaro, Suius Cherry Bitters, Topped with Applewood Smoke (seriously cool, people); the London Mountain, named after Whistler (yes, that was its original name) and a riff off The Cosmo but with Ketel One Vodka, Whistler’s local “Hygge Chai” with Elderberry, Ginger and Black Tea and Western Haskap Bitters; and Third Pole, which is their version of the whiskey sour but with Artichoke Amaro, Chaga Tea with Cardamom and Sarsaparilla Bark, Lemon and Kensington Aromatic Bitters. The pièce de resistance, however, was the Sunda Punch - a two-person margarita with Don Julio Blanco Tequila, Bitter Liqueur and Aged Sake, Moondog Latin Bitters, Lemongrass and Basil, shaken, delivered via a porthole infuser and served neat. Absolutely delicious.
If you want to drink off-program, order the Drops of Juniper - perhaps my favourite cocktail on the entire mountain (and that’s saying a lot). A perfect combination of Botanist Gin (best gin for mixing cocktails, IMHO), Green Apple Balsamic Juniper & Rosemary Syrup, Lemon Juice and Egg White. Frothy, tart, bright and thirst-quenching. A complete delight.