If you’re someone who aspires to climb Mount Everest one day, I commend you.
For the rest of us mere mortals, the idea of an elongated day on the ski field is more than enough. Why would you suffer through piercing winds, potential avalanches, and frostbitten toes when you can wind your merry way down a mediocre ski slope?
Let me entice you even more. There’s nothing quite like putting a good hard day in on the powder to warrant a strong, warming drink at the end of it – preferably by a large, crackling fire.
Breckenridge is somewhere you’ve either been, or you haven’t. If you have, you’ll know what I’m getting at with these ski allegories. If you haven’t, and you enjoy the occasional day on the slopes ending with a stiff drink, then you’ll want to go – yesterday.
It’s not the camaraderie of sports-mad people that will make you not want to leave Breckenridge. Neither is it the fact that Breckenridge is Colorado’s answer to a bougie Swiss ski town, either. It’s the booze.
Thanks to Bryan Nolt, founder of Breckenridge Distillery, you can be guaranteed a deliciously heartwarming drink at the end of each slope day.
Even Bryan isn’t too sure why he chose Breckenridge as his distillery destination back in 2007. It was the gamble of a lifetime, that’s for sure – taking out his college fund, life savings and eventually getting rid of the house too to pursue his spirit pipedream.
All we can say is thank goodness he did. By taking the more recent cliché ‘work smarter, not harder’ that is often associated with this generation’s entrepreneurs, Bryan noticed a gap in the market at Breckenridge and found a way to connect winter sports with spirits.
We’re talking literally here. This is because the secret to Bryan’s successful spirit company is in the water. The snow water that is. The 4,000 square foot space that is Breckenridge Distillery doubles as a public showcase.
Once you’ve had enough of the snow, simply step into the spacious area of Breckenridge and watch in awe and wonder as Bryan’s staff ferment, distill and mash products like vodka and bourbon with their unusual secret ingredient – snowmelt water.
Bryan considers this to be an unfair advantage. After all, who else has exclusive, unlimited access to one of the world’s purest, untouched water supply?
There’s a good reason that Breckenridge has become home to Bryan’s distillery – it wasn’t just a whimsical, romantic gesture as an alternative to college. Bryan believes in distilling spirits that are going to ignite the simple pleasures for you, especially after a day of skiing.
Regarding the stiff drinks that are on supply, these simple pleasures include flavor, quality, and mouthfeel. Bryan understands that you’re going to appreciate the quality him, and his staff put into their spirits – but don’t want it to be complicated. Who wants to be talked at about the technical side of this stuff after a day in the elements?
Unfortunately, summer isn’t exactly ski season. However, you may just find yourself back at Breckenridge for a sample of their Colorado Western slope fruits. Breckenridge Distillery uses these for their Liqueurs, Brandies, and Vodka flavorings.
Breckenridge spirits wouldn’t be what they are without using local ingredients. This is what Bryan and Breckenridge Distillery aim for as much as possible. Their small batches of bourbon, whiskey distilled botanicals and rum are available year-round.
All this talk of fruits and flavors is making me thirsty. Let’s backflip in and see what Breckenridge Distillery has on offer.
Breckenridge Distillery Drinks
Breckenridge Vodka: this drink is going to be an excellent choice if your ski day didn’t go quite according to plan. Maybe the gondola got stuck two too many times – or perhaps you aren’t as good at skiing as you remember.
Never fear, vodka is here. Breckenridge Distillery’s vodka is naturally clean and brilliantly clear. It has gentles notes of fragrant meadow flowers coupled with delicious lemon cream. This vodka is light-bodied with a warm, soft texture balanced by a sweet, mellow finish.
You’ll find the famous ski-slope water in this vodka. In fact, the minerality of the Breckenridge water used for proofing and blending gives it that perfect mouthfeel you look for in a vodka.
Espresso Flavored Vodka: we’re going to go out on a limb here and suggest that perhaps this next vodka is best enjoyed before a good, hardy ski. I mean, think about it – you’re not going to want to drink coffee after the fact, are you? Better to kick it back first thing and reap the rewards with a winning performance on the slopes.
Hold that thought, because it’ll be the placebo – the beans are decaffeinated. Still worth a try though, in our opinion.
Breckenridge Distillery’s Espresso Flavored Vodka involved blood sweat and tears to make – Swiss sweat, that is. They say that it took more effort to source their Swiss water decaffeinated beans than they ever predicted. Like you, however, they believe it was worth it.
Breckenridge Spiced Rum: order a decanter of this on the rocks, shaken, not stirred, and you’ll put your ski boots up feeling like James Bond. Colorado rum mixes with sugar and spices in this exquisite little number. Breckenridge itself then mashes and distills it.
You’d better get skiing if you want to taste this rum, though – because it needs aging. Once it’s been aged in Breckenridge’s gold-medal winning bourbon casks, it’s then finished off with dried fruits, spices and roots. This is a personal favorite of the Breckenridge team, tempting us to believe that Bond himself would throw it back.
Relax at Breckenridge Distillery
We think it’s safe to say that when you’re done on the slopes, your day of self-discovery and learning isn’t over. All you have to do is step into the world of Breckenridge distillery and encounter what it’s like to finish a powder day off the right way.
For your après-ski favorite distillery, make a habit out of Breckenridge. It couldn’t be better, really – since 2007 Bryan has made a point of bringing the post-workout drink to you so that you can enjoy the best of both worlds at one of the highest points Breckenridge, Colorado has to offer.
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October 22 • Uncategorized
Dia de los Muertos: Food, Culture and Tradition
Homes around the U.S. are being decorated with pumpkins, ghouls and witches in anticipation of Halloween, but in Mexico, the date coincides with the start of a more ancient tradition that has nothing to do with fright and much to do with culture, food and drinks.
September 29 • Bolivian Wine
Bolivian Wine: from the Andes to your Table
Bolivia may not instantly come to mind when one thinks of wine, but the South American country has a long and rich viticulture history that dates back to the arrival of the Spanish missionaries, who first planted vines around the wealthy silver-mining city of Potosi in the mid-16th century.
September 25 • Coffee Producers
The ‘Arabica’ Whisperer
The best part of waking up? Well, it’s coffee, of course.
Humanity truly runs on this beverage that helps millions of people around the world wake up, work and function. And if it’s of the Arabica variety, its delicious ‘kick’ will keep you going strong all day long.
September 15 • Latino Heritage Month
Raise a toast to Latino Heritage Month
The Empire State Building kicked off Latino Heritage Month by shining red, white and green colors onto the New York skylight on September 15 in honor of the Mexican flag.
August 16 • Music
PEOPLE ARE STRANGE: Jim Morrison
Jim was quoted in his poetic nature: “Being drunk is a good disguise.” He said. “It means I can talk to assholes.”
May 31 • Civil rights
Hennessy: The Cognac of Hip Hop & Civil Rights (Part 2)
It’s safe to say we would all agree Hennessy and Hip-Hop are associated with each other in a special way. We would even go as far to say, Hennessy has reached global iconic status thanks to that fact. That being said, while the cognac of hip-hop was catapulted to its iconic stature thanks to the help of artist like Tupac and Nas, what we don’t know by looking at the surface is that Hennessy has a long standing tradition of supporting people of African decent.
July 15 • shots
The First “Shot” Ever Served: A Tale of the West
It’s always a race against the heat in the West. Hell, there’s a score of difference races around here. There’s a race to the riches and a race to the hills where the riches lay. There’s a race to food and shelter and the means in which a man might make to get them. There’s a race to the women and to the brothels and saloons where you can find them at. I don’t look for my women in those places but I often find myself in them for other races. Mine is a race to whiskey. It’s only a matter of time before I find myself in one today.
October 20 • Bolivia
Bertil Tøttenborg, Sommelier at renowned GUSTU Restaurant - The magnificence of Bolivian wines