I know what you’re thinking: Spring is here. The calendar says so, and many of you are beginning to plan your first beach trip. You have visions of umbrella drinks and suntans dancing through your head. To that, I say, slow your roll. The winter storms keep stacking up, from the Northeast to the Rockies to the West Coast, and we sit on the precipice of a particularly great spring ski season. More importantly, we’re on the edge of a particularly great après ski season. Temps are rising and the slope-side patios are going off at resorts like Killington, which is showing no signs of closing anytime soon, and Mammoth Mountain, which has gotten 17 feet of snow in March so far. Feet. Whistler is looking strong through April, too. Lodging is cheap, the snow is soft and if you get lucky with the weather, you can do laps in a tank top. That’s spring skiing at its best.
Mount Gay Rum is banking that skiers will love their rum after a day on the slopes as much as sailors do after a day on the ocean. The 315-year-old rum brand has launched a new ski-centric campaign, setting up pop up Fireside Lounges at ski resorts across the country and partnering with gold medalist freeskier Jonny Moseley to help get the word out about the brand’s motto/guiding principle “Time Well Spent,” as in, time spent skiing and drinking with friends is “time well spent.”
Mount Gay Rum invited me to Telluride, Colorado to ski and drink so I could see how rum fits into the après ski scene. What I discovered is that rum is the booze that can bridge the seasons, taking you from your last après ski session to your first beach drink. Check out the gallery to see how the weekend went down, from heli-skiing with a legend to drinking cocktails while watching fire dancers. And I’ve added a couple of my favorite recipes from the trip below.
This is Mount Gay’s take on the Dark and Stormy. It’s refreshing as hell, with a bit of bite from the ginger beer. The Black Barrel Rum is aged in whiskey barrels and takes on some of the characteristics of bourbon. I discovered I liked it as much neat as I did in a cocktail.
2 oz. Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
Mint or Lime Garnish
Instructions: In a rocks glass, pour MG Black Barrel, add ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with mint or lime wedge. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.
A Hot Toddy is as classic as an après ski cocktail can get. Mount Gay takes a traditional approach to the toddy, again using Black Barrel, which is my favorite spirit from the brand.
1.5 oz. Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
.5 oz. lemon juice
.5 oz. honey
Cinnamon stick and lemon peel garnish
Instructions: In an Irish mug glass, pour MG Black Barrel, lemon juice and honey. Top with hot water. Garnish with cinnamon stick and lemon peel.
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Pro skier Caleb Farro taking a moment between heli-ski laps.
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Mount Gay has three main expressions, the Black Barrel, XO and super-aged 1703.
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Black Barrel proved to be my favorite of the three rums.
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The Black and Snowy was the right call after skiing bumps and trees all day at Telluride.
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Fire dancers, dude. Fire dancers.
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A little XO in the hot tub. This is the apres after the apres ski.
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Ski legend Jonny Moseley about to hop in the helicopter to find backcountry powder.
Mount Gay Rum
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Moseley and Farro at 12,000 feet (give or take) ready to ski knee deep powder.
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This is the really fancy version of the Black and Snowy. That's a real snowball on top of the drink.
Mount Gay Rum
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This is what lunch at 13,000 feet looks like. Salami, cheese, crackers and rum.