Located in the Rocky Mountain resort town of Breckenridge, nestled among the colorful tourist shops on Main Street, Après Handcrafted Libations is a family operation founded on one guiding principle: celebrate quality.
The menu here is an ever-rotating selection of craft brews, small-batch whiskeys, cocktails, and housemade ingredients. It’s the fresh-squeezed juices, scratch-made syrups, and signature lineup of handmade bitters that set the spot’s offerings above the rest.
“Since opening in January of 2014, we have strived to bring the best handcrafted libations to Breckenridge,” says co-owner and founder Lauren Otto. The bar’s area of expertise? Whiskey.
“Quality whiskey cocktails are the perfect après to any mountain adventure,” Otto continues. “Even with all of our creativity, our best-selling libation is still a classic—the old fashioned.”
But that’s not to say there isn’t a certain Après flourish to the best seller. The Après old fashioned is a smooth sipper with a warm, spicy, touch-of-toffee finish. A few dashes of Après’ own aromatic bitters and a touch of its custom orange bitters are enough to cut through the drink’s silky sweet profile and add the perfect amount of citrus on the nose.
“If done right, an old fashioned showcases the character of the whiskey,” Otto explains. “We sell more old fashioneds than any other drink. This means our whiskey is a big part of our reputation. We are known for making a great old fashioned because we start with a great base—Templeton Rye.”
Despite Après’ extensive list of Colorado whiskeys on offer, it could only be the subtly sweet notes of Templeton Rye at the heart of its kingpin cocktail. Plus, Otto says, the price point is as reliable as the outstanding flavor profile. Just look at the whopping share of last year’s sales (23 percent!) that was brought in by Templeton-based cocktails alone.
“Without a quality whiskey like Templeton Rye, it wouldn’t be possible to maintain such a strong reputation,” Otto says, “which makes products we love like Templeton an asset to our success.”
- Restaurant: Après Handcrafted Libations, 130 Main Street, Breckenridge
- Bartender: Lauren Otto
- Cocktail: Après old fashioned
- Brand: Templeton Rye
- Pour Cost: 15%
- Price: $13
- 2 ounces Templeton Rye
- 1/4 ounce simple syrup
- 3-4 dashes Après Handcrafted Aromatic Bitters
- 1-2 dashes Après Handcrafted Orange Bitters
Combine all ingredients in mixing tin and stir with ice. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a Luxardo cherry and an orange twist for garnish.
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