Hot cocoa spiked with Peppermint Schnapps used to be as close to a craft cocktail as one could hope for at most mountain resorts. But the mixology craze that has swept urban bars has finally made it to the ski slopes. In December 2014, the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch opened Buffaloes, a new restaurant and lounge with a serious dedication to promoting Colorado-sourced ingredients in both its food menu and bar menu.
When Garrett Cosgrove took over the bar he restocked the shelves with some of the state's best spirits from small-batch producers such as Dancing Pines and Leopold Bros. He's also making house-made infusions like a lemongrass-spiked gin and a autumnal pumpkin and squash infused bourbon. Cosgrove avoids getting too geeky and instead puts subtle twists on classic cocktails. For example, for his S&S Margarita, he infuses tequila with mango and habañero and uses agave for a bit of sweetness. I loved the complexity of his Ginger Sazerac, which combines 10th Mountain Division Rye Whiskey, absinthe rinse, ginger, Domaine De Canton, brown sugar, and bitters.
Cocktail nerds can even take craft cocktail classes Wednesday and Fridays in Bachelors Lounge.