The 12 Best Après-Ski Cocktails

Dust off those boots, grab your wax, and secure your mountain pass because ski season is finally back. Stretching from November to April, it offers endless opportunities for exploration all across the globe. But no matter how satisfying it can be to catch the first lift of the day and head down the slopes on fresh snow, every winter sports enthusiast knows that the best part of the day comes once the skis have been shed.

That’s right, we’re talking about après-ski. The term, French for “after ski,” refers to a tradition that’s become an integral part of mountain culture and typically entails a round (or four) of drinks and boisterous singing. Perhaps the best part about après? You don’t actually have to ski or snowboard to participate, and it provides the perfect opportunity to meet up with others on your trip who may not have hit the slopes themselves.

If you’re headed to your first après celebration this winter, you’re sure to see some of the beloved cold-weather classics from the list below on the lodge’s menu. But for some of the more experienced après aficionados, some of this list’s more creative cocktails may help you shake this season up.

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From the ubiquitous Hot Toddy to under-the-radar libations containing European winter staple Jägermeister, read on for 12 of the best cocktails for après-ski.

The Hot Toddy

The Hot Toddy is one of the best après ski cocktails.

Restorative and steamy, there’s perhaps no better cocktail than the Hot Toddy for warming up quickly after a day spent in the snow. The drink, which combines whiskey, honey, lemon juice, and hot water, soothes the soul with its boozy but simple flavor profile. Plus, given its potential to ward off any seasonal sickness, sipping one post-slope may help you return to the lifts the next day without a stuffy nose.

The Irish Coffee

The Irish Coffee is one of the best après ski cocktails.

Winter sports can get tiring fast, so a caffeine kick is often necessary to ensure you make it to dinnertime. For those in a slump, an Irish Coffee is the ideal pick-me-up. Arguably the most famous Irish Coffee recipe outside Ireland comes to us from NYC’s The Dead Rabbit, and combines freshly brewed Sumatra coffee with Irish whiskey and a dash of rich Demerara syrup. Topped with a heaping portion of whipped cream, the Irish Coffee is a real treat, and the perfect reward for a hard day’s work.

Mulled Wine

The Mulled Wine is one of the best après ski cocktails.

If your friends’ festivities are held outside, you’ll understand the importance of having a hot beverage in your hands. When you’re not in the mood for something spirituous, Mulled Wine is a great alternative. Made by heating dry red wine and infusing it with sugar, oranges, and winter spices like cinnamon and clove, Mulled Wine is served in ski lodges far and wide, though it’s just as easy to make at home for festivities of your own.

The Hot Spiced Cider

The Hot Spiced Cider is one of the best après ski cocktails.

Warm, rich, and comforting, it’s hard to think of a more quintessential winter cocktail than Hot Apple Cider. This recipe, which comes from the Sanderling Resort in Duck, N.C., employs cinnamon-infused brandy as the base for an additional layer of fiery spice.

Aperol Spritz

The Aperol Spritz is one of the best après ski cocktails.

We know what you’re thinking. An Aperol Spritz? In the middle of winter? But believe it or not, the sparkling aperitif is a beloved après-ski tradition, especially in its country of origin. The Spritz’s low ABV and bubbly brightness make it the perfect libation for enjoying after a day strapped on skis. And when set against the snow, the cocktail’s vibrant orange hue practically begs you to unwind with a glass in hand and admire the view.

The Tom and Jerry

The Tom and Jerry is one of the best après ski cocktails.

Consider whipping up a batch of Tom and Jerry to serve to your chilly nearest and dearest. Similar to eggnog but made without heavy cream, the Tom and Jerry offers a succulent, creamy texture and luscious notes of baking spices and warm milk. Spiked with both brandy and dark rum, the indulgent concoction is comforting and perfect for cozying up with next to a roaring fireplace if raucous parties aren’t your style.

The Hot Buttered Rum

The Hot Buttered Rum is one of the best après ski cocktails.

There’s nothing quite like curling your frozen fingers around a steaming mug at the end of a long day out in the cold, but it’s made even better when the mug contains Hot Buttered Rum. The velvety cocktail offers sweet vanilla and baking spice flavors, which are best paired with rowdy dancing and oompah music.

The Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini is one of the best après ski cocktails.

If you’re headed to a massive party after the last run of the day, there’s absolutely no time to let sleepiness set it. That’s where the Espresso Martini comes in. Beloved for its ability to wake you up and get the party rolling, the espresso and vodka build is perfect for tossing back to stay alert.

The Negroni

The Negroni is one of the best après ski cocktails.

Bitter and boozy, the Negroni and its herbaceous flavors warm you from within. Made with equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, the cocktail is as easy to make as it is to enjoy, which can help keep the good vibes rolling into the night. Skiing in France? Make a White Negroni by swapping out Campari for Suze, a bitter liqueur made from gentian roots harvested from the French Alps and Pyrenees mountains. If gin isn’t your spirit of choice, swap it out for bourbon for a Boulevardier.

The Penicillin

The Penicillin is one of the best après ski cocktails.

One of the rare classic cocktails featuring Scotch as its base, the Penicillin is ideal for toasting with at the end of a successful ski day. Zippy flavors like ginger and lemon juice brighten up the smoky spirit, making it a balanced choice for enjoying at a packed lodge party or at home close to the radiator.

The Death Flip

The Death Flip is one of the best après ski cocktails.

Jägermeister shots can be controversial, and while we’re all for throwing back a shot where appropriate, we prefer our Jäger shaken into cocktails. The German digestif shines in the Death Flip, where it’s combined with tequila, yellow Chartreuse, simple syrup, and a whole egg for a creamy cocktail reminiscent of gingerbread cookies.

The Bloody Mary

The Bloody Mary is one of the best après ski cocktails.

A tried-and-true combination of savory tomato juice, vodka, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce, the Bloody Mary is a brunch cocktail that’s just as suited for after-ski celebrations. The spicy concoction is packed with electrolytes, potassium, sodium, and vitamin C, perfect for replenishing after a day of sweating on the mountain. If you’re skiing up north in Canada, swap out the tomato juice for Clamato to make a Bloody Caesar, our northerly neighbor’s official national cocktail.