This kit containing everything I need to make cocktails on my next hut skiing trip, arrived at my doorstep Friday. Pam LeBlanc photo

Yes, the thermostat at my house is currently registering 101 degrees, but it’s never too hot to think about what cocktails might warm you up on your next backcountry ski trip.

Just today, a care package arrived from my friends at Breckenridge Distillery in Breckenridge, Colorado, where I traveled earlier this year to celebrate the bourbon, gin and vodka-maker’s 10thanniversary. (Read that article at

I wiped the sweat from my brow as I unloaded a full-sized bottle of bourbon (!!), a collapsible flask, and an assortment of mini bottles of booze and accoutrements to help me prepare sophisticated cocktails on my next hut skiing adventure.

Here’s the gorgeous Sisters Hut where I stayed in January. Photo by Pam LeBlanc

I love the peace and quiet of hut skiing, which gets you off busy downhill runs and into the woods, where you essentially hike up a mountain on special skis, and hang out in a cabin or hut, warming up with cocktails.

I’ve done it several times, and this past year stayed at the brand new Sisters Cabin near Breckenridge. (Other favorites are Artist and Opus cabins near Ouray. Magnificent!)

Austyn Dineen packing it in during our girls’ back country ski trip in January. Pam LeBlanc photo

I’ve always just packed a little straight whiskey for those adventures, but the folks at Breckenridge showed me last February, when they set up a bar in the snow outside of Sisters Cabin, that it’s easy to do one better.

Below are several suggested recipes. They work best in snowy environments.



Snowball Old Fashioned


2 ounces Breckenridge Bourbon

.25 ounces maple syrup

Dash of bitters

Orange zest

Dehydrated cherries


Combine all ingredients and stir. Add snowball to your cocktail. (Pack a mini bottle of bitters. Recycle your orange peels and use berries from your trail mix.) Optional: Smoke using a fire log.


Hot Smoked Cider


1.5 ounces Breckenridge Spiced Whiskey

Apple cider packet

6 ounces hot water

6 ounces cinnamon stick

Ignite cinnamon stick and smoke the glass while preparing cocktail. Pour ingredients into smoked glass.


Backcountry Tea


1 ounce Breckenridge vodka

6 ounces hot water

Teako green tea

Honey stick

Combine all ingredients and stir. Pour honey from stick into your cocktail.

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