Summertime calls for sipping spirits under the sun. Add these four watering holes to your lineup of spots to grab a drink (or two) alfresco.
Ajax Tavern Arguably the go-to après-ski spot in town, The Little Nell’s Ajax Tavern is packed with partyers in the winter and summer seasons alike. The restaurant’s renovation (to be completed mid-June) includes a redesigned entryway and interior layout, which will complement the patio’s new seating and dazzling decor. Picture this: lounging at the base of Aspen Mountain (maybe after hiking the Ute Trail) with a frosty glass of frosé, the adult rendition of a slushy and the perfect cool-off complement to a warm, sunny day. For those who prefer a darker liquor, opt for the The Buckhorn, a cocktail comprised of Basil Hayden’s, grapefruit and ginger maple syrup. 675 E. Durant Ave.
Betula Ah, the sound of birds chirping—a welcome indication that the warmer months are here. This season, there’s a new little birdie in town. Served in a bird-shaped glass chalice, Betula’s Yellow Paloma is a favorite on the newly opened resto’s Caribbean-inspired menu. A bold blend of Casamigos blanco tequila, grapefruit and ginger syrup, yellow bell pepper juice, cilantro tincture and lime juice, and coated in a savory salt rim, this vibrant cocktail packs a punch. Enjoy it on the outdoor terrace with a sweeping view of Aspen Mountain. Weather permitting, the restaurant will unfold its glass wall for an entirely open-air experience. Tweet, tweet.525 E. Cooper Ave., Ste. 201
Plato’s Aspen Meadows Resort, located on the Aspen Institute campus, is home to one of the most pleasing outdoor decks in town—and a best-kept secret. Plato’s patio features a large seating area and expansive mountain vistas. The serene spot is ideal for enjoying an aperitif followed by a locally sourced dinner. Try the Bluebird Days concoction of maple-infused bourbon, blueberry mead, blueberry vermouth and maple, or a post-dinner Over the Pass with rye whiskey, port, Fernet-Branca, creme de mure, pinot noir and balsamic. 845 Meadows Road
Marble Bar Combat the Rocky Mountain summer night chill with a liquid blanket and a seat by Marble Bar Aspen’s patio fire pit located in Hyatt Residence Club Grand Aspen at the base of the mountain. Its freshest summer cocktail is The Tippler, with cucumber-infused vodka, lemon grass and cucumber juice. Marble’s Carbondale location also boasts a patio, or “partio,” as the locals call it. Sip a Lydia’s Lavender, a fruity mix of gingercello, lemon, honey, pomegranate and vodka infused with locally grown lavender, in the open-air upstairs space with views of the day or night sky. 415 E. Dean St., Aspen; 150 Main St., Carbondale
Photography by: frosÉ photo courtesy of the little nell | Betula photo by brian bitterfeld | marble bar photo courtesy of marble distilling co.