Our Top 5 Make-Ahead Après Libations

Written by Laura Nasca, Graphic Designer and Moonlighting Bartender


Here’s some drink recipes for winter days, whether you’re on the mountain, at the cabin, or cozy at home with a YouTube yule log blazing. All recipes are booze optional and include a number of ways to make them depending on what you have lying around.

*Disclaimer: anything you put into your Hydro Flask will remain at that exact temperature for an ungodly amount of time. Contents may be scorching hot, icy cold, or lukewarm bath temps depending on what’s going on when it goes in.


For when you need an extra pick-me-up for dawn patrol (or noon patrol, we're not judging). This is an obvious classic, but don’t let classic become boring. Here’s a few ways to dress up your coffee:

Add some spice: add a little milk of choice (we did almond) with cinnamon simple syrup, a little whipped cream and a festival dusting of cinnamon on top.

• Simple syrup is really easy to make, and usually way better than the store bought stuff. Mix equal parts sugar and hot water and stir till dissolved. For the cinnamon variety, add crushed up cinnamon sticks to the mix and let stew in there for at least 15 minutes. I’ve also tried this with mint leaves, not as successful but let me know if you hack it!

~Espresso~ yourself:

• There’s nothing this Vermonter loves more than maple syrup. If you don’t know what a Maple Cappuccino is, now you know. If you have an espresso machine, start with that. If you own neither an espresso maker nor a frothing mechanism (me) go for the poor girl Maple Cap: make some rocket fuel coffee, pour in some warm milk and add maple syrup to taste. Alternatively, see if you can score some maple cream liqueur. You’re welcome.

• If you’ve got left over rocket fuel/espresso, shake it up with some ice, Bailey’s, Kahlua, and/or vanilla vodka til foamy for an Espresso Martini.

If you want something more boozey, enter the Irish Coffee:

 Add Bailey’s or Irish cream. If you combo with whiskey, be careful and drink in a timely fashion as the whiskey will curdle the cream over time. For a classic Irish coffee I usually do equal parts irish cream and whiskey.


For winding down with your kids or your ski pod, try a Peppermint Hot Chocolate.

Start by mixing TCHO drinking chocolate or your Swiss Miss up with some water and milk of choice, or eggnog if you like it thicker. The TCHO mix is incredibly dense and smooth so give it a test before adding extra dairy.

Ways to make it minty:

 Add a few drops of peppermint extract.

 Muddle a few mint leaves in the bottom.

 Drop a candy cane in and watch it melt. Doubles as stirring stick.

* Add .5 oz of peppermint schnapps

Ways to make it boozy:

 Add the peppermint schnapps, and 1 oz vodka (vanilla if you want extra flavor)

• Add 1.5 oz of Baileys or Irish cream.


We usually brag over our best lines and dumbest falls over beers, but next time try some mulled wine for the crew. Mulled wine is sangria for winter time. I like making it because you can kinda add whatever you want/have. Start with some wine (red or white, this is a great way to get rid of some leftover bottles). For non-alcoholic, sub grape juice, apple juice or cider. Seriously.

Things you can add:

• Star anise because it's pretty

• Cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon

 Ground or whole cloves

 “Mulling spices,” whatever those might be

• Orange wedges or slices

• Lemon wedges or slices

Things my boss wants you to know you need to add:

 White sugar, dissolved but not allowed to boil. “A tastemaker”

 Ginger (crystallized)

 White pepper? Peppercorns? Pepper of some sort.

What to do:

 Put everything in a pot.

• Heat on low for at least 15 minutes; try not to boil off all the alcohol.

 At some point if you want to really get things going, add some brandy and/or bourbon, bitters if you like, and in our case triple sec for an extra orangey flavor.

 Strain into cup(s).

• Pros probably own a crock pot and use it for mulled wine. We kept it covered in a pot and periodically turned the heat back on.


If you want a classy coffee alternative or want to stay in the cabin two hands wrapped around a warm drink, learn how to make a Hot Toddy, a.k.a. tea with alcohol.

For a classic Hot Toddy:

 Boil water.

 While thats going on, muddle lemons with a sweetener in your mug.
I like maple syrup, duh, but you can also use maple candy, sugar, or honey.

 Pour in boiling water

 Stir in 1.5 oz of bourbon

 Garnish with a lemon

For a ginger-rosemary Hot Toddy, (a.k.a. we made soup that only required 1 sprig of rosemary but couldn’t find any in the neighborhood so we bought a pack):

 Boil water.

 Muddle lemons, ginger, and sweetener. I’d recommend honey for this one.

• If you have ginger tea, put that in mug

 Pour in boiling water

 Stir in 1.5 oz of bourbon

 Garnish with lemon wedge and spring of rosemary

*For a non-alcoholic version of each, just don’t put bourbon in it.*


This started off as a nod to our brethren over at Pit Viper, and mostly as a joke. But as my roommate put it “It’s surprisingly good, like I’ve had way worse margaritas at a bar.”

How to do it:

 Don Pit Vipers

 Dissolve Nuun in water, or grab a gatorade or something.

 Stir (NOT SHAKE) in 1.5 oz tequila, .5 oz of triple sec, and some ice. If you shake, she might explode.

 Garnish with salt or sugar rim and a lime wedge


Non-alcoholic version:

 Don Pit Vipers

 Dissolve Nuun in water, or grab a gatorade or something

 Garnish with salt or sugar rim and a lime wedge


1 comment

  • Erendira says...

    Tasty recipes and gorgeous photos! Love it! <3

    On December 28, 2020

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