Local tastes better. And here in Banff National Park, the flavours of the mountains are infused with intention into local craft cocktails of all kinds. You won’t want to miss these 10 après concoctions on your next winter ski vacation to Banff and Lake Louise. After a day on the SkiBig3 slopes, a beverage crafted with care will be the perfect treat to cap off your adventure.
And if you’re visiting between January 15th and 26th, be sure to check out the Tribute Craft Spirits Celebration! This 12-day event brings together the best craft distilleries from Alberta and British Columbia and showcases the vibrant local food scene in Banff and Lake Louise. Enjoy special cocktail menus in local bars and restaurants, culminating in a two-day, outdoor event on January 24th and 25th, when Bear Street will host a range of enticing food and drink stations.
Until then, check out these 10 craft cocktails on local menus all winter long!
1. Alpine Social – Alpine Old Fashioned
Comprised of Alberta’s own Bearface Whisky, cold-smoked maple syrup, morello cherries, and black walnut bitters, the Alberta spin on an Old Fashioned is best enjoyed at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise’s Alpine Social. Inspired by the glory day of mountaineering, you can immerse in the full mountain experience here.
2. Lone Pine Pub – Horizontal Hip Check
Just one of seven craft cocktails on the menu at Mt. Norquay’s Lone Pine Pub, Horizontal Hip Check blends Park Distillery’s chili vodka, yellow chartreuse, lime, grapefruit and cinnamon stick to create a citrusy spicy concoction perfect for a ride break from the slopes. All cocktails are on the menu are created by local Banff bartenders and employ local spirits from Park Restaurant + Distillery.
3. Sawyer’s Nook – Mexa Mula
While this drink might not make you think of winter, come Springtime, Temple Lodge transforms into a Temple Beach paradise! Celebrate spring skiing at Sawyer’s Nook with Mexa Mula – Milagro reposado tequila, fresh lime juice, pineapple syrup, cilantro leaves – and the key ingredient: Grizzly Paw brewery’s handcrafted ginger beer!
4. High Rollers – Shaft on Draft
While High Rollers’ speciality is pins, pints and pizza, they DO have a local’s favourite cocktail on tap, too – the Shaft. What is the shaft, you ask? While there is some argument on where in Western Canada it originated, most mountain folk are big fans of this creamy, boozy, caffeinated bev – perfect for sipping or for tipping. High Rollers’ version includes Park Espresso Vodka, Blackbird Cold Brew and honey, served on ice with a splash of milk. The best part? It’s on draft! Shaft on Draft is available at High Rollers, Rose & Crown, Wild Bills, and Eddie Burger. Altogether it’s available at 34 places in Alberta!
5. Baker Creek Bistro – Trapper
Baker Creek Bistro is just off the beaten path on your journey to Lake Louise Ski Resort on Highway 1a. Tucked away in the quietness of the forest, this quaint bistro is the perfect stop after a day on the slopes. Try their Trapper cocktail – made up of Fallentimber Saskatoon Berry mead, Wild Life gin, lemon juice, and a housemade Saskatoon berry syrup. Want to indulge a little more? Make a night out of it and with a stay in one of their creekside mountain cabins.
6. The Juniper – Juniper Sour
En route to Mt. Norquay, the Juniper Bistro is the perfect pit stop for brunch or apres ski. Taste their namesake Juniper Sour – comprised of Park Distillery’s alpine dry gin, juniper and sage white tea syrup, lemon, egg white – or any of the others from their cocktail list. All are crafted with fresh, authentic ingredients, including herbs and aromatics grown by local farmers, as well as local Bow Valley products from Banff Tea Company, Park Distillery Banff and Wild Life Distillery Canmore.
7. Banff Ave Brewing Co. – I’ve Gin to the Mountaintop
It’s no secret that Banff Ave. Brewing Co. does locally brewed beer best – but they ALSO have a delectable cocktail menu to enjoy! We recommend ‘I’ve Gin to the Mountaintop’ after you’ve been to the SkiBig3 mountain tops – a blend of locally-distilled Wild Life Gin, cucumber, mint, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and a splash simple syrup – for something on the lighter side.
8. Nourish Bistro – Black Forest Gateaux
This vegan craft cocktail is warm, decadent, and perfect for winter! Featuring warming brandy infused for three months with sweet dark cherries from Banff’s own farmer’s market. Nourish Bistro shakes it up with Italian maraschino, Kahlúa, and chocolate almond milk for a smooth, silky and rich cocktail. Home-made bitters of wild cherry bark and Tahitian vanilla accentuate the brightness of the fruits and give the drink an alluring aroma, topped with bourbon-soaked cherries and grated vegan chocolate.
9. The Bison – Triple Crown
There are several different local versions of the Triple Crown or Trifecta – in the summer months, this includes completing Banff’s most popular hikes: Cascade Mountain, Sulphur Mountain, and Mt. Rundle. Come winter, this entails visiting all SkiBig3 resorts to complete the Trifecta Challenge. Celebrate it with The Bison’s seasonal Triple Crown Cocktail – made up of Alberta’s Premium Dark Horse charred-oak whisky, winter spiced maple syrup, and orange bitters.
10. Park Distilerry – Skoki Lodge
An homage to Lake Louise Ski Resort’s historic backcountry lodge, Park Distillery’s Skoki Lodge cocktail is perfect for warming up in Canadian winters. Park Distillery hand makes small-batch craft spirits right in house, so it doesn’t get more local than that! Made with Park Maple Rye, Wild Turkey Bourbon 81 Proof, Park Cacao Nib Tincture, bitters, and orange zest.
Ready to experience the flavours of Banff and Lake Louise’s craft cocktails, after a day on the SkiBig3 slopes? Talk to our in-destination reservations specialists today to book your next winter ski vacation to Banff National Park. Reach them at 1-844-754-2443 or plan your Canadian Rockies ski vacation online. Great Ski & Stay Packages available now.