“After ski” is the literal French translation for Après Ski. In recent years this has come to mean more than just after skiing food and drinks, but now more commonly in the United States is used to describe the overall atmosphere of ski culture and the outdoor winter lifestyle. In the middle of winter, Coloradans find ourselves dreading snow in the city, but loving powder for the mountains. Unfortunately, not all of us can escape to the hills every time the snow falls. We found a few ways to bring the Après Ski vibe to your home anytime you can’t head to the hills.
Get Cozy Inside
Start by lighting your fireplace, as this should be the center of your gathering, whether you will be inviting a few friends over, or just enjoying an evening in for two. Dim the lights and leave out a few ski hats for guests to put on if they wish as they arrive. Set ice skates and ski boots by the fire and invite everyone to wear their ski gear inside. Place cozy throw blankets on the couch and light a few candles for an extra glow. Display any vintage ski posters, or mountain trial signs and call your home “the lodge” for the evening.
In Europe, Après Ski typically includes warm small snacks and frosty cold beers. Warm hearty foods such as soups, chili, and pasta are ideal for feeding ravenous skiers. Shrink down soups and chili to mini sizes and serve with mini Croque Monsieur, and tortilla chips. Serve pasta twirled on forks with mini meatballs on the end. Fondue is a popular Après Ski item in the Swiss Alps and luckily for us, it is also an easy crowd-pleasing option to serve at home. Serve plenty of snacks like warmed nuts, and a cheese and salami plate.
To have a true Après Ski evening, stick to beers. We like the local standards Never Summer Ale from Boulder or the potent Hibernation Ale from Great Divide. If you’d like to, also include a few standard winter warmers like hot cider and hot chocolate. Warm cocktails could also be called for, like this hot Blizzard Cocktail, or Apple Spiced Bourbon Toddies.
Cheers to winter!