Warm drinks for chilly Eagle County | VailDaily.com

Warm drinks for chilly Eagle County

Charlie OwenVail, CO, Colorado
AE Chi Tea PU 11-23-07

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado Happiness is a warm drink. The Beatles said something like that.A fire is good for drying out your socks after a long day playing in the snow, but you cant very well swallow it without suffering internal injuries. When the shivers have your muscles so tight you cant smile, a winter-time beverage can be enough to take the sting out of the cold weather blues. Instead of reaching for the standard coffee or tea, treat yourself to an unusual liquid delight that will keep your tastebuds happy and light the inner fire of your belly.Local cafes and restaurants offer a bevy of beverages that you can count on to warm your body, and maybe even your soul.

GDay Mate in Avon is not the first place one typically thinks of when longing for a shot of espresso, but Sara McClure gets her fix at the Australian meat pie market.They just got an espresso machine and its right next door to my office, said McClure, a graphic designer for Slifer Smith and Frampton. She visits the restaurant at least a couple times a week to buy a dirty chai latte. What makes a chai tea drink dirty? A shot or two of expresso mixed in with the tea, giving it a dark complexion and adding more caffeine to the equation. McClure isnt very of fond of chai tea by itself, she she usually gets a couple shots of espresso with hers. Its kind of ginger-bread,y but a little more bitter, but sweet at the same time. Its so good, McClure said. Im kind of addicted.

If expresso and tea arent your thing, something a little sweeter might satisfy while bringing some color back to your cheeks.The Beaver Creek Chophouse drink menu is full of hot and cold choices, but for a rich blend of warmth and candy-flavored goodness, try the Butterfinger. Named after the candy bar, the Butterfinger is a mixture of hot cocoa, Godiva chocolate liqueur, butterscotch Schnapps and whipped cream.Im sure it will be a hot commodity, said Chophouse bartender Jules King. The drinks name might make the kids desire one, but due to the alcohol content, this probably isnt a good idea unless you want child services knocking on your door. Besides, thats what regular hot chocolate is for keeping the kids happy.

If the under-age members must have a drink named after a candy bar then Covered Bridge Coffee in Vail is a good place for them to get their fix. The Snickers is just one of the many super-sweet choices on their hot drink menu and adults will love it too. The hot drink combines chocolate, caramel and hazelnut syrup with espresso and steamed milk.Covered Bridge Coffee owner Kim Hause said that even though she sells a lot of mochas and regular coffee; The Snickers is consistently one of her best sellers. And why shouldnt it be? Even if they dont like coffee, theyll like it (The Snickers) because they have so much flavor, Hause said. A lot of people like it but its a little sweet for me.Indeed, it is a very sweet drink, but unless youre planning on swigging down three in a row, The Snickers makes a fine apres-ski dessert.

Hot Apple Pie just like mom used to make. Well not quite. But its just as tasty and it will give you a buzz. The Hot Apple Pie drink at The Tap Room in Vail steers away from typical coffee and tea drinks since apple cider is the main ingredient. Of course, since it is served in a bar, a shot of Tuaca (an Italian liqueur with strong hints of vanilla and citrus) is mixed in and the drink is garnished with a cinnamon stick and whipped cream.It tastes like apple pie, especially with the whipped cream on top, said Scott Jones, a bartender at The Tap Room. Something to keep you warm on the inside and on the outside.

For a truly new twist on an old winter favorite, Loaded Joes in Avon offers a Cranberry Orange Hot Toddy. Replacing the traditional element of tea and whiskey, Loaded Joes steams cranberry juice and the juice from an orange slice, later adding sugar and Brandy to complete the concoction.It sounds really crazy, (but) its really actually very tasty, said Curt Austin, manager of Loaded Joes.It does sound crazy, and maybe only for the adventerous pallete, but if nothing else, the combination of sweet, tart and alcohol should at least clear out those stuffy sinuses. And it can be served without alcohol, but that kind of defeats the purpose. Its just a different color, different flavor, very fruity and delicious. Very holiday-esque, Austin said.The only problem, according to Austin, is that there have been too many sunny days lately to sell many of the unique drink. Lets hope that changes soon.Arts & Entertainment writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.

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