A Bar Crawl Through Jackson Hole, Wyoming
When we got into Jackson Hole, we enjoyed a little shopping. A local told us to go stop at the Trapper when we went to Grand Teton National Park to admire the mountains. She said it would be lovely to enjoy a cocktail by the lake. She was right. We liked sitting near the water and having some really good cocktails. I was actually a little shocked my Aviation was good at the national park. My friend liked her blackberry mojito and said it was even better than the watermelon mojito she had earlier in the day at Lotus Cafe.
I spotted nachos when I walked in and felt the need to order some. I asked for a half order and guess what, it’s still bigger than your head. If you get the half order, make sure you come starving or with a group of 8. Our server couldn’t stop laughing when he saw our faces of disbelief. I don’t know what happens when someone orders the full order. Do they bring it out on a handcart?Signal Mountain Lodge
Grand Teton National Park
Moran, WY 83013 — (307) 543-2831
Later that evening after a fab meal at Local, we headed next door to Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. I enjoyed a Jameson on the rocks while sitting uncomfortably side saddle at the bar. All their bar stools are horse saddles. Later we moved to a table ostensibly to listen to the band but it was really to give our poor thighs a rest.
The bartender at the Million Dollar said we should go to Tavern. It seems everyone passes through there at some point of the night. It has a sports vibe feel and they run a dice game for charity. Well, the winner gets some of the pot, too. But if you don’t live around there, they only give you half of the winnings. It’s a locals thing.
I always think about how it’s good we have every type of bar and although I’m not usually a sports bar type girl, I like the energy of them. Everyone is happy and sometimes we all need to chill out. I looked over the back bar and spotted a trusty bottle of Campari. I decided to get a Negroni. Our bartender didn’t know how to make it but he was happy to make it to my specs. I didn’t tell him what to garnish with so hence the lime. I followed up by telling him about the Boulevardier version and that also had a lime. Still, both were good and I was a happy camper.
Our nice bartender said we should listen to the live music at the Silver Dollar so we popped by there next.
Town Square Tavern
20 E Broadway, Jackson, WY 83001 — (307) 733-3886
It was crazy packed at the Silver Dollar. They had a live band so we had to pay cover as well. I got Buffalo Trace on the rocks and admired the silver dollars in laid on the bar top. While I loved the round design of the silver dollars at the Million Dollar, this was even more impressive.
The band was great and the whiskey was cheap but it was pretty crowded so we made our way across to The Rose.
The Silver Dollar Bar & Grill at the Wort Hotel50 N Glenwood, Jackson, WY 83001 — (307) 732-3939
When I made a list of bars to visit in Jackson, The Rose was the number one bar everyone said I needed to visit. It was a “craft cocktail” bar and later I confirmed with the locals The Rose was pretty much the only one that craft cocktails right. They would also like to think of themselves as the industry bar and I did see a number of local bartenders stop in for a quick shot and chat.
By this point in the night, my cell phone had died and I was trying to take a picture of my cocktail, the Shady Business with my Fernet-Branca challenge coin. The head bartender took one look at it and asked what bar I worked at. Ah! I knew I was definitely at a craft bar though the use of Fernet in a drink probably should have tipped me off. Later I would find out Proprietors LLC did the list.
Shady Business was a great drink to help me digest the nachos that were still sitting in my stomach from hours earlier.
Shady Business – Rittenhouse 100 rye, Fernet-Branca, maple, lemon, mint
Bar manager Jeff Grdinich runs the bar at The Rose. He most recently came from Drink in Boston which was recently named World’s Best Cocktail Bar as part of Tales of the Cocktails’ Spirited Awards. I asked him why did he move out to Jackson and he was non-committal but I’m guessing he’s chasing the good powder (skiing or snowboarding) when winter comes around again.
Although it was a warm evening, I didn’t mind the smokey Spy Hunter. Berg & Hauck’s bitters are from Bitter Truth which is splitting its bitters line away from their liqueurs. It is not a marketing thing but rather how to get the bitters to market. Before these bitters were considered spirits and could not be sold as food (there are some bitters like Angostura that are considered food and can be sold at markets).
Spy Hunter – Connemara Irish whiskey, Yellow Chartreuse, lime, mint, Berg & Hauck’s celery bitters
The next night, we came back to The Rose where I sampled another couple of drinks. I first had the Norton’s Folly. I asked why the name and it’s named after a San Franciscan by the name of Norton. Norton had declared himself the Emperor of the United States and his fellow San Franciscans had humored him. The drink features the San Francisco-made Juniepero Gin from Anchor Distilling. It’s a great drink and I can still smell the grapefruit garnish.
Norton’s Folly – Junipero gin, Lillet rose, Saler’s apertif, lemon, seltzer
One of the better gin fizzes I hate lately is the Ransom Note at The Rose. I really liked the combination of two types of citrus juice along with the slightly bitter black walnut bitters. It was frothy without being too crazy foamy and you couldn’t get to your drink. Of course serving it on ice helped tamed that foam beast down.
Ransom Note – Ransom gin, egg white, grapefruit, lemon, ginger, seltzer, black walnut bitters
50 W Broadway, Jackson, WY 83001
I enjoyed checking out the various bars in Jackson. Craft, cowboy, sports and dives, they have it all for you within blocks of each other making this quite the easy crawl. And you can even hang out for a good cocktail after you’re done hiking Grand Teton.
© The Minty 2013