Mountain Manhattan - Image Courtesy of Briar Rose

Take a Bourbon Break in Breckenridge (Presented by Breckenridge Hogfest)

In Best of Breckenridge by Ellie Hartman

Enjoy all the flavorful bourbon and crispy bacon this weekend at the Breckenridge Hogfest  (Aug 23rd-25th)

Mountain Manhattan - Image Courtesy of Briar Rose
Photo Courtesy of Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon

There is just something about sitting down in an atmosphere that has interesting people, a fun bartender, throwing your leg over your knee and relaxing to a solid bourbon cocktail. Forever, mountain towns have brought in people who are stoked on crafting booze after hitting the slopes all day, every day! Master distillers have decided to flock to ski towns for fresh water, people who love to ‘cheers’, and great times out of the “office!” This mentality has spread through the excitement in bartenders, locals, and tourists making Breck an awesome town to enjoy craft cocktails and spirits!

Bourbon is an awesome base layer to any mountain cocktail, especially during the fall and winter months, which may be just around the corner! Flavorsome bourbon continues to be a treat in Breckenridge and is highlighted as a must have, mainly in part by the Breckenridge Distillery. The Breckenridge Distillery is a company that we can all brag about here in Breck! They were founded in 2008 and have been truly kicking booty ever since! As the “World’s Highest Distillery,” the company has won Best American Blended 4 times (2016, 17, 18, and 19), Bourbon of the Year in 2011, and from American Icons of Whiskey for brand innovator of the year in 2018. This distillery continues to excel their outcomes of what spirits should taste like and we are lucky enough to have them right in our lively town!

Overall, what I am trying to get at is that bourbon is awesome and incredibly tasty cocktails are crafted with it! Personally, my favorite bourbon cocktail is an Old Fashioned. Yes, I know call me Old Fashioned. Thus, my list of bourbon cocktails may include a few awesome Old Fashions to try and some other bars that create other masterpiece bourbon beverages.

Photo Credit: Elaine Collins

Here are 5 bars in town that serve up a very flavorsome bourbon beverage that are worth the sip!


Oak Smoked Old Fashioned

The oak board and the torch truly give this cocktail one hell of a presentation! First, the bartender lights a part of the wood, then takes an oak stave smoked glass and flips it onto the board to lock in the smoke. This allows for the glass to fill up with the flavors and aroma of the burnt wood. After it lingers the bartender adds High West Rye Whiskey, however I enjoy getting it with the Breckenridge Bourbon. Then adds bitters and simple syrup, served on a rock. The smoothness of the bourbon is fully complemented by the smoky aromas, the sweet sugars of the simple syrup, and the bite of the bitters! If you also love Old Fashions, you will not want to miss this one! Also, the small and cute ambiance of Twist is a wonderful place to feel at home. The staff here are super friendly and the brightness of the place makes for a really happy dining experience!


The Manhattan

First of all, the atmosphere of this place is perfect for a bourbon sipping evening! Ember was built from the ground up by an artist, Scotty B. He has crafted an atmosphere that is chic, artsy, and fun! The detailed service makes for a night of delectable bites and mouthwatering beverages! The bartenders are always super friendly, they always spark up inviting conversation, and the bar just has an excellent feel to it! Their Manhattan is definitely a treat that one needs to sip on during their night of bourbon! Each cocktail has incredible presentation and is crafted with the utmost finesse. The ratio of cherry, sweet vermouth and bitters precisely uplifts the bourbon and allows for a strong, but sweet finish!

Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon

Mountain Manhattan

The Briar Rose is a restaurant where the wild west collides beautifully with fine dining! It has sustained a stellar mountain vibe, while creating a professional and upper scale atmosphere. The bartenders and servers produce a laid back, fun atmosphere, while serving up highly skilled food and beverage. The Mountain Manhattan makes sure to bring everything great to a glass straight from the mountains of Breckenridge! By using the Breckenridge Distillery Bourbon for this cocktail it is already delicious and smooth. The addition of the sweet vermouth and bitters makes for a really nice balance of flavors. This is a must try bourbon during your bar hop in Breck!


Rye So Serious

Legends takes fine dining to a new level in Breckenridge. The owners have created a restaurant that features fine dining, Italian cuisine, and “prohibition era cocktails.” This is a bar to sit at if you want an upscale cocktail and top of the line service! Their cocktail, Rye So Serious is similar to a manhattan because of the ingredients. However, it is so much more because of the ingredients they use to make it a grand night of upscale spirits.


Smoked Orange Old Fashioned

Is one of you favorite parts of the Old Fashioned the aroma and zesty flavor of the orange rind? Well Aurum has most definitely taken that aspect into account with this cocktail! They add more orange than just the rind in this Old Fashioned! The Old Fashioned is also served with Torres Orange Liqueur, Charred Orange Oils, and Cocktail Punk Orange Bitters. The zest will send you soaring! Aurum’s atmosphere is one of a kind in Breckenridge, with a hip look and cool ambiance. The vibe in this place makes the experience worth it!

Cheers to Awesome Bourbon and Excellent Folks!

-Ellie Hartman

Tomahawk Ribeye and Bourbon - Images Courtesy of Briar Rose
Photo Courtesy of Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon

Bars That Also Carry Awesome Bourbon Delights:

Blue Stag Saloon

Gold Pan Saloon

Après Handcrafted Libations


Breckenridge Tap House

The Canteen

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About the Author

Ellie Hartman

Ellie Hartman was born and raised in Breckenridge, Colorado. She spent 4 years in Miami getting her Master’s in Business, soaking up the sun, shredding dance floors, and Rowing NCAA Crew. After almost another year spent backpacking around the world, she has recently returned to Breck, full of wanderlust and a thirst for life! Ellie enjoys skiing, yoga, great coffee, travel, SCUBA Diving, anything outdoors, delicious beer, and happy people. She is very excited to be back in Breckenridge to shred some runs, enjoy our lively town, and write for BreckInsider about the awesome events to "send it to!"