Spring break might have some people dreaming of beach trips and warmer climes, but snow is falling in the Cascades, the lifts are running, and spring skiing is in full effect. And inarguably, one of the best parts of pow days is the après-ski parties at the end, where foamy beer, shot-skis, soul-warming food, and big smiles and laughs abound. Due to COVID-19, of course, the après has to wait for another day. But there’s no reason you can’t still enjoy a little après fun at home with your bubble buddies or on Zoom. Here’s how you can hold your own après-ski session at home and online, complete with local goodies that help support your favorite Oregon brands, restaurants, and stores.
After a long day on the slopes, the first step is to get nice and cozy. Light a fire if you have a fireplace, and snuggle up on the couch with a Pendleton Blanket, whose wool or cotton fabrics and stylish designs will both keep you warm and looking great for the après Instagram pic. To further set the mood, light some scented candles from local makers like Wild Spruce from Penrose Candles, the various woodsy-scented offerings from Wildwood Candle Co, or cinnamon bourbon vanilla from Yo Soy Candle.
It’s not après without some proper wintry drinks! Now that to-go cocktails are an option, you can pick up traditional cold-weather beverages like Irish coffee from Scotch Lodge, boozy hot chocolate from the Rambler, and hot toddies from the Automatic Bar to enjoy at home.
If beer is more your drink of choice, fret not; local breweries have you covered with toasty winter brews like salted caramel stout from Breakside Brewing, Deschutes’ seasonal Red Chair NW Pale Ale or malty Jubelale, and the Winter Coat from Stormbreaker Brewing. And wine lovers can whip up their own mulled wine with a hearty Oregon pinot noir and a bottle of Portland Syrups’ Autumn Spice.
Time to soak up all that booze with something indulgent and comforting. For those with a sweet tooth, break out artisanal, gourmet s’mores kits from 1927 S'mores, whose delectable flavor options include classic and a salted caramel collab with Westward Whiskey. For savory, you can’t go wrong with charcuterie boards or fixins’ from Cheese & Crack, Laurelhurst Market, Charcuterie & Me, and Cruelty-Free Charcuterie for vegan options. And for something more substantial, pre-order a Fondue or Raclette meal kit from Olympia Provisions for oozy, cheesy goodness.
To replicate that classic après backdrop of gentle snowfall or snowy slopes, pop on the Mount Hood Meadows live-stream cams to catch the action and weather up on the mountain. And for a little mood-setting music, press play on Portland Monthly’s Essential Winter Playlist for some cold-weather tunes, featuring work from local artists like M. Ward, Aminé, Pink Martini, and the Decemberists.