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Silver Dollar Saloon: Val-Gal-Pal-entine’s Cocktails

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Welcome to the Silver Dollar Saloon

As Valentine’s Day approaches, our bartenders in the Saloon and Great Room aren’t content to just chill the champagne in anticipation of the celebration. They have been busy creating a seasonal cocktail menu that will give guests a taste of winter in Montana with Big Sky spirits and local ingredients. Just like Chef Drage’s menus, the cocktail menus change frequently, highlighting the holidays and activities that we enjoy.

This year’s Valentine’s Day falls over President’s Day weekend, so we will welcome groups of friends as well as couples to The Ranch during our Big Sky Love celebration. Tonight, will start with love of local fare at our Bites and Brews, a social hour that pairs local Montana microbrews with seasonal gourmet hors d’oeuvres. This event kicks off a weekend of delicious pairing menus, snowy adventures and special Valentine’s spa treatments.

In that spirit, our bartenders have suggested a cocktail suited for each of these gatherings: Valentine’s, Galentine’s and Palentine’s, as they’ve come to be known. Although we’ve suggested some exceptional Montana spirits, feel free to substitute with your favorite local ingredients, as you toast in Silver Dollar style.

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Toast Valentine’s Day

Our inspiration for our Valentine’s drink is Montana’s most beloved berry—the huckleberry. Coveted by bears and humans alike, the abundant, but fleeting season, makes the berries perfect for jam. Combine ginger and mint with an abundant serving of spirits and it will be sure to warm the blood.

*If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime gift for your loved one, give a trip to The Ranch. Our spring Romance Retreat Special begins April 1st.

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I’ll Be Your Huckleberry

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Muddle ginger, limes, a dash of rhubarb bitters, a splash of simple syrup, huckleberry jam, mint leaves, and soda water.
  2. Pour into a pint glass half-full of ice.
  3. Add vodkas and St. Germaine.
  4. Shake and strain into a coupe glass.
  5. Top with soda water and add zest of lime.

Toast Galentine’s Day

Our inspiration for the Galentine’s Drink is Wild West outlaw Belle Starr, following her birthday on February 5th. Belle, born Myra Maybelle Shirley, grew up in the lap of luxury, but cast off her lady-like education for a life on the lam. She married three times and kept company with the notorious James-Unger gang. Cecilia Rassmussen wrote that Belle had plenty of style, saying, “A crack shot, she used to ride sidesaddle while dressed in a black velvet riding habit and a plumed hat, carrying two pistols, with cartridge belts across her hips.”

Belle’s criminal activity eventually caught up with her, and she died an untimely death before her 41st birthday. This weekend, we take a small measure of her rebellious style and serve it up in the Belle Starr Old Fashioned—a slightly sweet whiskey drink with a little blood orange tang.

Belle Starr Drink Photo copy
Belle Starr statue by Wayne Cooper and a Belle Starr Old Fashioned in the Great Room. 

Belle Starr Old Fashioned

Ingredients:

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Splash of water
  • ½ oz fresh squeezed blood orange juice, plus a slice for garnish
  • 1 ½ oz of Willie’s Distillery Big Horn Bourbon
  • Cherry for garnish

Directions:

  1. Place the sugar cube, bitters, water, and blood orange juice in a lowball glass.
  2. Stir until sugar cube is dissolved.
  3. Add bourbon and stir. 
  4. Fill the glass with ice until the drink is near the top of the glass.You can also use a round or square ice mold.
  5. Garnish with a cherry and twist of blood orange. We use a Ranch-made brandy soaked cherry.

Toast Palentine’s Day

Winter wouldn’t be complete without a hot cocktail to warm the bones. We think this would go down nicely during an après-ski or following a spa day with friends. The Palentine’s drink is inspired by one of our favorite comfort foods, apples and cinnamon. In pie or in a drink, it’s hard to beat this homey duo. We hope you enjoy it with good friends, the ultimate luxury in life.

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Pressed Cider Martini

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Drambuie
  • 1 oz Amaretto
  • 1 oz Brandy 
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla 
  • 2 oz. hot apple cider
  • Small splash of pineapple juice

Directions:

  1. Fill a pint glass half full of ice.
  2. Add Drambuie, Brandy, Amaretto and a splash of pineapple juice.
  3. Pour into a shaker.
  4. Shake well and strain into a martini glass.
  5. Add hot cider, and then two shakes of cinnamon and vanilla (either two shavings of a vanilla bean and cinnamon stick with a micro-zester or two shakes of each type of powder).

Have a wonderful weekend! You can enjoy more recipes from the Great Room and Silver Dollar Saloon