Jackson Hole’s nicest restaurants and bars do often have PBRs on their drink menus. But don’t let that set your expectations for the cocktails. You can expect many restaurants to make their own cocktail syrups in-house. Also, expect a plethora of cocktails that use Wyoming whiskey, the brainchild of several Jackson residents, including the brother of current Governor Matt Mead, and distilled (at the first legal distillery in the state in nearly a century) four-hours away in Kirby, Wyo. If you’re not a big fan of Wyoming Whiskey straight, you might be pleasantly surprised at the results when it’s used in a mixer. At The Rose it’s not out of the realm of possibility that you may see Leonardo DiCaprio. While in town this past summer, he enjoyed a Poodle Duty (Tito’s Vodka, Dry Sack Sherry, strawberry, pineapple, lemon, and Prosecco) there. The Poodle Duty didn’t make my list of top five favorites, but another drink at The Rose did.
A mixologist at The Rose worked on “The Loophole” for two years before finding the final flavor—dram of allspice—it needed to make it onto the custom cocktail menu here. Even classic drinks get updates. An Old Fashioned is infused with Co2. It’s no wonder Food & Wine recently rated The Rose as one of the country’s Top 25 Cocktail Bars.
I’ve been doing serious research into Jackson Hole’s best margarita for upwards of 15 years now. There was no winner until The Deck opened at the top of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort gondola several years ago. As good as the Deck’s margarita is, their Huckleberry How Pow might be even better. When The Deck isn’t open (it’s only open for 10 weeks every summer), get its marg at Couloir.
Snake River Grill
Not as extensive as cocktail menus at other fine-dining restaurants in town, The Snake River Grill focuses on quality instead of quantity. The drink menu changes seasonally, but perennial favorites are the Trout Saddle (Stoli Citros, fresh orange, lime juice, and cranberry juice) and the Honey Badger (Glenfiddich, Amaro Nonino, honey syrup, and lemon).
The coconut ginger martini at The Kitchen isn’t just one of the most potent drinks in the valley. Its blend of sweetness and spice perfectly compliments the contemporarily cozy restaurant’s diverse flavors from a crudo bar to pan seared red deer.
Just two blocks from the Town Square and one of the valley’s original sushi spots, Nikai has an extensive list of non-sushi options, plus more than a dozen Asian-inspired martinis. The Thai-style street ribs and lotus flower martini are every bit as worthy as its sushi—which is flown in fresh daily.