Five o’clock somewhere: Where to find the best cocktails in Crested Butte

August 14, 2017 // Olivia Lueckemeyer

Cocktails have taken over Crested Butte. Whether you have a hankering for sweet, bitter or dry flavors, almost every restaurant and bar boasts a substantial cocktail list with options that appeal to every palate.

Crested Butte’s own Montanya Distillers creates craft cocktails using its award-winning, house-made Platino or Oro rum. Not a rum fan? Not a problem. Certain Montanya’s cocktails are so rich with decadent flavor profiles that the average Joe may not realize they are rum-based.

Located just off Elk Avenue, the Dogwood Cocktail Cabin is also a favorite for locals and visitors looking to grab a drink. Using vodka, rum, tequila, whiskey and gin, the Dogwood creates craft cocktails using unique ingredients, some of which you may have never heard of, which makes them all the more exciting.

The cocktails of Crested Butte are not just exclusive to Montanya’s and the Dogwood, though. Many restaurants also offer extensive cocktails lists for customers to peruse. Here’s a list of the best cocktails in Crested Butte and where to find them.

*The cocktails on the list are in no particular order  

Photo Credit: Nathan Bilow

The Maharaja

Montanya’s Distillers, 212 Elk Ave.

In a cocktail shaker with ice mix:
1/2 fresh lime, juiced
1.5 oz. Maharaja Syrup
1.5 oz. Ginger Syrup
3 oz. Montanya Oro rum

Instructions: Shake vigorously. Strain and serve in a martini or coupe glass. Option to also serve in a rocks glass and top with soda water. Garnish with a floating lime wheel and 3 cardamom pods. Rim the glass with a combination of turbinado sugar, powdered cinnamon and nutmeg (or other favorite spices).

Photo Credit: Nathan Bilow

Berry Jive

Montanya’s Distillers, 212 Elk Ave.

In a cocktail shaker with ice mix:
3 fresh strawberries (option: 2 fresh strawberries and 4 raspberries)
4 mint leaves
2 basil leaves
Muddle ingredients together.

Then add:
.75 oz triple syrup
2.5 oz Montanya Platino rum
1 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

Strain and pour over Belgian beer glass filled with cocktail ice.
Garnish with a mint leaf and fresh berry.

How to make the triple syrup:
Bring a combination of natural sugar, light agave, and honey (1 part) and water (1 part) to a boil. Refrigerate. Keeps in fridge up to 30 days.


Dogwood Cocktail Cabin, 309 3rd Street

Beet-infused vodka, ginger, lemon.

Instructions: Shake and stir with ice, then strain and serve without ice in a rocks glass.



Southern Sidecar

Dogwood Cocktail Cabin, 309 3rd Street

Maker’s Mark, angostura bitters and blood orange served with a sumac/sugar rim.

Instructions: Shake and stir with ice, then strain and serve without ice in a rocks glass.

Purple Haze Margarita

Pitas in Paradise, 302 Elk Ave.

Hornitos Plata Tequila, Grand Marnier, fresh lime, orange juice, a splash of cranberry juice with a tang rim.

Mai Tai

Secret Stash, 303 Elk Ave.

Rum, coconut rum, pineapple juice, orange and a few secret ingredients.

Bloody Mary

The Last Steep

House-made Bloody Mary mix, vodka, garnished with veggies.

291 Ruby

Elk Avenue Prime, 226 Elk Ave.

1 oz. 291 Bourbon
1.5 oz. Emmolo merlot
.5 oz. Demerara syrup
One slice of lemon and four Bordeaux cherries

Instructions: Muddle cherries, combine all ingredients in a shaker and stir until chilled. Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass with lemon garnish.

Brown Bear

Elk Avenue Prime, 226 Elk Ave.

1.5 oz. Bird Dog Chocolate Bourbon
.5 oz. Kahlua
1 oz. Irish Cream

Build in rocks glass over ice, shake and serve.

Wild Ginger

Ginger Café, 425 Elk Ave.
1.5 oz. Vodka 80
1 oz. ginger syrup
.5 oz. lemon juice
2 lemon wedges
Pinch of mint leaves
Soda water

Instructions: Build in print class. Muddle mint and lemon wedges. Add ice, vodka, ginger syrup and lemon juice. Shake. Top with soda water. Garnish with umbrella, ginger candy and half a lemon wheel.

Scorpion Margarita – Bonez, 130 Elk Ave.

Serrano and habañero-infused tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice, triple sec, served with a chilé salt rim.


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