Sipping and swilling up and down Sun Valley
Photo: Paulette Phlipot
The Wood River Valley’s range of nightlife spans everything from swanky and sophisticated to rustic and rugged Old West, all within a matter of a few miles. So whether you’d like to belly up to Mahoney’s Bar in Bellevue with a beer and a shot or shuffle over to Zou 75 in Hailey for some sushi and sake or hit a Ketchum hotspot in your skinny jeans like the glowing bar at Cornerstone for a martini, the Valley has a plethora of signature drinks available for your sipping (or swilling) pleasure. Here are some of our favorites.
“El Fuego Dulce”
Boca’s Latin-freestyle food and atmosphere are unlike any other bar or restaurant in the Valley. Upon entering the strumming guitar and warm ambience embrace you on a cold winter’s evening. Their signature drink, El Fuego Dulce, (Spanish for sweet fire) provides the heat of the jalapeño and the sweetness of the blood orange juice, leaving you with a sense of summertime even when it’s actually snowing outside.
Ingredients: Agave syrup, Sauza 100% Blue Agave Tequila, Cointreau, fresh-squeezed lime juice, fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, ice, thin slice of jalapeño, cilantro leaves. Served in a half- sugar/half-salt, lime-zested- rimmed cocktail glass, garnished with fresh lime wheel.
Bar Bite: Wild Jumbo Shrimp with Garlic Tomato and Dry Sherry Infusion.
When at B. make sure to grab a B. Cooler at the newly refurbished bar.
The Duchin Room
The Duchin Room, named for Marjorie Oelrichs Duchin, is situated directly off of the lobby in the Sun Valley Lodge, where hallways are flanked with historical photos of ancient celebrities. Kick back at the Duchin Bar with The 9150—named after the summit elevation of Bald Mountain.
Ingredients: Patron XO Café (coffee liqueur made with tequila), Godiva Milk Chocolate Liqueur, splash of cream. Shaken ice cold and served in a cocoa and raw sugar dusted martini glass.
Bar Bite: Gretchen’s Vanilla Crème Brulee. The sweetness of the Godiva Milk Chocolate Liqueur and the kick of the Patron XO Coffee Tequila will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy, no matter the weather.
Housed in the old Red Elephant building on Main Street in Hailey, the Muleshoe is a welcome addition to Hailey’s ever-changing nightlife. Relax at the long wooden bar with your Mule Tai, a spiced coconut rum combination that will have you humming Jimmy Buffet tunes in no time.
Ingredients: Spiced rum, coconut rum, fresh mottled orange, combo of fresh juices. Served over ice.
Bar Bite: Spicy Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
"Chocolate Cake Martini"
Mahoney’s is many things to many people. Families gather for lunch or dinner, kids beg parents for quarters to play video games, and South Valley workers congregate for Happy Hour after a long day’s work. The Chocolate Cake Martini is a dessert in and of itself—take a sip of the martini and then a bite of lemon, and you won’t be singing the blues, or feel any pain after a couple of these bad boys.
Ingredients: Frangelico, Absolut Citron, organic brown sugar. Shake with ice. Served in a martini glass, garnished with a lemon wedge.
Bar Bite: Anything on the menu that you can dream to pair this dandy with!
B. Restaurant and Bar
Arriving late this summer, B. Restaurant and Bar (located in the former Roosevelt Grille building) became Ketchum’s newest restaurant to be opened by long-time locals, the Beriker family. With its Asian-fusion menu, knockout rooftop deck, and tasty cocktails like the B. Cooler (the fizz of ginger beer mixed with the sweet yet tart taste of Pomegranate Liqueur is tantalizing to the taste buds), B. Restaurant promises culinary greatness.
Ingredients: Muddled lime, Three Olives Pomegranate Vodka, orange juice, ginger beer, Pama Pomegranate Liqueur. Served over ice with a fresh lime wedge.
Bar Bite: Lettuce Wraps with Minced Organic Chicken
“True Grit Margarita”
Filling a niche in Hailey, Zou 75 opened in 2002. The modern, clean sushi bar and restaurant is one of this southern hamlet’s most prized and loved eateries. While sipping the True Grit Margarita, with perfect combinations of Silver Tequila and Ginger Liqueur, visions of Rooster Cogburn dance before your eyes in the days of the Old West in Hailey—albeit back then they didn’t have fresh sushi flown in several times a week from Hawaii!
Ingredients: Silver Tequila, Ginger Liqueur, fresh lime and grapefruit juices. Served on the rocks with a salt and pepper rim.
Bar Bite: Crispy Maguro bites (fresh Ahi tuna seved atop crispy sushi rice and topped with fresh avocado, crispy tempura onions, wasabi seeds and their secret sweet and spicy sauces)
Cornerstone Bar and Grill
When The Cornerstone Bar and Grill opened in 2010, Ketchum’s downtown scene got a one-two punch. The blending of history and trend make The Cornerstone one of Ketchum’s most lively nightspots. The exact amount of St. Germain is key to the Gemini Cocktail, as the artisanal elderflower liqueur can take over any cocktail or add just the right amount of floral balance—so leave it to the pros at The Cornerstone to make it for you.
Ingredients: Vodka, St. Germain, grapefruit juice and Prosecco. Served in chilled glasses with a grapefruit twist.
Bar Bite: Quinoa Falafel
The Cellar Pub
Fashioned after a traditional Irish pub, The Cellar Pub is a favorite hangout for many Ketchumites. Winter or summer, the bar is packed with locals sharing stories about their latest feats on the mountain or on the trails. Step downstairs to The Cellar’s inviting bar to enjoy the Moscow Mule—and watch out, mama, the lime juice and ginger mask any taste of the vodka—making it a dangerous drink that just might sneak up on ya.
Ingredients: Tito’s Vodka, fresh lime juice, ginger beer. Served over ice in a copper mug.
Bar Bite: Organic Lamb Sliders
(The Olympic Bar)
“The Blanc Cassis”
History and Michel’s Christiania go together like wine and cheese. The Olympic Bar at Michel’s is particularly noteworthy because of the Hemingway connection (he purportedly enjoyed his last meal at a table in Michel’s dining room). The Blanc Cassis contains Crème de Cassis, which tastes great, and the currants and wine are said to have health benefits—so really, this is more of a healthy drink! Whether you think of it that way or not, it’s a refreshing repast that Hemingway once enjoyed while sitting at the Olympic Bar.
Ingredients: Dry French Chardonnay (yes, it must be French), Black Currant Liqueur Creme de Cassis. (The Blanc Cassis is now commonly known as a Kir, named after Felix Kir, the former mayor of Dijon, Burgundy, where Michel’s chef, Laurent Loubot, grew up). Served over ice in a wine glass with an orange twist, and possibly a dash of orange bitters.
Bar Bite: Paté de Campagne (house-made country-style paté).