Five Ways to Heat up Après-Ski

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If you are a true skier – inclined to head for colder climes not sunny shores come winter – then you are probably planning your trip now. Resorts in France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland book up fast as ski season approaches.

For many the skiing is an excuse to justify and truly enjoy après-ski. Flushed with a day on the slopes, face red and thighs burning, you not only have earned but require the frivolity, drink and camaraderie that follow. While a drink or three is obligatory at the resort bar post-schuss, what could be better than retiring to your own private luxury chalet, with mountains framed in windows and logs burning in stone fireplace?

Truly great après-ski is both an art and a science. It shouldn’t be left to amateurs. Here are five ways to get the most from it.

1. The Drink’s the Thing:Quality time together, taking in the view, the flush of healthy living . . . yada, yada, yada. Après-ski is about the perfect drink at the perfect moment. (If you don’t drink, then don’t ski. Period. This is one man’s opinion.) Your heart is still racing; you’re still giddy from surviving the double black diamond almost 90-degree drop.The alcohol hits your system and not only do you feel lucky to be alive you actually feel alive.

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And you feel adventurous, wanting to try new concoctions. From a Crème Brulee Martini to Spruce’s West High Toddy to The Snowball (Grey Goose Vodka and Kaluha), NBC News gives recipes for eight great après-ski cocktails.

And if you really must wander down memory lane and have a hot chocolate, then check out the French Tart’s recipe for Après-Ski Holiday Hot Chocolate With Brandy and Cream.

2. Food’s the Other Thing: After opening cocktails, you’ll remember how hungry you are. Nothing beats a really good meal after a day of going downhill. Something hot, that will stick to the ribs, that will complete the journey of sending you into slumberland.  How about a traditional cheese fondue that combines Gruyere (fondue’s workhorse) and the more pungent, creamier Vacherin Fribourgeois? Or a clam pan roast?Or lentil and sausage soup?

lentil-soup

Go to Huffington post to see nine recipes for après-ski. Some villas come with their own chef. If so, forget the above and leave yourself in their hands (or discreetly email the recipe link to their smartphone).

3. You’ve Got a Fire – Use it: Come on! Use your imagination. A crackling wood fire is good for more than marshmallows or s’mores.  You can use skewers or strings or even a Dutch oven to prepare yourself all manner of good things (leave this article now if you are picturing a hot dog dangled over a flame).  The Plow & Hearth will tell you how to make tempting fireplace food, ranging from Reuben Sandwiches to Lemon Fried Chicken, to Fireplace Fruit Cobbler.

4. The Beat Goes on: Your chalet will no doubt have a dock for your MP3 player or smartphone, so you can play music from your collection. But you might also want to download the Songza app, with curated playlists not just based on artists, songs, or genres, but also based on themes, interests and eras. Calm and mellow, high energy, vintage, brand new – many tastes, moods and activities are covered here. While skiing isn’t yet part of the Activities list, one is intrigued by entries like Waking Up on the Right Side of Bed, Staying Up All Night, Making Out and Grinding in a Nightclub. (In this day and age, one expects the most remote mountain chalets to have Wi-Fi.)

5. Some Like it Even Hotter: If you want to cheat and leave your chalet, why not pamper yourself in one of the spas found throughout the mountains of Europe? You can soak in hot mineral springs, with all their restorative powers.

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Or heat yourself in a sauna, opening those pores wide, and hearing them close with a bang as you go for a roll in the snow. Or break down the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles, after the strain of day on the slopes, with a therapeutic massage (perhaps a a Swiss Alpine herb-poultice massage). The Telegraph provides its list of the world’s best 10 ski-spa retreats, including the Victoria-Jungrau Grand Hotel & Spa Interlaken in Switzerland.

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