Is it me, or does a cocktail taste better when someone thoughtfully crafts it for you? After 19+ years in Summit County, I still enjoy raising a glass after dark or at dinner with friends. And while Utah may not outwardly be known as a mixed drink hotspot, I believe Park City’s cocktail offerings are second to none.
Even with today’s labor shortage, Park City has some of the best restaurant staff and bartenders around. Each summer, the Park City Savor the Cocktail contest highlights over a dozen of these skilled mixologists and their artfully crafted creations as locals and visitors taste and vote for their favorite. Recent winners include High West Distillery (2021), Handle (2020) and Tupelo (2019, 2018). I can’t wait to see what this year will bring.
Here are some of my favorite places in Park City to experience the area’s best sips.
1. High West Distillery – With the slogan “whiskey from the west”, Park City’s famed distillery is known for original cocktails like “Giddy Up Jupiter” and “Fool’s Gold”. Locations in Wanship and Park City. www.highwest.com
2. Handle – Featuring fun cocktails new and old, you’ll enjoy sipping a cocktail in Handle. With an old-timey feel and a modern country farmhouse twist, you’ll be transported in body and mind by the award-wining bartenders and staff. handleparkcity.com
3. Tupelo – Winning the Park City cocktail contest in 2018 with its “Cherry in the Rye” creation put Tupelo on the cocktail map. Now open in their new location on Kearns Blvd., where longtime staple Adolph’s used to be. tupeloparkcity.com
4. Blind Dog Restaurant & Raw Bar – From the classic Old Fashioned to seasonal creations, you’ll find the cocktail menu at Blind Dog to be as good as the food. They even have a few non-alcoholic mocktails. www.blinddogpc.com
5. Butcher’s Chop House – with house favorite cocktails that feature mules, classics and other creations, Butchers has a great Park City vibe for your libations. www.butcherschophouse.com
6. Hearth and Hill – a wonderful gathering spot that has quickly become a favorite, Hearth and Hill is already expanding after just a few years in business. Try their signature cocktails like “Cozy Sweater” and “Rosie Cheeks” as well as seasonal crafts and old fashion options. hearth-hill.com
7. Waldorf Astoria – at Powder Restaurant, you’ll enjoy comfort food from mountain areas of the world, coupled well with Powder Creations like “The Pink Lady”, “Frostwood Sour”, and “The Boss”. www.waldorfastoriaparkcity.com
8. Shabu – Shabu is one of Park City’s classic restaurant choices, featuring freestyle Asian cuisine that pairs well with libations like the “Shaburita”, “Mezcal New Fashioned” and “Spicy Buddha”. shabuparkcity.com
9. Versante Hearth + Bar – Located in the Peaks Hotel, this restaurant is open for all. It’s a good thing, too, because it’s a favorite for food and cocktails alike. Try the “Mid Mountain Mules” or the “Townie Old Fashioned”. www.parkcitypeaks.com
10. Alpine Distilling – The whiskey and gin at Alpine Distilling are true to their owners’ original values: adventurous, innovative, and authentic. When you experience these liquors at Alpine Pie Bar on Main Street, you not only get the pleasure of enjoying award-winning spirits, but you’re also supporting a company that is very involved in the community. alpineparkcity.com
11. Fletcher’s – Share a plate and sip a craft cocktail upstairs at Fletcher’s or downstairs in the Library Lounge in the heart of Main Street. fletcherspc.com
12. The Cabin – Now located in a larger space up the hill near O’Shucks, you’ll find the Cabin’s newly renovated two-floor space to be a delightful place for a lively cocktail and conversation or live music. www.thecabinparkcity.com
13. Boneyard Saloon & Wine Dive – You’ll love the “Euro Pear Spritz”, “Something About Rosemary” and the “Boneyard Bulldog” among other cocktails at Boneyard. I enjoy sitting outside on the rooftop when the weather is nice. www.boneyardsaloon.com
14. Riverhorse on Main – Set in Park City’s historic Masonic Hall, this elite restaurant is award-winning for a reason. And if the food is this good, just imagine how the cocktails are. www.riverhorseparkcity.com
15. The Brass Tag – Located in the Lodges, Brass Tag is one of Deer Valley Resort’s owned restaurants and bars. Featuring wood-fired cuisine and a full bar, you can’t go wrong with cocktails here après ski or anytime. https://www.deervalley.com/things-to-do/dining/the-brass-tag
16. Chimayo – From Southern Mexico to Southern Utah, Chimayo has always been a fun and inventive restaurant with delicious cuisine. Sangria, Paloma and a slew of fresh margaritas and tequila offerings pair well with the cuisine at this Bill White staple establishment. www.chimayorestaurant.com
17. Cafe Terigo – Modern Italian cuisine in the center of it all on Main Street is just the beginning at Cafe Terigo. Mojitos, Old Fashioneds and Martinis can be ordered alongside Prosecco mixed drinks to keep you bubbly all day long. cafeterigo.com
18. Burgers & Bourbon – Whether you like your bourbon straight or in cocktail form, this Montage Deer Valley restaurant is sure to please. Not a bourbon fan? Don’t worry, they have a full bar with craft cocktails that showcase new takes on old favorites. Try the “Alpine Slide” and the “Gold Rush”. montagehotels.com/deervalley/dining/burgers-bourbon
19. Glitretind Restaurant – One of my favorite restaurants is located in Stein Lodge where are transported to Europe without leaving Deer Valley. Glitretind award-winning cuisine pairs nicely with a cocktail as you watch other skiers shush down the slopes. www.steinlodge.com/dining/glitretind-restaurant
20. Firewood – With its industrial decor and wood-fired cuisine, you can enjoy a wonderfully made cocktail either upstairs or downstairs. You may recognize this spot as the former Cisero’s nightclub, and I bet if the walls could talk they’d have some stories to tell. firewoodonmain.com