Montanya Distillers makes its home at the end of the road in a mountain town, but the remote location doesn’t keep owner and CEO Karen Hoskin and her family from exploring the world. Her pursuit of quality spirits takes her from hidden gems in the Colorado Rockies to the busy streets of San Francisco and Miami. In this new blog series, we share some of Karen’s best finds.
Destination: Salida, CO, for New Year’s Eve
This mountain town is a favorite escape for Crested Butte locals—about two hours away from the Montanya tasting room, Salida offers a completely different climate. When it’s below zero in CB, Salida’s 30s feel positively balmy. (Don’t like cold weather? Salida sits on the Arkansas River, and during the summer it plays host to kayakers and rafters enjoying a classic Colorado experience.)
Karen headed to Salida with her husband, Brice, and younger son, Will, on the eve of the New Year (and her son’s return to film school in California). It turned out to be the perfect getaway, with some fun and surprising finds.
Digs: Amigo Lodge
This boutique hotel redefines the old-school roadside motel. Karen, Brice and Will stayed in a renovated Airstream trailer, where touches of humor accented clean lines and a modern feel. Even the standard door hanger was transformed, with “do not disturb” replaced by “No way José! Don’t come in. I’m naked.”
With a great fire ring and hot tub, a sustainably-minded approach to business, and a comfy nook in the Airstream, Amigo Lodge was the perfect setting for a midnight puzzle session on New Year’s Eve.
Out on the Town
No visit to Salida is complete without a stop at Currents Restaurant for high-quality comfort food. Currents has been featuring Montanya Rum since they opened their doors. The Winter Coffee cocktail (recipe below), which Karen concocted with the bartender, features Montanya Oro Rum and killed the chill in her bones as Salida dropped to 0º. It’s always a good idea to ask bartenders about the concoction of the day or their personal favorite to craft with Montanya Rum.
Fellow craft distiller PT Wood's place, Wood’s High Mountain Distillery, is also worth a visit for small batch whiskey, gin, liqueur and live tunes.
Some other favorites in Salida include Moonlight Pizza & Brew Pub for dinner, Cafe Dawn for morning coffee, and Manipura Juice Company for fresh pressed juice (an obsession of Karen’s to stay healthy on the road). Manipura’s juices are made on the spot and happily poured into your own to-go cup (at Montanya, we’re committed daily to reducing single-use trash). Also check out Season’s Cafe for breakfast, which has outside seating and amazing flower gardens in the summer.
The best and most unexpected find of this trip? The Evergreen Cafe in nearby Buena Vista, discovered thanks to a breakfast visit with friends. The food is fresh and filled with veggies and house-made delicious elements.
Best Kept Secret
The thrift stores in downtown Salida are a must. As Karen will tell you, it can be hard to keep the kids (and the parents!) well dressed on top of paying a mother lode in tuition for two kids in college. Salida thrift stores have the best selection of high-quality offerings with a flair for the stylish and wacky. They even have furniture and outdoor gear. Particular favorites are Ruby Blues and Free The Monkey, but like all thrifting adventures, it is a treasure hunt! The local handcrafted jewelry is also a highlight, but Karen is on a strict look and don’t touch budget… but you may not be!
Click on the image below to scroll through a gallery of pics from Amigo Lodge:
Recipe: Winter Coffee
Karen created this cold-weather recipe with the Currents bartender, and it’s sure to please on a winter evening.
8 oz coffee glass or mug
Fresh brewed hot Coffee
1 oz Montanya Oro Rum
1 oz Coole Swan Irish Cream
Why complicate matters when you can keep things simple? Add ingredients to your mug, mix, and enjoy.