"Insert Your Name Here" Strip and Go Naked at Spago

When I woke up after a long evening at the bar at Spago in the Ritz-Carlton in Beaver Creek, I had an e-mail from Scotty, the bartender. "Thank you for gracing my bar last night," it read. "Truly a pleasure to meet you. I always have a good time working at Spago, but some nights are funner than others." After reading the note, I lay back on the exceedingly luxurious bedding in my room and let the fluffy down pillow pull the hangover right out of my fuzzy head. The night before was coming back in detail. It had started out innocently enough. At the Ritz for a retreat (fantastic mud-season rates), we'd decided to skip the drive into town and instead visit the hotel bar for one drink and an appetizer and call it an early evening. That's when we met Scotty, whose entire being radiated how much he loves what he does (making the rest of us reassess our career paths). He was making a newly minted martini named "Insert Your Name Here" Strip and Go Naked ($14), with 10 Cane rum, fresh pomegranate juice, lemon juice and simple syrup, and while it doesn't sound particularly spectacular, the fresh pomegranate merged with the 10 Cane to give it an amazing intensity. As I looked around the eccentrically modern rustic restaurant, I thought how discordant it was to have Spago at the bottom of the chairlift -- yet I was enjoying both the feel and the fare. Particularly after I tried a Blood and Sand ($12), made with Johnny Walker Red, cherry brandy, sweet vermouth and fresh orange juice. After more drinks and more laughs, the night ended with a large group of us being asked to leave the pool area by security. As I finally left my bed and shook out the last cobwebs, I realized I couldn't agree with Scotty more. Some nights are "funner" than others – and often it's because of the person behind the bar. Thank you, Scotty.


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