- Après negroni
Stowe's newest après-ski spot isn't on the slopes; it's tucked inside a beauty store, spa and salon. Après, a cocktail and wine lounge, opened on November 4 inside the new Stowe location of Mirror Mirror at 2038 Mountain Road.
"The idea is to really tie this whole space together," Après owner Christopher Leighton said. "You can grab a glass of Champagne and go get your hair done, have a glass of wine in the lounge before your massage, shop around the retail space while having a cocktail, or sit at the bar for a drink and a snack."
Leighton has been a fixture in the local booze world since he moved to Vermont in 2013, managing bars in Burlington and working as a distiller at Appalachian Gap Distillery. Most recently, he was behind the bar at Caledonia Spirits in Montpelier.
"I've always wanted to do my own thing, to branch out and showcase everything I've learned," Leighton said.
He's known the team at Mirror Mirror's longtime Burlington location for a while, he said, "and saw this as an opportunity to open up a cool little cocktail bar to go along with all their services."
- The bar at Après
The menu features cocktails and juices made with local produce, including fresh, cold-pressed Bloody Marys on Sundays. In the summer, Leighton plans to shop for ingredients at the Stowe Farmers Market across the street.
The wine list is a mix of "new, rule-breaking natural wines" and "well-made old-world wines," Leighton said. Some even appear in cocktails, including a variation on the French 75 made with a still wine, which he's kegging and carbonating to serve on draft.
Après offers a small menu of shareable, appetizer-style plates such as hummus and charcuterie. This winter, Burlington-based pop-up Good Grocery will provide soups, both at the bar and to-go.