Photo courtesy of Stein Eriksen Lodge
Don’t believe the myth that Utah is a dry state—here’s our favorite places to get a drink in Park City, Utah.
There’s an on-going myth that Utah is a dry state, yet that misconception couldn’t be any further from the truth. In fact, the state is continuing to make serious strides toward modernizing its liquor laws, and is home to more than 10 distilleries and numerous high-quality bars. While some of the state’s liquor laws are the same as anywhere else in the US, Utah has a few uncommon laws that you need to know about.
One of the most unique liquor laws in the state of Utah relates to the difference between restaurants and bars. When you go to a restaurant, you can order a drink, but it has to be ordered with food—even if it’s just a side of french fries. Whereas, if you go to a bar, tavern or brewery, no food is required if you just want a drink.
When you go to order at the bar, don’t expect an over-pour—there are limits on how much spirit can be added to each person’s cocktails. You can order two at a time, but the alcohol between the two drinks can only equal two and a half ounces of total alcohol. For example, you could order a specialty cocktail (with one and a half ounces of alcohol) and a shot (with one ounce of alcohol) at the same time.
Photo by Kaitlyn Beickel
Before 2019 in Utah, you could only purchase beers on draft or at grocery/convenience stores with four percent alcohol or less, but a new law upped that percentage to 5, opening the door to a much wider variety of beers available. Beer is the only drink you’ll find for sale at the grocery store—if you want bottles of spirits and wine, you have to purchase them exclusively at a Utah state liquor store.
Now that you know the laws around spirits, head to the beautiful Park City, Utah, to try some of our favorite spirits and excellent cocktails.
Photo courtesy of High West
“Since there are certain restrictions on how a beverage can be made, our bartenders here are really clever about figuring out how to make that beverage a unique and delicious cocktail,” Dan Howard, Vice President of Communications for Park City, Utah says. “Park City has so many bars, saloons and restaurants where it’s expected that these beverages are world-class. I’m really proud of the bartending community here.”
Ready to grab a drink? Here’s our favorite places in Park City, Utah (and a couple of Salt Lake City gems) to enjoy spirits:
ALPINE DISTILLING AND ALPINE PIE BAR
Photo courtesy of Alpine Distilling
A multiple ‘Best Casual Eatery’ and ‘Craft Distillery of the Year’ award-winner, Alpine Distilling and Alpine Pie Bar is a can’t-miss spirit experience for gin and whisky lovers. Alpine offers four different types of premium whisky and two varieties of gin that are “100 percent vapor extracted from naturally gluten-free, corn ethanol.”
Alpine Pie Bar is also home to Alpine Distilling’s custom gin experience where you can blend your own custom gin. If you love pie, get there early—Alpine Pie often sells out of their daily pie allocation, which they serve fresh in a speakeasy setting.
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STEIN ALPENGLOBES AT STEIN ERIKSEN LODGE
Photo courtesy of Stein Eriksen Lodge
If you’re an avid fan of winter sports, you are likely already familiar with Stein Eriksen Lodge. Atop the deck of the luxury ski resort are six life-size Alpenglobes, used as climate-controlled outdoor seating for fine dining at Stein Alpenglobes. The fully-enclosed unique clear domes give an awe-inspiring panoramic view of Deer Valley while you dine or lounge.
Enjoy the award-winning culinary options and your favorite drink as you take in the beauty of nature around you.
THE EATING ESTABLISHMENT
Photo courtesy of The Eating Establishment
Opened in 1972, The Eating Establishment, now owned by comedian and Modern Family star Ty Burrell, is a beloved spot in Park City, Utah by both locals and visitors alike. It was featured on Food Networks star Rachael Ray’s “Rachel’s Vacation,” as the oldest ‘joint’ in Park City and a local favorite.
The breakfast-all-day diner was upgraded with the addition of a bar in 2017, and they now are known for their delicious bloody Marys, craft cocktails and sizable beer list.
HIGH WEST SALOON
Photo courtesy of High West
Founded in 2006, High West Distillery has made a name for itself as a favorite Sundance stop among celebrities. Park City was selected as the home for this whiskey distillery for two key reasons—founder David Perkins’ love of the Old West and the surprisingly rich history of whisky in Utah. High West also puts an emphasis on sustainability—all of the distillery’s waste goes into an anaerobic digester that produces electricity to power the grid.
High West began as a small whisky operation, and has grown to be an internationally recognized and award-winning brand. When you want a delicious whisky cocktail, head to Park City, Utah’s High West Saloon, “the world’s first and only ski-in gastro-distillery.”
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THE LAKEHOUSE AT DEER CREEK
Photo courtesy of The Lakehouse at Deer Creek
If lake views and great drinks are what you seek, The Lakehouse at Deer Creek has the breathtaking ambiance you are looking for. Helmed by celebrated chef Tamara Stanger, who was featured on Food Network’s Chopped, The Lakehouse puts an emphasis on local ingredients and small farms. And when we say local, we mean it—Chef Stanger forages for local ingredients herself.
You’ll find these foraged ingredients in the food, and as an ingredient in the delicious craft cocktails—like a freshly-picked flower or flavorful berries. Plus, you can enjoy a sunset cruise around the lake on a private charter before you dine.
SCION CIDER BAR
Photo courtesy of Scion Cider Bar
If you love hard ciders, this is the place for you. Scion Cider Bar has an ever-changing lineup of draft ciders, as well as a wide selection of craft cider in bottles and cans. Rio Connelly, the cider bar’s general manager, has an impressive history in Utah’s craft beer scene, with over 10 years experience in the industry, he was a co-founder Proper Brewing and assistant production manager in the early days of Epic Brewing. From sweet to funky, Connelly can help you pick a cider that pleases your palette.
Photo courtesy of HSL Restaurant
Using the freshest, local ingredients is the key to Chef Briar Handly’s delightful culinary creations at HSL Restaurant—and the drinks are no exception. The restaurant is an evolution of Handly’s first restaurant, Handle, in Park City, Utah. Touting their interesting wines and thoughtful cocktails, almost everything you have at HSL will be locally sourced—making it that much more enjoyable.