Get a taste of Colorado’s premier culinary ranch getaway before it opens later this spring.
The forthcoming May/June 2017 issue, our annual Best of the West edition, highlights Smith Fork Ranch, a Western gourmand’s retreat. Near western Colorado’s North Fork Valley, the ranch showcases the American West as a bountiful gourmet table under the direction of executive chef Marcus Parrott. At the getaway, Parrott builds on tradition and history stretching back to the Ute Indians’ use of abundant wildlife and the 19th-century cattlemen’s development of the area’s fertile land. It’s a diner’s delight set against a backdrop of rustic luxury.
Accommodations range from intimate (two-person spruce cabins) to ample (10-guest mountain houses), all well-appointed with American antiques and original works from regional and Native artists and artisans. Fly-fishing and hiking allow for ample one-on-one time with Mother Nature. (And there’s a lot of her to enjoy: 1.7 million acres of the Gunnison National Forest and West Elk Wilderness areas are accessible from the ranch.)
But the obvious emphasis at Smith Fork Ranch is on the gastronomic West, from sit-down meals to food-themed horseback rides that incorporate a hearty breakfast or a cookout with cocktails. One of those cocktails, named after a nearby landmark peak, is featured below. It should tie you over until the resort opens for the season in May.
Needle Rock Nectar
1½ ounces whiskey (preferably Tincup Whiskey)
1 ounce limoncello
2 – 3 teaspoons local honey simple syrup
Juice from ½ a lemon
Mint sprig, for muddling and garnish
Lemon wheel, for garnish
Muddle some mint leaves and the limoncello in a cocktail shaker. Add whiskey, honey simple syrup, and lemon juice. Shake. Strain as you pour the drink over ice into a mason jar. Top off with ginger ale.
Garnish with a lemon wheel and mint sprig.
For more on Smith Fork Ranch, pick up our May/June issue (on newsstands April 19) and visit the resort’s website.