Drink Toasting J-Bar’s Legendary “Aspen Crud”
With its lively buzz and Old West vibe, the legendary J-Bar isn’t just Aspen’s social hub. It’s also a reminder—and bustling relic—of the town’s rich history. Cowboys and miners once rode their horses through J-Bar’s doors during Aspen’s silver boom, and drinks are still slung over the original century-plus-year-old maple bar. When Prohibition struck in 1920, J-Bar went the way of a host of other bars across America: it became a soda fountain. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” as they say, and the Aspen Crud was soon born.
Those in the know, including the playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder, learned to circumvent the alcohol ban by ordering the bourbon-spiked vanilla milkshake. In later years, the drink became popular among 10th Mountain Division members after a day of training on the slopes. The infamous Aspen Crud still lives on today, made with Hotel Jerome’s freshly churned vanilla ice cream infused with bourbon.
The next time you’re in Aspen, come and take a peek at J-Bar’s original Chinoiserie Chippendale till, signed by every bartender to ever work here, and sip a taste of Aspen history with the Crud.