In my ongoing series So You Want To Move to a Ski Town, I’d like to offer today’s post on one of the more nuanced elements of ski town life: how to drink from a shotski.
A shotski is a drinking tool. Made from an old, unmounted ski (or snowboard, but that would be called a shotsnowboard, which doesn’t quite have the same ring to it), a shotski requires a certain measure of panache.
Every ski town bar has one of these babies hanging on the wall somewhere. Some enterprising bartender has taken an old ski and epoxied several shot glasses to the top sheet. Here’s how you do it with style:
- Choose your beverage wisely. So often, some random group at the bar pulls me out of a conversation with some Joe Schmoe trying to convince me that I should let him join me on my next avalanche control route. Usually there’s a woman, who hooks her arm around my waist, steers me away from the Schmoe (for which I’m usually grateful) and over to the ski. The glasses have all been filled, and the group is one shy of the total needed. That’s where I come in.
“What’s the drink?” I ask.
The bartender smiles mildly, “Buttery Nipple.”
Great. I think. Why don’t they just call it was it is? A Hangover.
- Consider Height Differences. This might seem like no big deal. And it isn’t if you and the other drinkers are within a few inches of each other. But so often that cute little honey that pulled me away from that Schmoe is at least 6 inches shorter than me. (I’m an amazon woman at 6′ tall.) Position yourself between two drinkers that are similar height. That way no one will pull the ski in their direction, away from your lips, which will cause a big mess, making you look like a newbie.
- Timing. Someone is going to grab that ski and turn it towards him or herself, whether you’re ready or not. Watch down the line. Be prepared for premature imbibulation (made-up word: high-five!). You don’t want to end up with a Buttery Nipple dribbling down the front of your SmartWool. Be cautious here.
- Go Time. When the group is ready, someone–the bartender if its a slow night–will give a count down. Grab the ski with your right hand and hold tightly. Don’t let that thing tip towards you too quickly (see above). On “three” step up to the shot, and tip the ski slowly. Some joker will try to tip too fast. Be ready for that.
- Drink quickly. Just open up and let her rip. You might end up with a hint of Buttery Nipple on your upper lip. That’s okay. Just swipe away with your tongue. If you’re new to this, a napkin can be handy, so you don’t have to wipe the leftovers on your sleeve. But either way, get rid of the sticky mess before it coagulates.
- High-five your compadres.
Hand the ski back to the bartender and offer a victoryfive to your fellow shotskiers, who will most likely continue to drink until the bar closes. You, however, should go home while you’re ahead, especially if it’s snowing again. You wouldn’t want to miss first chair.
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