A Short History of Après-Ski

January 17, 2024

Après-ski (“after skiing”) is, by definition, a social activity that takes place after a day on the slopes. It’s a tradition as old as skiing itself, and is said to have originated in Scandinavia. The version of après-ski as we know it today—which typically features alcoholic drinks, good food, music and socializing with friends—was allegedly invented in the 1950s in the French Alps.

Countries where skiing is a popular activity have their own ways of enjoying après-ski, but there are no hard and fast rules. The main thing is to have fun!

Cheers to Ullr!

According to historians, skiing dates back to ancient times, but it’s hard to pinpoint when the custom of après-ski first emerged. This ritual is however mentioned in Norse mythology with its plethora of gods. Ullr (or Ull) was believed to be the god of winter, hunting, and skiing. (Legend has it that Ullr was the stepson of Thor, popular god of thunder, from whom the word Thursday is derived!) Ullr was a valiant fighter and held an important position among the hierarchy of Scandinavian deities.

What Is Typically Drunk During Après-Ski?

That varies a little depending on where you happen to be. In Austria, for example, mulled wine is the beverage of choice. A mix of red wine, fruit juice and spices, this festive drink leaves you feeling happy and keeps your hands warm at the same time!

In northern Italy, you might be offered a Bombardino, which is also a hot drink—a blend of cream, coffee, brandy, and zabaglione. Aperol Spritz is also popular. At the upscale ski resorts in France, champagne is the order of the day. There’s nothing quite like sipping a glass of bubbly on a bright, sunny day!

And in countries where people love to drink beer, you can always find a good selection of local brews. That is certainly the case at the major ski resorts of Western Canada and of course, here in Quebec!

And Food?

After a day on the slopes, skiers want a hearty, tasty meal that will warm them up—in other words, something comforting and nourishing. Among the most popular dishes at French (and European) ski resorts are cheese fondue, onion soup au gratin and tartiflette (a traditional potato dish).

The choice of meal usually comes down to something hot and delicious that will go well with whatever you’re having to drink…

Après-Ski at the Burger Pub

So, what is après-ski like at our place? It involves delicious food, a wide choice of drinks, a warm, friendly ambience, and a great view of the mountain. Orford isn’t quite the Alps, but it’s still a great place to have fun!

Just as in France, we have bubbly, a selection of fine wines, local beer from our microbreweries and much, much more…

We suggest you start your meal with a bowl of soup, a big hot pretzel, onion rings or nachos (to share). Then dig in to one of our delicious burgers, poutine, or spareribs!

Ready to come by, after a day on the slopes?

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