6 Reasons Why to Visit The Resort at Paws Up This Winter

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Every season at The Resort at Paws Up brings change and wonder. Until just this winter, however, few got to witness The Resort under its sparkling white blanket. But that’s about to change. Starting in 2017, The Resort at Paws Up will be open to guests for all 365 days of the year.

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WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO.
 To start with, it’s quieter here during the colder months. Snow under your feet cushions each step. Wildlife comes out from hiding. The mountaintops glisten. Even the hot chocolate just seems sweeter. In a word, it is spectacular.

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Day or night, you can sit back and take in the incredible snow-covered scenery. And every one of our luxury vacation homes is equipped with an outdoor hot tub, which can turn a cold snap into an inviting retreat, especially under a starlit sky.

Skijoring the resort at Paws Up

NO TIME FOR CABIN FEVER.
 Now more guests than ever can enjoy all the winter activities that we love so much: horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice skating, cross-country skiing, horseback riding through frosted pines, dogsledding, tubing, high- velocity snowmobiling, sporting clay shooting, private indoor equestrian lessons, hiking, archery, snowshoeing and, of course, sitting in front of a relaxing fire.

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THRILLING SKI ADVENTURES. Paws Up will also take you on excursions to some some wonderful downhill ski and snowboarding areas. We’re also introducing guests to an exciting winter sport, skijoring. Naturally, we can outfit you with whatever cold-weather gear you need at the Wilderness Outpost retail store.

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FOR THE YOUNGER SET. 
The Kids Corps of Discovery has a full schedule of exciting activities, from tubing, luge-style sledding and hockey to craft making, pony rides and broomball. We’ll keep the kids busy and active all day long. Or you can teach them the science behind snow fort building yourself, just outside your private vacation home.

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THE SPA: A GOOD MOVE.
 As much as we love Spa Town in the warmer months, the brisk, fresh winter air didn’t seem right for a relaxing massage. So in wintertime, the secluded Morris Ranch House serves as the warm, cozy location for spa treatments. Located adjacent to the picturesque Elk Creek, this historic luxury home is a perfect setting for rejuvenating spa services and a chance to let our talented staff pamper you and your family.

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COLD-WEATHER CUISINE. Dining at Paws Up is always a treat, but for those looking for something truly phenomenal, come for WinterFest, January 19–22, our signature culinary event of the season. It’s three and a half days of intimate cooking classes and demonstrations, wine and spirits tastings, wilderness adventures, live entertainment (Missoula musician John Floridis and singer- songwriter Brian Pounds from TV’s The Voice) and, of course, hearty gourmet feasts—complete with thoughtful wine pairings—created by our award-winning guest chefs.

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There’s no shortage of exiting ways to enjoy the drop in temperatures in Montana. And yes, seasonal rates do apply. It’s no wonder we’re already seeing a blizzard of reservations for our first full winter.

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Get Cozy with Red Wine and Hot Chocolate at The Resort at Paws Up

Red Wine and Hot Chocolate

Move over Irish coffee. Have you heard the buzz about the latest trending winter beverage, Red Wine and Hot Chocolate? The bartenders at The Resort at Paws Up have, and they’re already serving it up this season. Red Wine and Hot Chocolate is easy to make. All you need is milk, red wine, your favorite dark chocolate and cinnamon. Our staff tops the beverage off with whipped cream and ground cinnamon.

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This warming drink is simply hot chocolate spiked with red wine. It is similar to mulled wine but rich and chocolaty! Use three parts hot chocolate to one part red wine. We used Rombauer Merlot. The Rombauer family members are big fans of this varietal’s rich, silky textures and supple tannins, as well as its versatility with food. It is medium-bodied and ripe and plush, with flavors of plums, cherries and figs. It makes a perfect pairing with melted dark chocolate.

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After a day of cross-country skiing, horseback riding, skijoring or snow tubing at Paws Up, take a sip of Red Wine and Hot Chocolate, and you’ll be feeling warm and cozy in no time. We love drinking it fireside. So if you’re visiting us this season, come by Tank and try one (or two). Otherwise, make one at home, and let us know how you liked it.

From Farm to Table, the Old-Fashioned Way

Hutterites Paws Up

Fresh and delicious seasonal dishes don’t happen by accident. So for our rich bounty of vegetables, breads and meats, Paws Up has been turning to local experts with a long history in these parts: the Cool Springs Hutterite Colony, the Hillside Colony and other Hutterite farmers. Over the years, Paws Up Executive Chef Ben Jones has found that these communities produce some of the best-tasting foodstuffs in the country—by using natural, time-tested techniques, similar to those used by Amish and Mennonite farmers.

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Hutterites have been living and working in Montana since first forming colonies in the Dakotas in the 1800s and Canada in the 1900s. The Hutterites also eventually formed colonies in Montana in which they practiced a religious-based communal lifestyle where each individual in a colony was responsible for a specific task. That tradition and culture have not changed much since the early days for Hutterites in Montana, according to current Cool Springs colony resident Jake Waldner.

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Waldner says that Paws Up is the colony’s number-one customer as a purchaser of the bacon, chickens, bread and vegetables that the colony produces. The Hutterites are able to directly deliver and sell goods to customers like Paws Up from their farms, as opposed to selling to stores and then having goods sit on shelves for days or even weeks at a time. But most colonies do not produce goods solely to sell to restaurants and resorts. The livestock and other goods are instead grown and produced for a colony’s use first. Then, when a surplus is generated, those excess goods are made available to outside customers.

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For a resort like Paws Up that specializes in farm-to-table freshness, the goods are always cherished, and our guests can taste the difference between these foods and those that are shipped in. The relationship between Hutterite farmers and the culinary artists at Paws Up adds a delicious, honest, homegrown flavor to every dish we prepare.

The Resort at Paws Up Takes Bitters to the Next Level

paws-up-bittersBitters are the spice rack of the cocktail world. Some bartenders will even tell you that a drink isn’t a cocktail without them. While we don’t take that notion too seriously at The Resort at Paws Up, we are excited about the possibilities of our brand-new, made-from-scratch bitters program. Our bartenders and food and beverage manager raided Chef Ben Jones’s pantry and took advantage of Montana’s natural floral bounty to produce a cache of infusions with unique flavor profiles.

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One of The Resort’s concoctions uses caraway seeds and powdered mace to enhance the characteristics of a locally made Aquavit. Another includes spruce tips that are grown here on the ranch (they pair well with gin). See our cocktail recipe for The Spruce Moose below.

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“The options are truly endless, and our infusion library is expanding right along with our imaginations. We aim to create drink experiences that are unexpected, adventurous and gratifying. It’s the Montana way,” says Paws Up bartender Derick Smith.

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The Spruce Moose Cocktail

1 ounce gin

1 ounce vodka

1/4 ounce spruce-infused housemade bitters

1/2 ounce bitters

1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

1/2 ounce honey

Garnish: Maldon sea salt

1. In each of four old-fashioned glasses, combine gin, vodka, bitters, lemon juice and honey. Garnish each glass with Maldon sea salt.