Sled dogs and Irish coffee go together like strawberries and cream, er, at least in our minds. Whenever faced with the prospect of spectating outside in winter, we think about the hot beverages we could make to accompany the standing around in the bitter cold. So with the International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race set to scamper by our café on Friday evening, we decided to stay open late and serve special treats.
Cue the Irish coffee we’ve been experimenting with all week. Our recipe calls for housemade vanilla bean syrup, a double shot of Intelligentsia Black Cat espresso, an ounce of Jameson and a dollop of cold, lightly whipped cream (the chilled cream is important because it creates a lovely contrast with the hot espresso). Also in store on Friday: hot toddies (another one we’ve spent the week perfecting). To line stomachs, we’ll be serving fry cones – paper cones filled with French fries, seasoned with your choice of spices, sauces and toppings (think chili from our friends next door at Café Genevieve).
Friday marks the 20th anniversary of the Stage Stop Sled Dog Race, founded in 1995 by Jackson’s own Frank Teasley. Like the Tour de France, each of the nine stages finds the dogsleds in a different town. Friday is the ceremonial start of the Stage Stop, and the race ends in Evanston on February 8. All told, 15 mushers and their dog teams travel to Wyoming to compete in the event from locations as far-flung as Scotland and Ontario.
The four-legged festivities begin around 5pm on Town Square, with the official race starting at 6:30pm. The mushers finish at Snow King, where a torchlight parade and fireworks cap the celebration at 8pm. We welcome one and all to watch the race from our front porch, with hot bevvies and hot fries in hand.