5 Tips for Hosting Holiday Gatherings in Jackson Hole
The holiday season is upon us, and there is nothing quite like the joy of celebrating with friends and family in an idyllic mountain setting. Jackson Hole’s snow-covered peaks, pine forests dusted in white, and sparkling lights on the Town Square evoke an enchanting feeling in winter, adding a touch of magic to the holidays. Indoors, the coziness of a firelit great room or dining area is perfect for hosting a stunning seasonal feast or casual cocktail party.
Here in Jackson Hole, we can embrace the locale and showcase locally harvested food and seasonal ingredients from regional farms along with creating holiday memories that will last a lifetime. Follow along for our top locally inspired essentials for creating gatherings that capture Jackson Hole’s special essence.
1. Create the Perfect Setting
Start by creating an elevated holiday tablescape that reflects the Western-chic elegance unique to Jackson Hole. Consider bringing a touch of the natural environment indoors by utilizing a mix of found and foraged elements from the forest. Things like dried wild flowers and berries, feathers, pinecones, willow trimmings, and sprigs of sage that are abundant around Jackson add organic texture and earthiness to your table décor. Antlers and leather accents make nice touches too, while candles add a bit of sophistication. You can source additional elements from your own collection or purchase items locally from a purveyor like Belle Cose, which has several specialty shops on the Town Square focusing on exquisite interior furnishings and décor. They stock elegant accents for tables, bar trays, and more — essentially, everything you will need for a perfect tablescape. In November and December, be sure to stop into their flagship store on Broadway to be dazzled and inspired by their breathtaking holiday décor. Use your imagination, and let the magic begin.
2. Time for a Toast
Set your party abuzz by toasting with locally crafted liquors, wines, and brews. For basic liquors like vodka, gin, and whiskey, insiders choose Jackson Hole Still Works, Wyoming Whiskey, and Grand Teton Distillery. All of Wyoming Whiskey’s ingredients are grown in Wyoming, and for the bourbon connoisseur, they have a tasting room on Jackson’s Town Square. Jackson Hole Stillworks’ small-batch gin is produced by hand in Jackson starting with local Wyoming-sourced grains and crisp mountain water. The award-winning Potato Vodka from Idaho’s Grand Teton Distillery with clear, crisp, and fruity notes complements any vodka cocktail. A sommelier’s favorite is Jackson Hole Winery’s selection of wines which sources grapes from the renowned Sonoma and Napa regions in California, but crushes, produces, and ages the wines right here at their winery in Jackson Hole; and Farmstead Cider, Jackson Hole’s first cidery, makes small-batch hard cider by harvesting local crab apples from properties all around Jackson, reducing bear-human conflict. For beer, it doesn’t get more local than Snake River Brewing Company’s aptly named six packs like Jenny Lake Lager and Earned It IPA.
3. Local Ingredients for an Upcountry Menu
A one-stop shop for locally sourced and specialty ingredients is the Food Shed in Victor, Idaho. Tucked inside a colorful blue cottage with green trim is a culinary country store that will positively delight the chef de cuisine of any household. Carrying fresh, seasonal ingredients harvested from regional farms and showcasing locally produced cheeses, milk, eggs, and butter from nearby farmsteads, here you will also find pasture-raised wagyu beef and heritage pork from regional small farms. The neighborhood grocer also carries exceptional gourmet ingredients imported from around the world. The owner, Cecily Costa, spent over 20 years in specialty foodservice sales in San Francisco before starting on a new path and opening her own store in the heart of farm country. The store is a foodies’ dream come true, as are the housemade cookies! The best part, they deliver. Order online at: https://foodshedidaho.com.
4. Add Something Wild!
A local holiday menu would not be complete without game on your menu. The Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat Company, established in 1947 first as a cold-storage company before evolving into a game meat merchant, provides the finest buffalo and elk products available in Jackson. The current owner, Chris O’Blenness, hails from Jackson, but ran the livestock program for the two-Michelin-star rated, farm-to-table restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York before purchasing Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat Company six years ago. Today, his retail store in Jackson carries a selection of bison, elk, smoked trout, and deer. They hand cut steaks to order, burgers and sausages are ground fresh, and their artisan jerky is made by hand and packaged on site.
5. Dinner is Served
A local culinary experience requires attention to detail including designing a thoughtful arrangement of elegant table settings that reflect the modern West. To create an extra-special holiday feel, it is best to begin with event-worthy essentials that reflect the signature style found only in Wyoming. Whether you are looking for classic dinnerware, festive linens, or unique centerpieces, Range by XOWYO rents flatware, glassware, and everything you need to create a show-stopping holiday table or spread. Their stylists can help you select just the right pieces to tie your entire look together. It’s time to summon your guests and relish the joy of the season.
Let Us Plan Your
There is so much to do in Jackson Hole. Rush downriver in a kayak. Ride horseback through a sea of golden grass. Cast a line into water clear as the sky, while the fish flash by like stars. There’s hiking, biking, snowmobiling, and of course, skiing. The Clear Creek Group affiliates with the best service providers in the area, people as passionate as we are about providing great experiences. We can arrange anything imaginable, from backcountry pack trips and heli-skiing to the selection of a personal chef.