Making It (& Making Out) At Ian Somerhalder & Paul Wesley’s Bourbon Party In Aspen
A pre- and post-game analysis of the weekend’s Brother’s Bond event.
Sure, pregaming is fun, but there’s nothing more sacred than the Sunday morning debrief — especially when you’re the one who threw the party. That’s why NYLON is catching up with the hosts of the most exclusive events before, during, and after to find out how it went, who showed up, and all the juiciest you-had-to-be-there intel. Below, we go inside Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley’s recent bourbon party in Aspen.
The goal for tonight, Ian Somerhalder says, is to “get hammered and make out.”
Somerhalder and Paul Wesley are sitting on a demi-lune velvet banquette at the Snow Lodge — the Aspen outpost of Montauk’s Surf Lodge — just a few hours before they’ll host a party for their bourbon brand Brother’s Bond. It’s the first official wintertime event for the label, and the Vampire Diaries actors and former NYLON cover stars are pregaming with some halibut in beurre blanc before their guests — including Alessandra Ambrosio, Rocky Barnes, and Nick Robinson — try the whiskey in custom hot toddies and bop to a performance by Keinemusik DJ Rampa. The evening — which has been in the making since the pair were first introduced to Snow/Surf Lodge founder Jayma Cardoso through a mutual friend a year ago — is all about celebrating Brother’s in the ultimate “après-ski, fireside-energy” setting, Somerhalder says.
“When we walked outside, I had misty eyes seeing the Brother’s Bond bar,” he tells NYLON. Somerhalder’s wife, actor Nikki Reed, says she remembers him asking her two and a half years ago if he should pursue distilling after a late night of playing “super chemist” in their kitchen. “I was there as this was being mixed and blended and dreamt up,” she notes as she pulls up a chair, joining us a few moments late (she’s been taking care of the couple’s infant son). “I was like, ‘This is the best idea — the two of you are going to create magic together.’”
Somerhalder’s expectations have been quickly met — within an hour, there are guests locking lips by one of the yurts in the now-bumping courtyard of the St. Regis, where Snow Lodge is located for the season, though it’s mostly obscured by the participants’ Moncler hoods. It’s unclear whether the PDA was the 95-proof rye’s doing or that of the expertly spiced hot toddy Wesley says he’s “over the moon” about, but it’s more evident that, with this party, the titular brothers feel as though they’ve really arrived as whiskey makers. They ham it up behind the bar, testing the limits of the speed pours, and the Chrome Hearts- and heavily houndstooth-suited crowd responds in kind by pushing into taste what Somerhalder calls an elixir, “pure as the driven snow.”
By 4:45 p.m. a guest in a fur toque starts gyrating on a low wooden table as a drone hovers overhead. A small but energetic contingent of Brazilians performs a sort of maypole dance around a heat lamp. Shot skis are upended and blinis are Petrossian-ed, Wesley and Somerhalder climb up to join Rampa on the Revolve stage, and the mood is sincerely convivial (if slightly shivery).
At 8 p.m. (everything ends early in Aspen), Wesley and I regroup at the Snow Lodge for the post-game debrief (another round of halibut is ordered). “I saw a lot of hot toddies going around,” he says. “And I want to believe it’s because they love it, and not because it’s really cold.” But the big moment of the evening, Wesley says, was when he looked out at the crowd from the DJ booth. (For the record, he became a Rampa fan not from going out, but from Spotify.) As Wesley zoomed out on his phone, he landed on the back bar, where the Brother’s Bond blends were displayed on a rattan shelf. It’s a dream realized, he says, to have your bourbon at a really cool party.
And there will only be more to come as they plan to continue their partnership at Surf Lodge in the summer, this time with Mystic Charmers — and Brother’s and Coke slushies.
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