By Jessianne Wright EBS Contributor

BIG SKY – Irish coffee and spiked eggnog cupcakes or a chocolate raspberry tart might pair perfectly with a winter hot toddy or a smooth, chilled cocktail after dinner. Served by a friendly gentleman in a tie and suit vest, at a high countertop glistening with pastiche art deco shapes and style, you might easily forget that New Year’s Day ushered in the year 2018.

Luxe Spirits & Sweets, Big Sky’s first cupcake bar and after-dinner drink spot, opened its storefront in Town Center during the community’s Christmas Stroll on Dec. 8, and co-owner Keith Robins—the man pouring drinks at the counter—is thrilled.

“We wanted to wait until we could open the storefront we wanted,” Robins said, explaining he and his business partner Lauryn Mathis’ desire to open an after-dinner dessert bar reminiscent of the 1920s, complete with a velvet wall hanging, a large booth with a bold, curving seat, geometric wine shelving, and reflective lacquer surfaces, shining by the glow of a futuristic kind of chandelier.

“This is a dessert bar,” Robins added. “We’re offering the full after-dinner service.”
And for Robins and Mathis, the after-dinner experience includes offering cupcakes and other treats laced with bourbon, whiskey or schnapps.

“We both like sweets and we both like cocktails,” Mathis said, explaining the inspiration for their unique business plan. A self-trained bakery chef, Mathis has a knack for pairing flavor combinations that match classic cocktails, Robins said.

The dessert menu changes daily, dependent upon Mathis’ creations in the 1,200-square-foot kitchen below the bar. Dessert offerings range from cupcakes and tarts, to macaroons and cookie sandwiches, all paired with traditional cocktails found in the old, classic recipe books dating from the pre-prohibition or prohibition eras.

Most desserts are alcohol free, although for some, the purchaser must be carded.

While Luxe only recently opened a storefront in Big Sky, Robins and Mathis have been selling boozy cupcakes for five years and formerly had a kitchen in Bozeman and mobile tasting room converted from a 1965 milk truck, which they parked at Big Sky’s Music in the Mountains summer concert series and other outdoor activities.

The duo plans to continue offering mobile services at summer events and will also continue their wedding cake services, with 120 booked already for 2018.
“Boozy desserts are always what we’ve done,” Robins said. “We call them spirited sweets.”

He went on to add that Mathis is the baker, while he is the builder. Robins completed the majority of the construction in their new storefront, apart from the electrical and the plumbing. Robins said he hopes people who stop in feel transported to another place and time, maybe to New York or Los Angeles.

“That’s what we like the best, people’s reactions in the end,” Robins said, noting that everyone is encouraged to stop in, whether dressed up for a night on the town, or still in ski gear.

Luxe is located at 47 Town Center Ave. and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to close. To learn more, visit luxespiritedsweets.com.