I feel lucky to live in a place with an abundance of ski resorts all within an hour’s drive that cater to skiers and snowboarders of every ability. They also provide a little bit extra like the various ski-in chalets with firepits, Adirondack chairs and delicious cocktails to rest in and take in the views. Here are some of my favorite ski-in bars — and their signature drinks— to enjoy.
Love in a Cup at Big Blue View Bar
After several powder-filled tree runs, my boyfriend and I stopped at the mid-mountain Big Blue View Bar at Homewood to melt into one of the blue Adirondack chairs facing the lake. Inside the big white circus-like tent, a variety of snacks, wraps, beer and canned cocktails are served. Homewood food & beverage assistant manager Jen Winklepleck made me “Love in a Cup,” consisting of Casamigos Reposado tequila, fresh vanilla bean, ginger liquor, infused muddled jalapeños and lime juice on the rocks. It’s refreshing, tangy and went perfectly with a comfy chair and the Big Blue view. | skihomewood.com
Chalet Cider at The Chalet
During my peak-to-peak daylong exploration at Palisades Tahoe with my brother, we stopped at the mid-mountain The Chalet at Alpine Meadows, which is like a German beer garden placed in the middle of the slopes. It serves personal pizza-sized pretzels and cheese bisque with easy access to the Scott and Treeline Cirque chairs. On the cloudy, cold afternoon, I ordered one of the two cocktails they had available, the Chalet Cider. Made of spiced rum and hot apple cider and served in a paper coffee cup, it quickly warmed my hands and my belly and made me ready to scout out some more untouched terrain. | palisadestahoe.com
The Smoky Chocolate at Wild Pine
Right at the base of the Village Run at Northstar, Bourbon Pub’s drink concoctions taste like they were derived from an award-winning mixologist. Across from Bourbon Pub, Northstar’s other newest restaurant called Wild Pine Kitchen & Bar has an eclectic menu of hearty dishes along with a full page dedicated to wine, beer and cocktails. Its Smoky Chocolate gets its name from the Dos Hombres mezcal in it. The graham cracker/caramel-lined rim also provides a nice touch. If you’re mid-mountain and don’t want to go back down quite yet, then the outside bar at The Lodge at Big Springs also has a full line of spirits and canned drinks. | northstarcalifornia.com
Hot Apple Pie at Stagecoach Lodge
Heavenly is a big mountain and there’s almost not enough time to ski it all in one day, especially if you plan on hunting down the best cocktail. I began the day with communications manager Cole Zimmerman. He pointed out Umbrella Bar and Sky Deck, which are popular places to get a drink on a bluebird day. However, I headed over to the Nevada side and went into the Stagecoach Bar where regulars were saddled up to the bar with their Heavenly mugs.
Longtime bartender Lorilyn was slinging drinks. She made me a traditional Irish coffee of Jameson and coffee, topped with whipped cream. Next, I tried Hot Apple Pie comprised of Tuaca and hot apple cider. They were both so perfectly proportioned that I didn’t taste the alcohol in either one, but they did warm me up. | skiheavenly.com