High-altitude libations

Looking for a hot cocktail after a cool day? Check out these fine establishments

Bruce Johnson pours a cold one at Sliders Bar.

Bruce Johnson pours a cold one at Sliders Bar.

Courtesy Of Mount Shasta Ski Park

Now that you’ve conquered the slopes at a winter playground, all you need to do is figure out where to thaw out with a beverage in your hand.

Whether a cold beer warms your heart or a sweet drink with a spicy name gets you hot, you don’t even need to leave the mountain to find the right refreshment. Just follow this guide to favorite watering holes.

Lake Tahoe

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort
1111 Sierra-at-Tahoe Road, Twin Bridges
(530) 659-7453

Far and few between are the adult-beverage enthusiasts who haven’t experienced the delights of hot chocolate spiked with peppermint schnapps. You can procure a version of Hot Peppermint Chocolate or a hot Peppermint Patty at just any ski resort on the planet, and any bartender knows that the lusciousness of this steaming treat is enhanced when it’s served in a fancy, glass mug and topped with a ski-mountain of whipped cream. What makes this resort’s version stand out is its decadent, geographically apt name: the Sierra Snuggler.

The Auld Dubliner
The Village at Squaw Valley USA
1750 Village East Road, Olympic Valley
(530) 584-6041

At this Irish pub, the Los Angeles chef, the archaic spellings, the imported-from-Dublin interior, the comprehensive whiskey selection and the live Celtic music are cool and all, but what patrons really appreciate is the attention bartenders give to pouring a perfect pint of Guinness, which, well-traveled stout aficionados may notice, is no mean feat at this altitude.

Alpine Meadows
2600 Alpine Meadows Road, Tahoe City
(530) 583-4232

At Alpine Meadows, the beverages that catch snowboarders’ attention are the lattes and espressos the baristas in the breezeway coffeehouse make. This snack spot’s refreshingly non-corporate atmosphere makes for a laid-back vibe, and the efficient layout—it’s half-indoors, half-outdoors—allows patrons to linger at a table in the cozy seating area or grab a cup to go. For those who don’t want to miss a minute on the mountain, you can get a good, non-industrial coffee without having to put down your board.

Heavenly Mountain Resort
Corner of Wildwood and Saddle, South Lake Tahoe
(775) 568-7000

Sure, you can get an Irish coffee or a Jack and Coke anywhere. But sometimes you just want things a certain way. If, for example, you happen to be hanging around in South Lake Tahoe and you have a hankering for a comfortably familiar beverage, but your really want it, say, at the top of a stomach-dropping, 2.4-mile gondola ride up a steep mountainside with, maybe, for example, a clear shot of an enormous, dark blue lake, ideally in, let’s imagine, a well-heated, outdoor, Euro-style umbrella bar, all you would have to do would be head to Heavenly, where the same old drink tastes pretty good in the pine-scented alpine breeze.

Close to home

Bambi Inn
7436 Humboldt Road, Butte Meadows
(530) 345-5011

You can fine everything from warm cocoa to Bloody Marys for your Butte Meadows après snow.

Mount Shasta

Billy Goat’s Tavern
107 Chestnut St.
(530) 926-0209

This pub boasts 12 taps and over 150 beers, including Guinness, Pabst and Mt. Shasta Brewery wheat ales—plus fine wines and tavern fare. It opens daily at 11:30 a.m. and stays open late, though the kitchen closes at 9 p.m.

Vet’s Club
406 N. Mount Shasta Blvd.
(530) 926-3565

For 120 years, the Vet’s Club has been an after-work watering hole for the locals. It features a full-service bar, where the hot-buttered rum is just the thing to warm up with after a long day on the cold mountain.

Sliders Bar
Mount Shasta Ski Park
(530) 926-8610

If you don’t want to stray too far from the slopes, just head to the ski park’s bar and enjoy the mountain scenery with your favorite beverage.

Jason Cassidy contributed to this story.