High-altitude libations

Après skiing

Now that you’ve conquered the slopes at one of Reno/Tahoe’s winter playgrounds, 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 the RN&R’s guide to favorite ski-resort watering holes.

Tap into local flavor

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe
2222 Mount Rose Highway, Reno

You don’t have to go far from Reno to find superb slopes or backcountry telemark routes. But that’s not the only thing that makes Renoites proud. There’s also local microbrew. So, while we’re skiing in our own backyard, we’re always glad that Timbers, the laid-back sports lounge at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, is easy to get to from the resort or the surrounding wilderness areas, and that it serves one of our regional favorites, beer from Great Basin Brewing Co. For out-of-towners, here’s a regional dialect primer: If you hear someone say “Icky” at a bar, it does not mean, “Oh, this beer is gross.” It means, “Pour me a pint of that fine Great Basin Ichthyosaur IPA, which, by the way, is named after Nevada’s official state fossil.”

It’s all in the name

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort
1111 Sierra-at-Tahoe Road
Twin Bridges, Calif.
(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.

Never a poor pour

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

At this Irish bar, 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.

Morning jolt

Alpine Meadows
2600 Alpine Meadows Road
Tahoe City, Calif.
(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 (half-indoors, half-outdoors) allows patrons to linger 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.

Comfortably fun

Heavenly Mountain Resort
Corner of Wildwood and Saddle
South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
(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 you happen to be hanging around South Lake Tahoe and you have a hankering for a comfortably familiar beverage but you really want it, say, at the top of a stomach-dropping, 2.4-mile gondola ride up a steep mountainside with, maybe, 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.