There’s something special about winter that sets it apart from the other seasons. Maybe it’s the first snow, the sound of the lifts firing up or that singular feeling of slipping on new wool socks. Whatever it is that makes snow season so special, we’re fully prepared to soak up as much of it as possible over the next few months. To start, we’re salivating over the delicious libations and show-stopping interiors of some of the coolest après ski bars in the country. Stop by and pick up one of their signature drinks next time you hit the slopes for a truly savory ski season:
The Oasis at Aspen, Colorado
Located on Aspen Mountain, The Oasis is the world’s first ski-in, ski-out Champagne bar, a fully mobile experience complete with lounge chairs and a solar-powered sound system. If you can find it among the slopes, order up a glass of Rosé chilled by the snow and snack on Boulder Canyon chips while taking in the view—you won’t even have to gear down to get sipping.
Clocktower Cellar Pub at Mammoth Lakes, California
Mammoth Mountain sees over 400 inches of snow and 300 sunny days a year, making it a fair-weather lover’s paradise. Sweetening the experience is the Clocktower Cellar Pub, a dive bar with a long list of beers on tap and an impressive selection of whiskey and hard liquor to boot. Adding to the feeling that you’re on the set of a cheesy ‘90s snowboard film? The CD jukebox pumping out songs from Bowie and the Beastie Boys.
The Rack BBQ at Sugarloaf, Maine
Just a mile down the road from the ‘Loaf, this barn-like establishment is easy to get to and easy to enjoy thanks to $2 beers and a low-key interior that boasts arcade games and ‘80s ski memorabilia. At night you can catch a live set from a bluegrass band while refueling with slow-roasted ribs. And if you had any doubt this is a real-deal joint, it’s owned in part by pro snowboarder Seth Wescott.
The Mangy Moose Saloon at Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Local or not, a stop at the Mangy Moose post-shred session is a must. The kitschy Western décor, taxidermy moose heads and raucous atmosphere make the whopping cheeseburgers and cold beer even more delicious. Head upstairs for a more intimate setting and some live music.
Snorting Elk Cellar at Crystal Mountain, Washington
Down in the basement of a traditional-looking Bavarian lodge, tucked back into the woods, the Snorting Elk almost evokes a fairytale setting—almost. What it does have is the best stone-fired pizzas in town and a secret recipe drink called the Snorting Elk Frost that hits the spot after a cold Crystal Mountain day (especially if you settle in by the roaring fire they keep going all night).
Le Chamois & Loft Bar at Squaw Valley, California
Everything about Le Chamois feels storied, from the A-list snow talent that frequents the place (late 2006 gold medalist Shane McConkey among them) to the bar’s A-frame design and nickname, “Shammy.” Sit down in the warm patio sun to enjoy the classics: a pitcher of Bud, a hot dog and an order of wings.