Après Ski: Wine, beer, cocktails and fireside chats

There’s something about the culture of après, whether it’s cocktails or a simple beer. It’s all about
working hard on the mountain, getting your workout in, and then enjoying it and talking about it with friends.

—Joe Lang, Principal, Apres Ski Cocktail Classic

ASPEN’S APRÈS SKI COCKTAIL CLASSIC in March is an annual slope-side celebration blending “all things après with craft spirits,” craft cocktails, seminars by award-winning mixologists, fireside chats, and spirit-paired dinners.

Whether slope-side or at a “satellite ski town” in the foothills, our region offers delightful après cocktail experiences.

On the slopes, the West Shore Café & Inn in Homewood offers an ideal après cocktail setting. It is just across the street from Homewood Mountain Resort.

West Shore Café & Inn offers complimentary après s’mores. Roast your marshmallows on their lakeside patio fire pits while recounting the day’s adventures on the slopes. Après s’mores runs 4-4:30 p.m., Friday-Monday.

Every Saturday, from February 10-April 14, Diamond Peak in Incline Village offers “Last Tracks Wine/Beer Tasting.” Intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders can take the last chairlift to the mid-mountain Snowflake Lodge and enjoy wine or beer tasting and appetizers before skiing down a freshly groomed run at sunset.

All the Tahoe-Truckee resorts offer après skiing cocktails. (For more information, see our companion website, SierraCulture.com). The craft cocktail boom also has spread to the foothills.

Two years ago, the Golden Era opened on Broad Street in Nevada City—a striking cock- tail lounge with handcrafted cocktails. Under owners Steve and Cindy Giardina, Golden Era serves superb hand-crafted cocktails (with names such as “Miner’s Punch,” “Gold Rush Sour” or “Nevada City Swizzle”), as well as craft beers, local wines and non-alcoholic soda fountain drinks. Weekend music includes piano or soft jazz.

Friar Tuck’s Restaurant & Bar in Nevada City, Tofanelli’s and Kane’s in Grass Valley, Monkey Cat in Auburn, and Moody’s Bistro, Bar & Beats in Truckee, among others, also feature handcrafted craft cocktails.

Auburn has its own craft distillery, called California Distilled Spirits. It was started by Ed Arnold, whose wife, Carol, is executive director of PlacerGROWN. Arnold’s Darjeeling gin won “Best of Show” for gin at the 2014-15 World Spirits Competition. This month Arnold has also released a whiskey.

(Photo: Diamond Peak)

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