The bar is where we congregate to relive the best moments of the day with other skiers and riders, friends and strangers alike. Taos Ski Valley definitely has terrain worth talking about, and the watering hole of choice for the locals is the Martini Tree Bar.

The bar’s central location in the base village makes it a major attraction for visitors once the lifts stop spinning. Like the ski area it calls home, the Martini Tree has an interesting back-story. In 1964, Ernie Blake, Taos’ founder, was ski instructing a woman who became too frightened to ski. Ernie sent his son Mickey down for a porrón  (a traditional glass pitcher) of Martinis to bring back to them. Ernie told the woman to drink up in an attempt to alleviate her fear. She refused, stating that she didn’t drink because she was Baptist, to which Ernie informed her that if she didn’t drink up, she would die. This was obviously a lie, considering they were on a very gentle learning slope; the woman drank her Martini and according to Ernie, ‘skied like a goddess’ the rest of the way down, thus spurring the name, The Martini Tree.

Beyond its fabled beginnings, the Martini Tree has some of the best live music in Taos. In addition to music, guests can enjoy a few rounds of pool or catch the game on one of many flat screen TVs. Photographs, old trail signs and more line the walls, chronicling the interesting history of Taos Ski Valley.

The Martini Tree is laid back, with a wide selection of beers, from standard après choices like Pabst Blue Ribbon, to local craft beers from Santa Fe Brewing Company. Those looking for a bite to eat can enjoy a variety of appetizers.

Next time you find yourself tackling the steep and deep at Taos, make sure to pop into the Martini Tree for a drink. Who knows, you might just become part of the tradition.