In the right mood: Wet your whistle with these signature Tahoe drinks

There’s nothing quite like winter at Lake Tahoe. You will have to do everything possible not to take advantage of all the leisure options, despite the cool temperatures.

From the backcountry to the lake, working hard on the slopes or on the hills, you are bound to be thirsty. We’ve put together a fun list of cocktails across the region that are sure to get you wet this winter – or anytime for that matter. Cheers!


The Details: Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Gingerbread Syrup, Angostura and Cardamom Bitters are the stars of the show. Although this cocktail can bring all the tastes of the holiday, it also comes with all the sensations. And because it’s light and airy, you can enjoy a vacation in the height of summer while still sunbathing – a double win.

The location: Pioneer Cocktail Club, 521 N. Lake Tahoe Blvd. (Town of Tahoe)

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The Details: The first thing you notice is the necklace of sugar diamonds around the rim, which immediately lets you know how to curl your taste buds. Chilled blueberry-lemon infused vodka, St. Germain liqueur, and lemon juice bring the dance to the party — and they can cut a rug. Not too sweet, not too tart, like the best options at Goldilocks and the Three Bears, it’s just right.

The location: Bar of America, 10040 Donner Pass Rd. (Trucker)

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Bar of America’s Hand Polished Lemon Drop
Cheyanne Neuffer


The Details: Berry-infused vodka, elderflower, citrus, and champagne are the flavors that rock the party barge. It’s so refreshing and creamy it’s like a Lay’s crisp – we bet you can’t have just one. The spritz of champagne, combined with the undertones of berries and earthy elderflower, is sure to trick your taste buds. It is impossible that this drink does not make you smile.

Location: Fumo, 120 Country Club Dr. (Incline Village)

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Fumo Spritz
Cheyanne Neuffer


The Details: Why be a boring old Manhattan when you can live a little dangerous and cook with a little heat? Angostura bitters are blended with Sriracha and marinated for up to four days, then blended with sweet vermouth and Maker’s Mark Bourbon. They all ride together on the merry-go-round to better incorporate each flavor, then are poured into a martini glass and garnished with a dried chili. Pro tip: don’t eat the pepper.

Location: Austin’s, 120 Country Club Dr. (Incline Village)

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The Details: There are so many subtle nuances of flavor in this drink that every drink seems to reveal something new and amazing. It wants you to think it’s a dessert drink, but the booze just pulls you back enough that you never cross that line. Small-batch Four Roses bourbon, Italian liqueur tiramisu, sweet vermouth and chocolate bitters are on the menu here. It is topped with a filling of dark cherry and chocolate truffle. It’s super soft, balanced and quite playful.

Location: The Chart House, 392 Kingsbury Grade (Stateline)

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Chocolate and bourbon from The Chart House
Cheyanne Neuffer


The Details: This cocktail showcases the flavors we all know: citrus vodka, triple sec, blueberry simple syrup, and lemonade. You know them individually. You’ll love them as a team. Like the Avengers assembly, each of these superhero ingredients is elevated. It’s super sweet and refreshing – as you’d expect with all the fruit bouncing around like the Easter Bunny in a country line dancing class.

Location: Tahoe Tavern & Grill, 219 Kingsbury Grade (Stateline)

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Blueberry Lemon Martini from Tahoe Tavern & Grill
Cheyanne Neuffer

honey badger

The Details: If you arrive in time, you may be able to sample this drink with Maker’s Mark Ten Crows Private Select. Yes, you can only get this bourbon at Ten Crows and when it’s gone, it’s gone – although you can still order the drink. This hot grog cocktail combines bourbon with ginger liqueur, orange bitters, cinnamon, lemon and of course hot water. No matter what bourbon is mixed in, Honey Badger doesn’t care.

Location: Ten Crows, 4011 Lake Tahoe Blvd. (South Lake Tahoe)

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The details: El Sativo blanco tequila, lemon juice, pineapple juice, agave and Peychaud bitters prepare you for a refreshing ride. Once the tequila flavor hits, it’s knocked in the pants by the pineapple and lemon, bringing a subtle but slightly muted sweetness that dulls the heavy tequila flavor, balancing the two perfectly. The sweetness of the agave brings out the natural sweetness of the tequila and when they all come together on the dance floor, you even get a little creaminess.

Location: The Cocktail Corner, 2042 Lake Tahoe Blvd. (South Lake Tahoe)

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Editor’s note: This article appears in the 2021-22 issue of Tahoe Magazine.

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