Hooray, you’re planning a trip to Lake Tahoe – bottoms up!
And whether that’s a ski getaway or a summer fun adventure, chances are you’re going to want to take advantage of some of the best cocktails in Tahoe! Since Lake Tahoe is dotted with resort towns all around the shore, most people work in the service industry. And since bartending is one of the best ways to make money, you can bet that’s a job everyone wants. And what’s that mean for you? It means that bartenders here are the best of the best and take pride in their creations. So here are five of my FAVORITES you need to check out!
Tahoe Tavern, The Gold Rush, Truckee:
As soon as you walk into Truckee Tavern, you’re realize why this place has secured a reputation as one of the best cocktail bars in Lake Tahoe. With it’s oversized wooden bar, comfortable social seating and knowledgable bartenders, locals and tourists alike love it. The Gold Rush is perfect for fall, with a slightly creamy, slightly sweet taste to it. Made with bourbon, rum, egg, cream, cinnamon and nutmeg, it’s the perfect apres-ski treat! They change their cocktails seasonally but they consistently have the most creative and tastiest ones in town.
Truckee Tavern, 10118 Donner Pass Rd, Truckee, CA, TruckeeTavern.com
Garwoods, Wet Woody, Carnelian Bay:
Okay, you’ll find this one on everyone’s top cocktail lists – but there’s a reason for that! Garwoods is located on the water with a stunning pier and sweeping lake views. Nothing is better than a summer day spent out on the deck with a fruity-without-being-too-fruity handmade Wet Woody. It literally is a Tahoe tradition. The exact blends are a secret, but they’re made with light rum, 151, Peach Schnapps, cranberry juice, OJ, pineapple juice, and bit of sweet and sour mix – plus a Bacardi Rum floater! Bonus: Garwoods has TONS of ways to customize it just to your liking.
Gar Woods Grill & Pier, 5000 N Lake Blvd, Carnelian Bay, CA, Garwoods.com
3. Lone Eagle Grille, the Mayflower, Incline Village:
This is definitely the most high-end offering on the list, but take one step inside this restaurant and you’ll see why. With a luxurious cabin feel and outdoor firepits overlooking the lake and private pier, it’s no wonder why Lone Eagle Grille has won numerous awards. Right now, they offer a seasonal cocktail called the Mayflower, featuring Gruet sparkling wine, apple brandy, fresh apple cider and a cinnamon-sugar rim. It’s just a little sweet and very perfect for fall! Try this one before it’s gone, since they update their cocktails seasonally.
Lone Eagle Grille, 111 Country Club Drive, Incline Village, NV, LoneEagleGrille.com
4. Rocker @ Squaw, the Lady Germain, Olympic Valley
If you’re in the village, either apres-ski or just hanging out, swing by Rocker, where you’ll feel like you’re in the epicenter of Squaw’s well known ski and snowboard culture. Snow pants are A-ok at this place, which usually gets crowded around happy hour. Find a seat at the bar and order a Lady Germain, featuring lavender-infused vodka, fresh blueberries, lemon and lime, with a float of St. Germain, one of my current favorite liquors. This is a little bit sweet and a little bit tart, and a really unique and tasty flavor profile.
Rocker @ Squaw, in the village at Squaw, Olympic Valley, CA, website.
5. Bridgetender, Hot Cookies & Cream, Tahoe City
As if the name of this wasn’t enough, it’s damn good, too. It may sound perfect for winter but with ingredients like this it’s good any time of the year. Featuring hot chocolate, gin, cookies-n-cream vodka, whipped cream and a crushed cookie sprinkle on top, it’s a decadent treat after a day in the mountains. It’s extra-perfect on a snowy day in this bar and restaurant full of rustic, old-fashioned ski charm.
Bridgetender Tavern & Grill, 65 W Lake Blvd. Tahoe City, CA, TahoeBridgetender.com
What are your fav cocktails in Tahoe?