Sippin’ on good libations: 11 craft cocktails to try this summer at Lake Tahoe

After a long day of recreation in the Lake Tahoe backcountry, or perhaps on the water itself, there are few things more enjoyable than sipping a cool cocktail during Happy Hour at one of the region’s fabulous restaurants.

With that in mind, and with the help of our team at Lake Tahoe Action — which publishes a fun Drink of the Week feature every Friday — we’ve put together a fun checklist of drinks from across the region sure to wet your whistle this summer, and beyond.

The Drink: Tuk-Tuk Express

The Details: This east-meets-west drink mixes currywashed tequila, poblano chile liqueur, coconut liqueur, black pepper, honey, lime and pineapple juices, in addition to tajin seasoning around the rim of the glass.

The Location: The Loft, 1001 Heavenly Village Way (South Lake Tahoe)

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The Drink: The Last Word

The Details: The highlight of this unique libation is the ingredient chartreuse, which is an old world liqueur originally made from 130 herbs, which is then combined with Hendricks gin and a hint of luxardo cherry and lime.

The Location: Jimmy’s Restaurant, inside the Landing Resort & Spa, 4104 Lakeshore Blvd. (South Lake Tahoe)

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The Drink: Asian Persuasion

The Details: Hana lychee sake, Malibu rum, sweet and sour, and simple syrup give this drink its chemical makeup, giving the drink an almost Jolly Rancher-esque taste.

The Location: Sushi Pier, 177 U.S. 50 (South Lake Tahoe)

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The Drink: Empress Gin and Tonic

The Details: Empress 1908 gin, elderflower tonic water and mint are all this drink needs. The mint is rubbed around the rim of the glass, while the Empress gin lends the purple hue and is the perfect Abbott to the elderflower tonic water’s Costello.

The Location: Lake Tahoe AleWorX, 31 U.S. 50, Suite 105 (Stateline)

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The Drink: Pear Martini

The Details: Absolut Pears vodka and Calvados pear liqueur provide the base, and are mixed with simple syrup, lemon juice and real apple puree. The result is a surprisingly mellow but richly complex cocktail.

The Location: Lone Eagle Grille, 111 Country Club Drive (Incline Village)

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The Drink: The Hive

The Details: This drink’s trademark is a sprig of rosemary and an impaled piece of honeycomb (from Carson City’s HalleluYah Honey) that oozes sweet nectar into the drink below — a cool combination of Bulleit bourbon, lemon and ginger bitters.

The Location: The Naked Fish, 3940 Lake Tahoe Blvd. (South Lake Tahoe)

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The Drink: Ginger Smash

The Details: This well-balanced tipple is made with muddled fresh cranberries, ginger root, simple syrup, lemon, Empress 1908 Gin and apple cider, then garnished with more fresh cranberries and a healthy slice of lemon peel.

The Location: Bistro at Edgewood Tahoe, 180 Lake Parkway (Stateline)

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The Drink: Boozy Breakfast

The Details: This unique concoction comes in two flavors: Feelin’ Lucky and Cuckoo Krispies (pictured), the latter of which makes a bowl of Cocoa Krispies the landing spot for a mixture of Kahlua, vanilla vodka and half and half.

The Location: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 50 U.S. 50 (Stateline)

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The Drink: Cal Neva Shuffle

The Details: The star ingredient is the roasted cocoa nib-infused Tahoe Blue vodka. Folded in is a Pur Spirits zamaro, which adds bitterness. Next come the fresh squeezed lime and pineapple juices, followed by a house-made peach syrup, then topped with tonic water.

The Location: Pioneer Cocktail Club, 521 North Lake Blvd. (Tahoe City)

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The Drink: Hot Water

The Details: A habanero-infused silver tequila gives this drink a special bite. The rest consists of fresh watermelon puree, freshly squeezed lime and simple syrup. The rim is dressed with a pico limon-sugar and is finished with a garnish of fresh lime.

The Location: Big Water Grille, 341 Sky Way (Incline Village)

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The Drink: Bourbon Sweet Tea

The Details: The house-brewed sweet tea at Austin’s is spiked with lemon- and orange-infused bourbon — and the sweet tea middle is both clean and refreshing. A sweet lemon-orange finish puts the cap on this dandy of a drink.

The Location: Austin’s Restaurant, 120 Country Club Drive, #24 (Incline Village)

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