Drink of the Week: The Cocktail Corner’s Bandita

This week’s featured drink is The Cocktail Corner’s Bandita. (Rob Galloway
Tahoe Daily Tribune)

In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one unique type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try at one of the countless breweries, bars and restaurants from around the basin.

Is it just me, or does everyone get a little giddy with anticipation when they order a cocktail with ingredients they know and love and wait for that first sip to hit your lips? I mean, granted I write a drink column, but there’s something about not knowing exactly how it’s going to taste and then relishing that first, delightful swig.

This week’s drink was no exception. When I first saw the ingredients (El Sativo blanco tequila, lemon juice, pineapple juice, agave, and Peychaud’s bitters) I knew I was in for a refreshing ride and couldn’t wait.

I had familiar smells of tequila and fruit on the nose and my mind immediately went to Margaritaville. But, as soon as I took that first sip, it zagged when I thought it was going to zig, pulling the old cocktail rope-a-dope.

Once the tequila flavor hits, it gets kicked in the pants by the pineapple and lemon, bringing a subtle, but slightly muted sweetness that kicks down the heavy tequila flavor, effectively balancing out the two perfectly.

The sweetness of the agave brings out the natural sweetness in the tequila and when they all get together on the dance floor, you even get a tad bit of creaminess.

Perhaps the kicker is the Peychaud’s bitters. Who is this Peychaud fella and why is he so bitter? Sounds more like a turn of the century scientist than it does a cocktail ingredient, but it’s maybe a little less known than its arch nemesis (Angostura bitters).

So what’s the difference? Peychaud’s brings a little more anise and cherry flavors to the party and is a bit lighter than its heavier counterpart, which makes it a perfect summer partner to these ingredients.

Perfect. Summer. Partner. Rolls off the lips about as well as this drink; which is another way to say it’s definitely one to try during these hot summer days.

The Tahoe Cocktail Corner is located at 2042 Lake Tahoe Blvd. (in the Crossing at Tahoe Valley) in South Lake Tahoe. For more information, visit them online at or call at 530-600-2751.

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