Drink of the Week: The Cocktail Corner’s Smoke Show

The Cocktail Corner’s Smoke Show is this week’s Drink of the Week.
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.

With a name like Smoke Show, I feel it’s my duty to let everyone know that this is indeed a cocktail and not a magic trick. However, it did seem to disappear quite fast, so maybe there’s something to that name.

Regardless, the smoke in the name refers to the main spirit: Casamigos Mezcal. According to Food and Wine magazine, all tequilas are mezcals, but not all mezcals are tequilas. To be a little less confusing, let’s just say mezcals are like the smokier-tasting cousin to tequila. This specific one is just as smooth and dapper as one of the brand’s owners, George Clooney. Those Hollywood folks sure do love their booze brands, don’t they?

It’s combined with St. Germain elderflower liqueur, a smidge of lemon, orange juice, then garnished with a Tajin (chili-lime seasoning) rim and a dried orange. Although you don’t get too much of that smokiness peeking through at first waft, you do get an abundance of citrus which makes for an awfully inviting smell.

The flavor doesn’t quite push into margaritaville, but you can see the resemblance. The smokiness kicks in and the citrus really shines through. It’s light, airy, and a little more fun than the traditional margarita. Although, it’s probably po-tay-toes, po-taught-ohs because we are, after all, talking about two very bouncy drinks. Actually, have you ever heard someone call it a po-taught-oh? I haven’t. Oh well.

The elderflower liqueur, although not super prominent, adds just enough earthiness and subtle sweetness that it enhances the flavors of the other ingredients, bringing them up to boss level. We’ve talked a lot about what the Tajin-spiced rim can do for cocktails and here it’s no different – gives you another layer of flavor, should you choose.

As we celebrate the New Year (or is it the past year?), and you look for something a little different to get you in the mood, this drink certainly fits the bill – just enough to make you forget 2021, and leaves you happy enough to look forward to 2022. Cheers!

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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