Winter libations: Tahoe-Truckee bars serve up a variety of winter-themed cocktails | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Winter libations: Tahoe-Truckee bars serve up a variety of winter-themed cocktails

Story and photos by Emily Stott
Special to the Tribune

There may be no better way to wrap up a crisp, winter day at Lake Tahoe than with an artfully made craft cocktail. From seasonal fruit-based drinks to classic whiskey drinks to creative dessert drinks, there is more than one way to serve up your favorite booze and winter flavors in a glass.

Here are seven drinks we scouted out around Tahoe-Truckee, and what makes them worth imbibing.

1. ESPRESSO MARTINI

The Divided Sky, South Lake Tahoe

A tasty drink with a kick, this martini is made with fresh espresso to give that needed caffeine boost at the end of a day on the slopes. Chocolate vodka, Baley's Irish Cream and organic half and half are shaken up with half a shot of espresso. The drink is topped off with cocoa powder and espresso beans to create an indulgent pick-me-up.

Learn more: http://www.thedividedsky.com

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2. THE PAVILION

Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar, Truckee

This cocktail is a cozy blend of whiskey, sugar and spice. Named after a warming hut built on the historic ski lodge grounds in 1928, The Pavilion will warm you up as you settle into the rustic environment at Cottonwood. Rye whiskey, Amaro herbal liqueur and Peychaud's bitters combine to make a complex cocktail. A bit of sugar rounds off the edge of the whiskey and Amaro, while house-made spiced and brandied cherries and an orange twist give this cocktail a light fruit addition.

Learn more: http://www.cottonwoodrestaurant.com

3. HILLTOP TODDY

Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar, Truckee

An old classic with a twist, this bourbon-based hot toddy will soothe any sore throat during the winter months. The Hilltop Toddy starts with an earl grey and chamomile tea base before bourbon, honey syrup, lemon juice and a dash of spiced brandy are stirred in. A cinnamon stick and lemon wedge are added on top to make the perfect après ski beverage.

Learn more: http://www.cottonwoodrestaurant.com

4. SNICKERDOODLE

The Chocolate Bar, Northstar California

Perfect for anyone who loves indulging in sweets, this martini-style dessert drink brings all the flavors of treats at a holiday party. Vanilla vodka, amaretto, creme de cacao, white chocolate and half and half are shaken up and poured into a cinnamon sugar-rimmed glass and topped with more cinnamon. The result is a drink that looks and tastes like the classic snickerdoodle cookie.

Learn more: http://www.thechocbar.com

5. SEXY SNOWMAN

The Chocolate Bar, Northstar California

Known as Chocolate Bar's signature drink, this hot cocoa is perfect for after (or before) a run down the slopes. Vanilla vodka, Bacardi 151, hazelnut liqueur, Irish cream and creme de cacao are mixed into Godiva hot chocolate. The drink is then topped with whipped cream, caramel, chocolate and fried coconut to give it a Nutella hot chocolate taste. The result is a smooth and creamy drink with fun, wintry flavors that will warm you up.

Learn more: http://www.thechocbar.com

6. TANGIER TONIC

Bite American Tapas, Incline Village

This bright and slightly fruity cocktail brings together a variety of flavors. Tito's vodka, Aperol, house-made Morrocan spiced simple syrup, pomegranate purée, fresh lime and a mint garnish create a fresh-tasting cocktail that finishes with warm spice flavors. Perfect for tapas food pairings at Bite, this drink mirrors the comforts of winter food recipes.

Learn more: http://www.bitetahoe.com

7. DARK HORSE

Bite American Tapas, Incline Village

A smoky flavor profile with a complementary salt rim makes the Dark Horse a unique cocktail. Tapatio Blanco tequila, mezcal, Citronage, house-made mission fig syrup, fresh lime and orange juices and mole bitters create a refreshing cocktail with warm additions from the fig syrup and cacao, cinnamon and spice flavors of the mole bitters. This is a sophisticated cocktail for winding down at the end of a winter's day.

Learn more: http://www.bitetahoe.com

A version of this story first appeared in 2015-16 winter edition of Tahoe Magazine, a product of the Sierra Sun, North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, Tahoe Daily Tribune and Lake Tahoe Action. The magazine is available now on newsstands throughout the greater Reno-Truckee-Tahoe region.