Drink of the Week: Riva Grill’s Al Patron Margarita

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.

If we stereotyped cocktails by name and reputation, the margarita might associate best with Ren from “Footloose” — full of spirit but a little rebellious. However, luckily for us, this is Tahoe not the Midwest, so we’re ok with kicking off those Sunday shoes.

Riva Grill's Al Patron Margarita.

Yes, this is a fairly classic take on the margarita. But, when you can toot your own horn because you’re making your very own Patron Silver Reposado, then toot, toot, Riva Grill. Yes, their own tequila is the backbone of this cocktail and while it still holds those wild child characteristics, it also gives it a sense of elegance.

The smell is fruity, but not the sweet and sour margarita fruity you’d get in a three-for-one dive bar margarita. Here it’s clean and fresh and right off the bat you know its top of the food chain.

The tequila flavor closes out the game in strikeout fashion. But it’s in the middle innings where this drink makes its hay. It parts the seas between sweet with the agave nectar and the citrusy with the classic lime creating a well-balanced sip every time through.

There is some heft getting thrown around from the tequila, but for me, I need to know my margarita is alive and kicking, not just hanging like a wallflower waiting for the party to be over.

It’s served with a classic salt rim, so if it gets a little too much for you, take a break from drinking out of the fire hose of a straw and go in for the rim shot. The salt will knock everything down a notch and possibly even have you reminisce about that time in Mexico where you finished each drink with a lick of salt off of … Uh, let’s not go there.

Riva Grill is located at 900 Ski Run Blvd., Suite No. 3 in South Lake Tahoe. For menu information and details, visit them online at or call ahead by phone at 530-542-2600.


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