Drink of the Week: Riva Grill’s Spicy Prickly Pear 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 you’re one that likes a little bite in your beverage, then you and this week’s feature might have just become best friends. Or, if you’re just a margarita fan, but maybe a little wimpy when it comes to heat, you might have to just give this a spin — if for nothing else, you can sip on a tasty drink that’s as colorful as a Lite-Brite peg that’s sure to be a conversation starter.
Just the simple smell of the cocktail lets you know you’re about to taste the equivalent to a barrel of monkeys. Like the name might suggest, this drink comes in hot. I’m a fan of heat, so it was perfect for me, but I’m sure you can ask for that heat to be backed off to fit your needs.
The glass party starts with Casamigos Reposado tequila. This gives the drink a sweet and spicy base to build from and boy does it ever pull out the erector set (what’s with my old toy references this week?). Added in are a prickly pear puree, agave, lime, and fresh jalapeno. A floater of Patron Citronge (orange liqueur) was also added to my cocktail, along with a Tajin-spiced rim (ask for upon request) that ratchets up the flair.
There’s some real boldness going on in this drink. After that initial heat, you get the star pairing of the tequila with the prickly pear — like a smoky/sweet bubble gum. It’s balanced with the added sweetness from the agave syrup and the tartness from the lime. The Patron float is the perfect punctuation that adds a slight orange finish.
This cocktail definitely marches to the beat of its own drum, which makes it a fun option to kick off the evening. Riva Grill recently started their happy hour (Monday – Friday, 4-6 p.m.) back up, so if you’re in the mood, and the time is right, this might be the home run drink you’ve been waiting to hit on.
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 rivagrill.com or call ahead by phone at 530-542-2600.
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