Drink of the Week: The Loft’s Flaming Caldera
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 the name of this week’s feature has you wondering what exactly a caldera is, it is essentially the crater that is left after a volcano has erupted and collapsed. As you will see, that is a very fitting name for this delicious cocktail.
The main spirit in this concoction is Illegal Reposado Mezcal. Don’t worry, it’s not really illegal as the name might suggest, but it could be with how smooth and balanced it is. Most mezcal haters fight with the smokiness of it, but this variation is more of a hint as opposed to full-blown smoke.
It is combined with Don Zoilo Manzanilla sherry, Luxardo Maraschino cherry liqueur, and carries a half-rim of black lava salt and a playful slice of freshly carved charred grapefruit. All things combined, each of the ingredients carries through the entire sip and pushes out for a savory long finish.
The sherry adds a delicate dryness to the drink, but is quickly balanced out by the sweet and creamy falvor from the cherry liqueur. If the name sounds familiar on the cherry liqueur, it’s cultivated from the same place as those famous cherries, which should tell you a little about the lineage this drink is bringing to the table.
Many times mezcal gets associated with the margarita cocktail (just like its tequila brethren), but don’t let that happen here. This drink stands on its own unique pedestal. It’s earthy, sweet, soft, and rich, all without bringing any of that heat that some tequilas or mezcals come with.
Also don’t sleep on the grapefruit as just a garnish. The charred tartness exudes from its pores to bring yet another layer of complexity. I can see this libation being a nice après to a long day on the slopes. Lucky for you, the snow is flying and this is pouring.
The Loft is located at 1001 Heavenly Village Way in South Lake Tahoe. In addition to the restaurant, The Loft is also home to nightly magician shows. For more information visit them online at thelofttahoe.com or via phone at 530-523-8024.
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