Drink of the Week: The Loft’s Smoke & Mirrors
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.
For my next trick, I’m going to make this cocktail disappear. Well, I guess it’s not a trick so much as it is a thirst, but either way, you’ll definitely want to see how it all goes down.
Let’s start by giving you the cast: Old Forester 100-proof bourbon, maple liqueur, house made old-fashioned syrup, and tobacco bitters; garnished with Luxardo cherries and candied bacon. Basically, we’re staring down the barrel of an old fashioned. However, this drink is anything but.
Placed in its Houdini-like chamber, the cocktail gets engulfed in applewood chip smoke, giving it an ever so soft smoky smell and taste. Once the door opens, it’s like David Copperfield magically appearing to close out the ninth of game seven. Ok, maybe not quite that dramatic, but’s it’s cool.
Based on the ingredients, I was expecting it to drink more woody and smoky, but like Gomer Pyle, I was surprised, surprised, surprised. The whiskey does come at you first, but instead of hitting you with all the familiar whiskey notes it spins right into a supremely smooth, almost vanilla-ish, flavor.
The maple liqueur doesn’t smack you with that heavy over-the-top maple flavor. That’s because it pairs so nicely with their scratch made O.F. syrup. The syrup is a mix of brown sugar, orange, cherries, cinnamon and bitters and it’s about as delightful as a vacation with no kids.
In all seriousness, this is one of the better tasting old fashioned drinks that I’ve come across. While I am not an old fashioned snob (the drink, not me being an old snob), it doesn’t really matter if the result is downright delicious. And here, the result deserves a standing ovation.
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 by phone at 530-523-8024.
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It was February of 2020 when artist Ryan “RYNo” Bahlman realized he needed to find an art studio.