The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe teaches mixology classes.
Have you ever wanted to craft your own cocktails but feel intimidated by the gizmos, gadgets, and fancy spirits needed to turn out a truly spectacular beverage? For those of us without a formal bartending education but with, perhaps, the inclination to tinker in mixology, managers at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe have unveiled a brand-new experience for guests of the Truckee resort as well as walk-ins.
Available by appointment only, as Sean Pantazi, director of beverage at the resort, explains, “The flaskology class is like having your own personal bartender at your disposal for an hour to guide you through all the components [that] make up a cocktail, the tools to make it with, and the trade technique to craft perfectly balanced cocktails at home.”
Held in the bar of the Manzanita restaurant, the interactive experience invites small groups to sit down at a curated mixology desk, complete with every tool you could possibly need to turn out your go-to cocktail — or perhaps try a brand-new discovery. Fresh citrus and other juices, bar tools, and measuring devices are laid out before every participant, and each gets access to a full bar of ingredients as well.
After a quick demonstration, property mixologists guide guests through the process of making cocktails perfect for their tastes.
“It’s been a tremendous hit,” says Pantazi, who created the program in partnership with the resort’s director of food and beverage, Maurice Tax. “Without exception, everyone who has sat with us for this experience has been blown away.”
During the one-hour guided experience, leaders “break down the craft into its purest foundational pieces and pull back the curtain on some of the oldest and most important techniques and secrets of this profession,” he adds.
Once you’re satisfied with your cocktail — and have learned the ins and outs of combining juices, bitters, liquors, and more — you pour it into the leather-bound The Ritz-Carlton flask provided and take it with you. In summer months, it’s a cool refresher to enjoy as you experience Northstar below, and in winter, it’s a perfect pick-me-up after a day on the slopes.
“This is truly a great experience, where people can relax and let go of any bar anxiety,” Pantazi says. “I love that this particular class intentionally gets people just a little bit out of their comfort zone to explore new tastes or twists on some favorites.”
Nora Heston Tarte is a longtime Reno resident. You can follow her local exploits and travel adventures on Instagram Wanderlust_n_wine.
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe Flaskology Class
By appointment only. The course is $95 per person and takes place in an intimate group setting.
13031 Ritz Carlton Highlands Court, Truckee
For details or to sign up, call 530-562-3000 or visit Ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/lake-tahoe/dining/manzanita and click on “Reserve Now.”