DIY cocktails inspired by Lake Tahoe

Cozying up to the fire with a cocktail after a day on the ski slopes or mountain trails is something to be savored. If I’m being honest, one of the main reasons I ski, is to enjoy the art of après-ski! And one of my very favorite ways to enjoy après at Northstar California is to find a spot around the ice rink, sip a cocktail, and take in the beauty around me.

If you’ve been to the Village at Northstar, chances are you’ve stopped by the Cabana Bars, or this year, Rink Bar, for a happy hour indulgence. Each cocktail is delicious, handcrafted, and the perfect reward for a day of adventure. With a variety of warm and cold cocktails, you’re sure to find a new favorite. During my last visit to Northstar I had the chance to stop by Rink Bar, which opened this past winter, for a tasting of their wonderful cocktails, and was amazed!


We started by enjoying a few of Rink Bar’s cooler specialty cocktails. My favorite, the Citrus Sunrise, was ridiculously flavorful, especially for how simple it was. With a splash of Aperol mixed with Prosecco and finished with an orange peel, this cocktail was a unique twist on the classic mimosa. I couldn’t help but think how fun it would be to make this cocktail at home with different citrus peels like grapefruit or lime!

Next up, The Decon, was a wonderful handcrafted cocktail made with homemade tonic & gin. Wanting an alternative to store-bought tonic, Rink Bar’s mixologist, Rebecca, created her own tonic. This is Northstar’s original recipe that showcases true tonic flavors. I loved this cocktail because I could tell it was made from the heart with so much intention in flavor. Combined with the tonic were juniper berries, star anise, and cardamom. By adding these whole spices, this cocktail tastes delicious down to the very last drop!

During the cold months, the Rink Bar is known for its decadent hot cocktails, and I couldn’t wait to taste them. The Adult S’more is made with whipped cream vodka, vanilla vodka, hot cocoa, and finished with whipped cream and graham cracker sprinkles. I absolutely love s’mores, so this was the perfect drinkable version. So much so, that later that afternoon, I headed back for another round to enjoy by the fire for après!

Sitting by the ice rink with a cocktail in hand and the fireplace crackling in front of me was a little piece of heaven. Kids raced across the rink as parents snapped pictures, live music played, and the Village buzzed with the afternoon rush of guests coming down from the mountain for the day.

Gradually the seats around the fire pits filled, conversations were started, and it felt like a community event rather than a group of strangers; I enjoyed meeting people from near and far!

However, if a visit to Northstar isn’t in your immediate plans, don’t worry; you can create your own après-ski cocktails at home!

DIY Lake Tahoe Cocktail Recipe

Whether near or far from the mountain, celebrate with this delicious champagne cocktail inspired from Northstar’s tōst and Village cocktails!


  • 1.5 oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • .75 oz. rosemary-infused simple syrup
  • Brut Champagne

In a cocktail shaker, combine fresh squeezed grapefruit juice with rosemary-infused simple syrup. Shake well over ice. Pour into a champagne glass, and top with chilled brut champagne!

How to make rosemary-infused simple syrup:

Combine one cup water, one cup sugar, and a few rosemary sprigs in a small sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a very low simmer and stir until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes, but ideally a few hours. Finally, remove rosemary, and reserve syrup. Refrigerate and save up to two weeks.

Chloe Mackintosh

Chloe Mackintosh is the founder of Boxwood Avenue, a lifestyle site sharing from-scratch recipes, life in the country, and interior design inspiration. While she is originally from Reno, she spent much of her time growing up on the slopes of Lake Tahoe and it remains one of her favorite places for a little R&R. Now, she is located on a cattle ranch in northern California, in a town with a population of 99, and keeps the company of her chickens, duck, kittens, horses, dog, cows, goats, and husband. See more of what Chloe does on her website,, or follow her on Instagram or Pinterest.