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Cozy up with Reno/Tahoe’s must-try warm drinks and toasty libations at these local favorites

By Paul Andrew
Photo by Jeramie Lu Photography

It’s the last run of the day! The afternoon shadows ominously cover much of the steep, bumpy slope. Most of the skiers and boarders are already in the lodge.

“Straight down!” you tell yourself. “No stopping until the bottom!”

You take a deep breath of the cool, crisp air. Down you fly, cold wind in your face, trees you pass just a blur as you race toward the bottom, out of breath, but completely exhilarated from your perfect day on the slopes.

There is no better reward for your day of outdoor winter activity, whatever it may be, than warming the body and soul with one of Reno/Tahoe’s must-try warm drinks and toasty libations.

Whether a warm, mulled wine, spiced cider drink, or other soothing treats, your après ski day is best topped off with one of the many warm drink options available in the Reno/Tahoe area.

Many of our local establishments have adapted to the desire for warm cocktails with a creative variety of hot drinks, with customized flavors and tastes to meet even the most particular consumer tastes.

There is no better reward for your day of outdoor winter activity, whatever it may be, than warming the body and soul with a warm cocktail.

A popular stop for a winter drink and fun atmosphere is Lake Tahoe Aleworx, with locations at the “Y” in South Lake Tahoe, and in the casino corridor between Harrahs and Mont Bleu. Best known for their craft beer, they also provide tasty hot drinks during the chilled winter months.

“Our Kentucky Coco, with Nooku Bourbon Cream, Irish Cream, hot chocolate, topped with our homemade whipped cream, is one of our favorites”, says Mickayla Segers, manager at Lake Tahoe Aleworx.

“Another popular drink is the Hot Apple Pie, with Tahoe Blue Vodka, Tuaca, apple cider and a cinnamon stick.”

reno/tahoe's must try warm drinks
Lake Tahoe AleWorX

Next door to Lake Tahoe Aleworx at the “Y” is their Tahoe Cocktail Corner, whose warm specialty is the Expresso Tahoe Style, with Tahoe Blue Vodka, Kahlua, Baileys, Frangelica, a shot of espresso, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Fox and Hound, on Tramway Drive near the Nevada Heavenly Lodges, serves a beverage called All Warm and Fuzzy. “It includes Kahlua, Carolans, Grand Marnier, butterscotch and coffee, topped with whipped cream”, reports Matt Grimes of Fox and Hound.

Basecamp Pizza Co., in the Heavenly Village Center, provides gourmet pizza, which can be combined with the warmth of a steaming beverage. Six-year veteran bar manager Rob Smith describes the bar’s Hot Apple Jerry.

“We infuse Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, mixed with fresh apples, in conjunction with apple pie moonshine, a cinnamon stick, then topped with orange peel.”

If you just want to enjoy a hot, mulled wine drink in the comfort of your home or condo with one of Reno/Tahoe’s must-try warm drinks, a visit to The Cork & More, celebrating their fortieth year, a Napa-style market and deli in the Tahoe Center across from Ross in South Lake Tahoe has what you need.

Vin Glogg, sold by the bottle, is the ultimate winter warmer, combining red wine, port, with blended spices of cinnamon, cardamom and orange peel.

“We also sell mulled wine by the glass,” says Karla Brennan, owner of The Cork & More. “We also have a wine club, that is very popular and fun for wine lovers.”

reno/tahoe's must try warm drinks
Tahoe Cocktail Corner photo by Brian Walker

Over the mountain from South Shore in quaint Genoa, at Nevada’s Oldest Thirst Parlor, The Genoa Bar, lives the Peanut Butter and Jelly Coffee.

“We start with Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, add torani raspberry syrup, butterscotch schnapps, half and half, and hot coffee,” according to manager Lindsey McInnerny.

Okay, even if you aren’t racing down Heavenly’s Gunbarrel, you deserve a warm, specialty drink after a fun day’s activity in the snowy High Sierra.

If only building a snowman, or throwing a snowball at your spouse, (you’ll have to buy her a drink), treat yourself to one of the many varieties of warm, soothing beverages available in the Lake Tahoe/High Sierras.

Best mulled wine recipe:

Not only will you feel warm, but your house will smell great!

1 (750 ml) bottle red wine (It doesn’t have to be expensive)
1 orange, sliced into rounds, plus more for garnish
6 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
¼ c. honey
½ c brandy

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients. Bring to simmer, (not boil), then reduce to low heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve warm and garnish with citrus slices and cinnamon sticks.