from the editor
What do you drink? For me, coffee and water are everyday customs. Next is red wine, which is a nearly daily ritual. Then comes the occasional mix of fresh juice (coconut water, lemonade, and apple-ginger are current favorites), tea, and mixed drinks. They say your palate changes when you get older. I’ve found this to be true with my cocktail cravings. I used to be a clear-liquor-only kind of gal (vodka and juice — especially a fresh-juice greyhound — and tequila — margaritas, yum!). I never met a brown liquor I liked until last year. Now, bourbon is my friend. Stir me up a sweet Manhattan or an old fashioned and I’m in my happy place.
Today, it’s easy to find a good cocktail here. Reno-Tahoe’s drink scene truly has blossomed in the last few years. It seems like every week I’m hearing about a new brewery, distillery, teahouse, or bar opening. And more locals are creating and selling beverages, including cold-pressed juice and kombucha. We are so excited about the growing movement that we decided to devote an entire issue to local drinks.
In this edition, you’ll find features on crafting the perfect cocktail. Get the rundown on freshly made bitters and shrubs, and the right tools. Learn how important ice is to your drink when you meet ice geek Ryan Dierks of Truckee Tavern and Grill. Discover how to make your own limoncello and who often has a freshly made batch ready to pour.
I am inspired to grow wine grapes after meeting a group of backyard vineyard tenders. Some even are making their own wine. Last year, Joe Isaia made 60 gallons of wine from his 10-year-old Hidden Valley vineyards.
You’ll get a peek inside the prison dairy in Carson City. Even though it has operated for a century, few locals know it exists. The ranch boasts a herd of about 100 cows, yielding about 236,000 gallons of raw milk annually. About 157,000 of those gallons are processed on site, and served at 10 Northern Nevada correctional facilities. The excess raw milk is sold to a distributor for commercial processing.
Also in this issue, you’ll read about El Dorado County’s wine, food, and history. We’ll introduce you to three longtime friends who started and run five Reno food-and-drink businesses together. That’s where you’ll find one of my favorite photos in this issue. What does it take to become a sommelier? Several share the process, as well as some of their current favorite wines. Finally, for Valentine’s Day, treat your sweetheart to something special from our gift guide. It’s filled with fun local drinkables.
We hope you enjoy this special drinks edition, which is the first of six issues in 2016. More issues of edible Reno-Tahoe? We think that’s a great way to start off the new year!