Cuddle up to some of edible Reno-Tahoe’s favorite drinkable Valentine’s Day gifts.
WRITTEN BY ERIN MEYERING
WILD CHERRIES AND CARAMEL SAUCE, “PHOTO BY JACI GOODMAN”
TOO SOUL TEA PHOTO, “PHOTO BY ASA GILMORE”
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and we’re all due for an exquisite treat. These specialty items, fit for our first-ever Drinks issue, will be sure to please you and your beloved’s palate. So sip, savor, and snuggle up!
Drink seasonally by enjoying a deliciously smooth and balanced Apple Cinnamon Whiskey by Verdi Local Distillery. The special spirit will warm up your sweetheart. Made from 100 percent real apples and cinnamon, it has less than half the sugar of Fireball. Not only is it locally made, but it also is a good addition to a Moscow Mule cocktail. It can be mixed with ginger beer or eggnog, or shot solo. $25
Verdi Local Distillery
1155 Old Hwy. 40, Ste. B, Verdi
It’s also available at Whispering Vine Wine Co. in Reno (http://www.whisperingvinewine.com), Raley’s locations (http://www.raleys.com), Save Mart locations (http://www.savemart.com), Ben’s Fine Wine & Spirits in Reno (http://www.bensnevada.com), and Dart Beverage Center in Stateline (http://www.dartbeverage.com).
Amarena Fabbri Wild Cherries, in a 600-gram jar (containing about 90 cherries), are screaming to be added to your Manhattan. “But they would serve equally well in an old fashioned,” says Ty Martin, owner of Craft Wine & Beer in Reno. The cherries — swimming in decadent nonalcoholic syrup — are most at home with American whiskey, “but you could definitely get creative and put them on cheesecake, yogurt, duck, or even toast!” $20.25
Craft Wine & Beer
22 Martin St., Reno
You haven’t had caramel sauce until you’ve had Truckee resident Cathy Thorne’s homemade recipe, handed down from her great-grandmother and altered slightly. The key to perfection? Real, quality ingredients, including pure essential oils for the more exotic flavors. Customers can enjoy variations on the classic version, such as Coffee Caramel Sauce, Bourbon Caramel Sauce, Peppermint Chocolate Sauce, and Sea Salted Caramel Sauce with Lavender. Sure, you can drizzle it on your ice cream or add it to a savory food recipe. But you can also mix it into your latte, hot chocolate, or creamy cocktail. $15 to $17 (retailers’ prices may vary)
Too Soul Tea Co. has created the fantastic Strawberry Coconut Cream tea mix, which can be made with your choice of either green or white tea. Though flavorful enough to drink on its own, you may sweeten it with a bit of local honey or agave. Or try it with licorice root for an extraordinary twist. Both green tea and white tea have numerous health benefits, so your gift will not only be delicious, but also nutritious. It’s a perfectly cozy treat! Pouch $7; Tin $14
Too Soul Tea Co.
542½ Plumas St., Reno
You don’t need a special occasion to break out the bubbles, but Valentine’s Day is an especially fitting time to enjoy a quality rosé. Whispering Vine Wine Co., with three Reno locations, recommends Caraccioli Cellars’ Brut Rosé, a terrific mid-priced sparkling wine. The initial blend is 60 percent chardonnay and 40 percent pinot noir. $39.99
Whispering Vine (three locations in Reno)
4201 W. Fourth St.
3886 Mayberry Drive
85 Foothill Road
If your main squeeze is a beer lover, you can give him or her a growler of delicious, local brew. “Fruited-sour Berliner Weisse offers the best of both worlds, with bold fruit flavors balanced by a mellow sour tartness,” says Matt Johnson, co-owner and brewmaster of IMBĪB Custom Brews in Reno. These beers are not sweet but feature bold fruit flavors without much residual sugar, he says. They are flavored with only real fruit (no additives or extracts). This beer is much more like a sparkling wine, so it’s a great celebratory drink that both men and women gravitate toward. Berliner Weisse is available in flavors such as apricot or cherry. 32-ounce crowler (a smaller growler in a can), $15; new 64-ounce glass growler, $35; growler refill, $30
IMBĪB Custom Brews
785 E. Second St., Reno
Gift well by sharing a bottle of Gramona Grand Cuvée Cava with your loved one. This sparkling wine “has a biscuit perfume with toasty notes, great structure, length, and balance,” says Troy Phillips, certified sommelier and owner of Battle Born Wine in Gardnerville. “It’s dry, crisp, and refreshing, with nice acid and citrus notes.” Gramona is located in the heart of Penedes, Spain, and has been making excellent-quality, affordable wines for 125 years. $27 to $32
Battle Born Wine
1448 U.S. Hwy. 395 N., Gardnerville
Erin Meyering is a big believer in local gifts. She even gives her out-of-state family members local treasures from the Reno-Tahoe area. Insider tip: The wild cherries are great in a cocktail and heavenly placed atop vanilla ice cream, but they are insanely delicious eaten solo as well.