Sweet Treat

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Indulge in a local dessert cocktail.

If you’re a fan of decadent cocktails, this list is for you. Everyone with a sweet tooth to satisfy can have their cocktail and eat it, too. Heavy on ice cream, chocolate, and other saccharine ingredients, these drinks are delicious enough to replace dessert or sip on their own. Some are indulgent, with scoops of vanilla ice cream and swirls of chocolate syrup, while others rely on more subtle ingredients to turn out acceptable post-meal treats that aren’t as in-your-face sweet.

Here’s just a sampling of local dessert cocktails worth trying.

Ice Cream Cocktails

With Fireside Lounge’s menu of specialty drinks, you’ll never have to choose between dessert and a cocktail again. A lineup of sweet sippers served over ice cream makes up a good portion of the menu at this relaxing lounge inside Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno, including the creamsicle (which uses Grey Goose L’Orange vodka and Godiva White Chocolate liqueur); the strawberry creamsicle, made with Stoli Strasberi vodka and strawberries; the oatmeal cookie, pairing Goldschläger, Jägermeister, Stoli Vanil vodka, and Bailey’s Irish Cream; and the chocolate chip cookie, a more traditional rendition with Stoli Vanil vodka and Godiva Dark Chocolate liqueur.

Assortment of ice cream cocktails at Fireside Lounge. Photo courtesy of Peppermill Resort Spa Casino

All four cocktails are completed with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, in case there were any doubt they can serve as desserts.

Hot Buttered Rum

Looking for a drink that’s both sweet and seasonal? The hot buttered rum at Rum Sugar Lime in Reno is a treat. Served only for a few months (and disappearing before February begins), this cocktail has a lengthy history that dates back to colonial days. RSL uses its version to pay homage to the original, when rum was believed to be a nutritious strength-builder, and uses only the best ingredients available, according to Larry DeVincenzi, co-owner of RSL.

RSL relies on a blend of high-quality spices, ground in house to create a bold flavor. The spices are simmered for hours at very high heat with creamery butter and soft brown sugar before dark rum, water, and vanilla-infused Chantilly cream are added. The final concoction is stored bar-side in a sous vide bath to keep it warm — but not hot — then served in a mug and topped with freshly grated nutmeg when ordered.

Bourbon Cherry Truffle

Dessert cocktails don’t have to be overly sweet. At The Arch Society in Midtown Reno, where the dessert and cocktails restaurant owned by the mastermind behind Batch Cupcakery pairs specialty cocktails with diet-friendly desserts, drinks run the gamut of flavors. For example, the bourbon cherry truffle, part of the seasonal winter menu, tastes similar to an old fashioned, but with a twist. Starting with Frey Ranch bourbon, mixologists then add chocolate liqueur from Reno’s Ferino Distillery, chocolate bitters, and bourbon-soaked cherries. The drink is served in a chocolate-rimmed glass for extra oomph. Despite its sweetness, the cocktail itself is strong, letting the bourbon shine through. The best way to describe it? Like biting into a chocolate-covered cherry cordial, with alcohol inside.

If you’re looking to indulge in dessert, too, pairing the cocktail with a cherry truffle is recommended. The vegan dessert is served with ice cream and two truffles (chocolate cake-encased around bourbon-soaked cherries, and dipped in a chocolate ganache), made at Batch.

Adult Milkshakes and Coffee Adele

There are two ways to enjoy dessert cocktails at Piazza in Carson City. The first is with an adult milkshake, including all the whimsy of your childhood favorite with a touch of brandy or vodka. One such concoction is the brandy Alexander, using dark crème de cacao and brandy blended with cream and vanilla ice cream.

Brandy Alexander milkshake. Photo by Lou Manna

Another variation trades brandy for house-infused vanilla vodka to create a root beer float shake, blended similarly to a milkshake. It’s finished with dark crème de cacao, Galliano liqueur, and root beer.

Root beer float milkshake. Photo by Lou Manna

Your next dessert-y option has a bit more history, and while it’s not so sweet, it is most often enjoyed post-dinner. Coffee Adele once sat on the menu of Café at Adele’s, the beloved capital city restaurant that burned down in 2019, but the owners of Piazza got special permission to add it to their own cocktail menu. A mix of coffee and Tia Maria liqueur, the drink is finished with a float of brandy and topped with lightly whipped, unsweetened heavy cream. It’s served as a nod to Adele’s and the owner who created the recipe.

Coffee Adele. Photo by Lou Manna

Peanut Butter Chocolate Martini

Fans of Reese’s will love this liquid version of the classic candy served at Bank Saloon in Carson City. Starting with a swirl of chocolate syrup in the bottom of a martini glass — as much for presentation as for flavor — the cocktail is built with peanut butter whiskey (either Skrewball or OffKiltur) and demerara syrup before the addition of chocolate bitters to create a final product that is both rich and complex. The result is a decadent chocolate cocktail, served chilled, in which the whiskey flavors shine through but are not overpowering.


Nora Heston Tarte is a longtime Reno resident. You can follow her local exploits and travel adventures on Instagram @Wanderlust_n_wine.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Martini

(courtesy of Bank Saloon in Carson City. Serves 1)

Chocolate peanut butter martini made with Offkiltur peanut butter whiskey, from Bank Saloon. Photo by Lou Manna

If you’d rather sip your dessert in your PJs, try this recipe from Bank Saloon.

3 ounces peanut butter whiskey (Skrewball or OffKiltur)
½ ounce demerara syrup*
3 dashes chocolate bitters
Swirl of chocolate syrup

Start by creating a swirl design with chocolate syrup in the bottom of a martini glass. Then add ice, whiskey, demerara syrup, and chocolate bitters to a shaker. Shake vigorously then strain into glass and serve.

*Demerara syrup can be purchased premade, or make it yourself by dissolving 1 cup demerara sugar (an amber-hued type of brown sugar) in 1 cup boiling water, then simmering for about 2 minutes. Use once it has cooled.



Bank Saloon
418 S. Carson St., Carson City • 775-301-6710 • Banksaloonnv.com

Fireside Lounge
Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, 2707 S. Virginia St., Reno • 866-821-9996 • Peppermillreno.com/nightlife/lounges/fireside-lounge

224 S. Carson St., Ste. 8, Carson City • 775-301-6708 • Carsonpiazzabar.com

Rum Sugar Lime
1039 S. Virginia St., Reno • 775-384-1024 • Rumsugarlime.com

The Arch Society
960 S. Virginia St., Reno • 775-800-3000 • Thearchsociety.com

Nora Heston Tarte is a longtime Reno resident living on the south side of town. In addition to searching out the best food spots in Reno, her interests include wine, hiking, yoga, and travel. She graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and is pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism. Follow her local exploits and travel adventures on Instagram.


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Discover new products, thriving traditions, or exciting food events, festivals, restaurants, and markets – all of the things that are helping to make us a true culinary destination.