Hot drinks for cool days

Where to go for a hot beverage on a chilly autumn day? Follow me, dear friends.

The vanilla latte served nice and hot from Bibo Coffee Company is the perfect blend of autumnal flavoring and rich caffeine dreams.

The vanilla latte served nice and hot from Bibo Coffee Company is the perfect blend of autumnal flavoring and rich caffeine dreams.

Photo By David Robert

1 Pneumatic Diner: Wonder Beverage
501 W. First St., 786-8888, ext. 106.

The Wonder Beverage ($1.50) is claimed to cure the common cold. Improbable, but nonetheless the drink’s restorative powers are legendary. I’ve been drinking the thing for years, and it always alleviates the symptoms of any under-the-weather malady. The exact recipe is as closely guarded as the Coca Cola formula—and even Pneumatic employees foul it up from time to time—but it’s a mixture of lemon, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ginger, honey and hot water. A drink that clears the sinuses and tickles the back of the throat, vanquishing impurities.

2 Bibo Coffee Company: Vanilla Latte.
680 Mount Rose St., 329-2114

There’s a bazillion coffee places in town, but this is my favorite place to get my milk steamed. The baristas are friendly, they’re usually playing good music, and the drinks are masterfully crafted. The vanilla latte ($2.80) is a relatively fru-fru beverage for a place that prides itself on the purity of its coffee, but what the heckit’s delicious. And if you stake out the much-coveted comfort of the couch in the back area, you can spend an afternoon pondering life’s mysteries in a caffeine-induced delirium while people-watching at the central hub of one of Reno’s hepest neighborhoods, The Old Southwest.

3 Se7en: The Ancient City of Petra
100 N. Arlington Ave., 348-9526

The biggest challenge of visiting Se7en for a hot beverage is deciding which to order. This teahouse-by-day, bar-by-night has every kind of tea you’ve ever heard of, and a bunch that you haven’t: green teas, black teas, oolong teas, Pu-erh teas, etc. The Ancient City of Petra ($4), for example, is made with “dragon eyes” tea, black tea infused with longan fruit, and additional longan juice and garnished with longan fruit. The fruits are juicy and vaguely pear-like. The drink is sweet without being sugary, and it provides an effective caffeine buzz while being less innard-torqueing than coffee.

The recipe for Pneumatic Diner’s superlative Wonder Beverage is a closely guarded secret.

Photo By David Robert

4 Chocolate Bar: Mayan Hot Chocolate
475 S. Arlington Ave., 337-1122

Chocolate Bar is immensely appealing to my inner 40-year-old woman—who is, I might add, a raging chocoholic. Chocolate Bar is all about chocolate cocktails and truffles. And they, of course, do hot chocolate, in dark, milk and white varities. You can even add shots, if you’re feeling extra naughty. The Mayan hot chocolate ($4.25) is simply divine: sumptuous dark chocolate complemented by spicy red pepper, cinnamon, honey and vanilla. My, oh my! And the place is so elegant that it absolutely delights a classy lady like me!

Sake is meant to be drunk hot … and often.

Photo By David Robert

5 Sushi Pier 2: Hot Sake
1507 S. Virginia St., 825-5225

If you want a hot beverage that will make you instantly drunk, you can’t do better than sake. Sushi Pier 2 has a diverse selection of sake, including Sho Chiko Bai hot sake ($5.50, for a large). It’s potent stuff. Warms you right up, sets your fingertips a-tingling. And the slightly sour aftertaste leaves you craving sushi. But don’t drink too much, or you’ll wake up feeling lousy. But then you can start all over: a Pneumatic Wonder Beverage to clear the hangover, Bibo for coffee to get you going, afternoon tea at Se7en, dessert at Chocolate Bar and then another big night out drinking sake at Sushi Pier 2.