Ten drink trends for 2010
And where to find them!
Here’s a selection of the most requested and unique liquid innovations from local bars
The Green Fairy
Absinthe, the fabled European liquor, recently became legal in the United States, and its formerly forbidden mystique has just caught on in Reno. Available at Roxy Bistro in the Eldorado Hotel Casino, 345 N. Virginia, Kübler Absinthe from Switzerland is not just a drink, but also an alchemic ceremony including a fountain, a sugar cube and a slotted spoon.
“I think people are a little curious about it,” says bartender Abi Terrobias, “the whole stigma of van Gogh drinking it and cutting off his ear because he was drunk on absinthe.”
Energy drop shots
Staying awake in a 24-hour town isn’t a new trend, but fruity drop shots are a recent twist to the plain vodka and Red Bull.
“It’s set up like a Car Bomb—Red Bull with a splash of orange juice and peach vodka,” says bartender Georgette Crush at Amendment 21, 425 S. Virginia St. “That’s the most prevalent drink.” The Tang Bang is aptly named; it tastes like liquefied Pez candy. The bang signifies the clinking of two glasses or the impact of the shot glass on your teeth if you slam it too quickly.
Orange clove soda is definitely unusual. Add 23-year-old rum, soda, cream and nutmeg, and spray it into an ice-filled glass. The name of this spicy drink is Unto the Sons, and it can be found at Chapel Tavern, 1495 S. Virginia St.
“We serve it in an old-school soda maker,” says bartender Joe Belanger. The soda is made onsite, which adds appeal to the old-time presentation.
Integrating ginger in cocktails is a brilliant idea—mix with vodka, serve it in a copper mug, and you have one medicinal drink.
“Moscow Mule is our most popular cocktail,” says bartender Carina Whitcomb. Made with Sobieski vodka, fresh ginger muddled with simple syrup, fresh lime juice and ginger ale, this refreshing drink can be found at St. James Infirmary, 445 California Ave.
No, really. That’s the name of the company that makes the bottles for Holland Premium Vodka. True to the name, the vodka comes in a water pipe. Sold at the 5 Star Saloon, 132 West St., the controversial container does its own marketing.
“We’ve been through a dozen bottles,” says bartender Justin Sibley. Who gets to keep the bottle when it’s empty? “We have a raffle!”
Bubble gum shots
“Flavored vodkas have picked up recently,” says bartender Melissa Fujimoto. “Bubble gum shots or with bubble gum as a press, I serve a lot of those.” To try this sweet drink, go to Polo Lounge, 1559 S. Virginia St.
On sale, please
“The trend is whatever is cheap,” says Huong Thai, owner of Seven Teahouse, 100 N. Arlington Ave. “One out of three would ask me what my specials are.” For that reason, Seven always features two or three drink specials. Times may be tight, but, as Thai says, “Everybody wants to drink.”
An aperitif is a European import that has been helping Americans digest their dinners since the 1900s. Imperial Bar and Lounge, 150 N. Arlington Ave., serves an oft-requested Italian concoction called Negroni, named after a man in Florence who always ordered the drink. One part Campari, one part gin and three-quarters of an ounce of sweet Vermouth, the traditional Negroni is served with a burnt orange.
This is a new take on the traditional shot and a beer. “Because of the name, they’ll order it and then say, ‘What’s in it?’” says bartender Brian Valles. The customer takes the first sip of the Corona, and then the bartender fills the bottle to the top with a kamikaze shot. Try one at the Breakaway, 10 E. Ninth St., across from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Pabst Blue Ribbon and Jameson is not a trend—it’s an iconic symbol of Reno nightlife. A century ago, people drank whiskey and cheap beer in Reno, but the bottles had different names, and people wore nicer hats. Nonetheless, there is a trend of “PBJ” specials around town: $5 for a Pabst and a shot. The Broken Spoke, 71 S. Wells Ave., claims to have reinvented the wheel on this special. Owner Johnny Rutherford calls the infamous combo “Our bestseller, of course!”