Craft is the word in Reno spirits these day. Here's some of what's currently on pour. Johnathan L. Wright/RGJ
Craft cocktails have gone from movement to mainstay.
These days, any bar or restaurant with even modest ambitions offers a cocktail list featuring quality ingredients, attention to technique and unexpected combinations (or classics scrupulously rendered).
In Reno, craft cocktails were once almost solely the province of Chapel Tavern, but in the last decade, they've stirred, shaken and muddled their way across the city.
One recent evening, I joined a colleague to sample just a few of the craft cocktails being poured locally this winter. Full disclosure: Our boozy sojourn was made possible by two legs (both of us), Uber (me) and a sober boyfriend (her).
■ Fernet Swizzle. Fernet-Branca, Italian sweet vermouth, orange, lime, brown sugar, soda, Peychaud's bitters, crushed ice. A zingy, ombré, adult shave-ice.
■ Last Word(s). Choice of London dry gin, rye whiskey or mezcal; Chartreuse herbal liqueur; maraschino liqueur; lime. Light, refreshing, potent.
■ Old Fashioned. Bourbon, maraschino liqueur, gum syrup, Angostura bitters, orange bitters. An accomplished version of the venerable cocktail, sweet (but not syrupy), strong (but not thuggish).
100 N. Arlington Ave., in ground floor of Arlington Towers
■ Altar of Plagues. Irish whiskey, vino rancio fortified wine and Bénédictine herbal liqueur. In a sniffer caressed by smoke from charred palo santo wood.
■ Myrta. London dry gin, eucalyptus, Fernet-Branca, green Chartreuse. Served hot like a gin version of a (sort of) hot toddy.
1099 S. Virginia St.
■ Bardstown Buck. Old Forester Signature Bourbon, Cocktail & Sons Spiced Demarara Syrup, Fever-Tree Premium Ginger Beer. This entry from the mule/buck family celebrates Bardstown, Ky., home of Heaven Hill and other distilleries.
7689 S. Virginia St.
■ Boulevardier. LuLou's isn't known for craft cocktails, but technique is everything here, so the bar delivers an impeccably made (and vesseled) Boulevardier (rye whiskey and Campari).
1470 S. Virginia St.
■ Jalisco Pear. Tequila, pear brandy, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram liqueur, lemon, brown sugar. Not too sweet (as we half expected); nicely balanced.
■ Spiced Mule. Vodka, pear spirit, lemon, ginger, Peychaud's Bitters, ginger beer. A delicious take on the mule's signature mingling of sweet, spicy, sour.
1074 S. Virginia St.
Johnathan L. Wright is the food and drink editor of RGJ Media. Join @RGJTaste on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You also can subscribe here to The Reno Taste, a free food and drink newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox.