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Sipping Without Spirits: Exploring Reno’s Vibrant Mocktail Scene

Reno, Nevada, is often synonymous with its lively casinos and vibrant nightlife. However, for those who prefer a night out without the influence of alcohol, the Biggest Little City has a hidden gem – a growing trend of bars and lounges that cater to the nonalcoholic crowd. 

Curious in the City, a new business/brand centered in Reno, focuses on supporting and highlighting Northern Nevada establishments that are putting equal care into the creation of nonalcoholic concoctions as they are ones with the booze. If you’re looking to unwind, enjoy a delicious drink, and support local businesses, without alcohol, Curious in the City is here to help you plan your night out, without compromising the fun or sophistication you crave.

After decades of living in Reno, Curious in the City owner and creator, Sarah Bear Rively, knows there are a million reasons why someone may choose to not drink, but there are a million more reasons why it’s nobody’s business. Curious in the City is here to support you, for any reason you choose to have fun, with or without alcohol.

We invite you to explore the flourishing mocktail scene in Reno, where innovative mixologists are crafting delightful alcohol-free beverages to provide an equally exciting experience for all.

The Rise of Mocktails in Reno

Traditionally, bar culture has been centered around alcoholic drinks, but with the increasing demand for nonalcoholic options, Reno’s bars, lounges, and restaurants are stepping up to the challenge. Mocktails, or nonalcoholic cocktails, have become a staple in many establishments across the city, offering a diverse range of flavors to cater to every palate.

Crafting the Perfect Mocktail

One of the key elements of Reno’s mocktail scene is the dedication to craftsmanship. Skilled mixologists are embracing the art of crafting intricate and flavorful beverages without relying on alcoholic spirits. Fresh and locally sourced ingredients take center stage, with a focus on seasonal fruits, herbs, and unique infusions.

The Mocktail Menus

Several bars in Reno have embraced the trend by introducing dedicated mocktail menus that showcase the creativity and expertise of their bartenders. From refreshing citrus-infused concoctions to complex herbal blends, these menus offer an array of choices that go beyond the typical soda or juice options. Establishments that are really nailing the “mocktail game” are introducing patrons to “spiritless spirits” like Ritual Zero Proof, Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits, and All The Bitter.

Notable Mocktail Hotspots

Peppermill Resort Spa Casino: Terrace Lounge and Spa Toscana

One place that is doing mocktails justice is none other than the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino. The Peppermill is a luxurious resort located in the heart of Reno, known for its vibrant atmosphere and extensive amenities. The resort features a distinctive and modern design, with a focus on comfort and entertainment.

It’s easy to be skeptical of a large resort’s ability to hone in on the needs of those looking for a nonalcoholic beverage, but the Peppermill respects each crafted cocktail, with or without alcohol.

Whether you’re looking to experience a relaxing day using the extensive resort amenities or ready to enjoy a night out, the Peppermill has you covered!

For daytime enjoyment, spend a day at Spa Toscana indulging in self-care and some serious mocktail options. Not to be missed are the Grapefruit Paloma and the Pineapple Bliss. There is no better way to rehydrate after a great massage than a mocktail that includes cold-pressed pineapple syrup, lime, and coconut water.

When you’re ready to transition from day-to-night, look no further than the Peppermill’s Terrace Lounge. Located in the center of the resort, this dreamy lounge is a delight for all the senses. Become mesmerized by the beautiful flower chandelier, dance the night away to one of the many live bands, and quench your thirst with one of the Terrace Lounge’s mocktails. The mixologists put careful consideration into the rotating seasonal menu. At time of publication, Winter Mocktails were still being featured. Not to be missed are the White Cranberry Cooler for a bubbly, festive, not-too-sweet choice, and the Cranberry Spiced Sangria, a refreshing mocktail that won’t make you miss drinking wine. Important to remember: These mixologists are experts in their craft and can shake you up something special if nothing on the menu suits you.

Peppermill Resort Spa Casino’s Terrace Lounge and Spa Toscana are located at 2707 S. Virginia Street in Reno. Terrace Lounge is open noon to 11:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and noon to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Spa Toscana is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Pignic Pub & Patio

Fun, funky, and fearless when taking risks with non-alcoholic beverages is Pignic Pub & Patio. This unique establishment is a family-friendly, popular spot known for its laid-back atmosphere, patio seating, and a diverse food and drink menu.

Pignic’s owner Trevor Leppek has carefully crafted the mocktail menu that takes permanent residence on the drink menu. Making the drinks truly unique are Leppek’s use of alcohol-free options like Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits. By using alcohol alternatives, drinks at Pignic are taken up a notch and feel more like you’re drinking the “real thing.”

On Pignic’s permanent menu, the How the West Was Won features Lyre’s American Malt NA Bourbon, bitters, spiced syrup, and other flavors all served over a beautifully logo-pressed block of ice. The Express-No Martini, made with Lyre’s Spiced Cane and Coffee NA Spirits, toasted marshmallow syrup, cold brew coffee, and more magic, is shaken up into a frothy concoction that can be enjoyed any time of day.

Always a popular choice to chill and unwind during day and night, Pignic is also a great place to grab some cans to go. Located a block from the Truckee River and Wingfield Park, a highlight is the ability to grab a great quality nonalcoholic cider or beer to enjoy while on the move.
Pignic Pub & Patio is located at 235 Flint Street in Reno, and is open 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday, 3 p.m. to midnight Wednesday and Thursday, 3 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday.

Rum Sugar Lime

Known as Reno’s rum and tropical cocktail bar, Rum Sugar Lime (RSL) also proudly offers an array of nonalcoholic options to tempt the taste buds. This 21+ cocktail lounge is nestled in the heart of MidTown and emphasizes tropical cocktails and fresh ingredients.David Robert

With the goal of creating a beautiful, clean, safe, hospitable place to gather for something truly special, owner Larry DeVincenzi and his family designed a location that is pleasing to all the senses and offers a modern and elegant take on a tiki bar.

Cocktails and mocktails are both loved dearly at RSL, so why choose? Rum Sugar Lime takes great care in making fresh juices, syrups, and more for each libation. The bright location is perfectly designed to join your friends for a drink, with or without the buzz. For a truly tropical taste, order the Yuzu and the Mango. The Yuzu features citrus juice from both the yuzu and lime and includes demerara syrup as the special ingredient, while the Mango tickles the taste buds with muddled habanero combined with other tropical fruits.

Always appreciated is that Rum Sugar Lime will never leave a mocktail seeker with just a soda water and a slice of lime.
Rum Sugar Lime is located at 1039 S Virginia Street in Reno, and is open 4 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Sunday.

Black Rabbit Mead Company

The taproom and production facility of Black Rabbit Mead Company is in the heart of downtown Reno’s up-and-coming Brewery District. While their business name lends you to think of just a honey-based elixir, Black Rabbit offers everything from its specially brewed cider-style, beer-style, and cocktail-style meads, and a variety of nonalcoholic and CBD-infused options.

This family-friendly location (unless an event is noted otherwise) is a center hub of action in the area. Known for its great live bands and events, Black Rabbit Mead Company is always a great place to grab a drink, no matter what you are craving. Owners Jake Conway and Will Truce have carefully taken the time and consideration to create drinks sourced with honey from the mountains and foothills that surround Northern Nevada.
Black Rabbit Mead Company is proud to be Nevada’s first meadery, displaying a style of mead only made by a handful of companies in the world. Mead is traditionally served like a sweet wine, but this newer and drier cider-style mead is quickly growing in popularity.

Supporting the sober community, and those looking for a nonalcoholic refresher, Black Rabbit features zero-proof drinks each celebrating different things we love about our community and features partnerships with other local businesses such as event space, The Virgil; the small batch apothecary, Sierra Roots Wellness; and the delicious and rowdy tea blenders at Modest Mix.

Sip on the ⁠Cinnamon Hibiscus Elixir, a unique draft drink made in collaboration with Modest Mix Tea.⁠ This satisfying mocktail makes you feel festive and sophisticated, while not feeling like you’re missing out by going alcohol-free.

Black Rabbit Mead is located at 401 E. 4th Street in Reno, and is open 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 1 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

This is Just the Beginning of Something Delicious

Reno's mocktail scene is an exciting testament to the evolving landscape of nightlife in the city. As more bars and lounges embrace the trend, patrons have the opportunity to explore a diverse array of nonalcoholic beverages that are just as creative and satisfying as their alcoholic counterparts. The rise of mocktails not only caters to nondrinkers but also enriches the overall drinking culture in Reno, fostering a more inclusive and enjoyable experience for everyone. So, the next time you're in Reno, consider stepping outside the traditional bar scene and indulge in the refreshing world of mocktails. Cheers to a vibrant and alcohol-free nightlife!

Written by Sarah Bear Rively