DRINKS ON YOU
Three women you should be drinking with today
Written by Michael C. Moberly
Illustrated by Hans Bennewitz
Reno is full of amazing bartenders, and we have a bar scene that is growing and changing every day for the better. Right now, some of the most talented women in the region are leading this change, and with more bars opening every year, it can be hard to know where to go and with whom to drink. Here, you’ll meet three of my personal favorites who came out from behind the bar to let me shine a little light on their unique talents and personalities.
Heidi Schofield, The Loving Cup, Reno
Schofield is a natural talent who started out working with coffee when she was 16 and got behind the bar the moment she turned 21. Her big smile and rapier wit make every cocktail she crafts taste even better, but her knowledge of whiskey and agave spirits is no laughing matter. Her aptitude for making others feel warm and welcome is boundless, but her real skill is her ability to throw a party.
“Everyone is good at something, and for me, having everyone I love in one room experiencing the most rad thing I can create just speaks to me,” she says.
Every year, her House of Horror Halloween party, held at The Loving Cup, is the best in town. She spends the better part of October planning and perfecting the shindig to build a truly immersive experience. From the moment you walk into her house of horror, you are in another world filled with an almost magical level of detail, from the spooky dolls hanging from the ceiling to the otherworldly costumes.
“Attention to detail is what makes the difference,” Schofield says. “Party planning — I want to do it my way.”
And when she does it her way, we are all the better for it.
Truly Tanner, Death & Taxes, Reno
All great bartenders have one characteristic in common: consistency. Truly Tanner has that in spades. An exemplary professional, Tanner is attentive, passionate, and highly skilled. Sitting with Tanner is an exercise in hospitality; She can create cocktails based on what you love or take you on a journey of hundreds of spirits curated for your palate. It is this effortless imbibing that makes a night at her bar a joy for all your senses.
“When you have pride in what you do, it makes it easy to share your hard work and make a great guest experience,” Tanner says.
Working in one of Reno’s best cocktail bars is an enormous challenge, but Tanner always is striving to be better.
“I love to watch other bartenders,” she says. “I love the flow of the industry and to observe how others do things. I don’t think there is one right way to do something, but what you do with the tools you have is what makes a great bartender.”
This spirit of learning and observation are what make Tanner a kind, hospitable powerhouse of a bartender.
Sarah Castillo, The Jesse, Reno
I get excited when I see new people put themselves out there in our industry. Last summer, Sarah Castillo won a cocktail competition I hosted and immediately impressed me. While new to Reno and cocktails, her 10 years of experience in the service industry mean she is no stranger to hard work. Castillo is a Level 1 Sommelier who took her passion for service and pushed herself to learn more.
“I’ve grown to have a love and appreciation for creating an experience for someone,” Castillo says. “I got really into wine, and cocktails were the next step for me.”
Her advice for new bartenders?
“Don’t be intimidated. If it makes you uncomfortable, do it. I feel like you should be uncomfortable. That means you’re growing and challenging yourself.”
Photo by Candice Vivien
Michael C. Moberly is the national brand ambassador and distillery general manager for Ferino Distillery in Reno and a local spirits educator. His 13 years in the industry have been spent learning, loving, and imbibing with some of its best minds, both locally and nationally. He also is good at wearing hats.