Picon Punch and its tie to the railroad explored at Dec. 2 event in Carson City

CARSON CITY, Nevada — Learn about Nevada’s unofficial state drink, the Picon Punch, and its connection to the railroad at a lecture at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, Carson City, 2180 S. Carson St. in Carson City. Writer Mike Higdon will deliver the talk, which will include tastings of the original 1857 recipe and two variations of the drink.

“The Picon Punch and the Railroad” event explores how a French liqueur, made by an Italian man, became the main ingredient in a staple cocktail found at Basque hotels in northern Nevada. Meanwhile, back in the actual Basque country — a region between France and Spain — the drink remains largely unknown. Higdon, a former Reno Gazette-Journal reporter, unearthed the origin story of the Picon Punch — which not actually a punch, nor is it a truly Nevadan drink — in a 2017 article for the newspaper.

Higdon currently is the marketing manager for the Downtown Reno Partnership and is the founder of the Drinkable Reno blog.

The event is for those ages 21 and older. Cost is $20, tickets are available at NSRM-friends.org. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m.

EDITORS: For Picon Punch images, click here.


The Nevada State Railroad Museum, Carson City, is a cultural resource dedicated to educating visitors and the community about Nevada railroad history. The museum is one of seven state museums that make up the Nevada Division of Museums and History.