>> Spring of 2017 marks the fourth anniversary of Rochester's Cocktail Revival; a true festival for adults. A collective of cocktail bars throughout the Flower City gather together to celebrate the craft of cocktail creation. Through the revival, these bars have developed ties to one another to keep the community strong.
Last year the host bars consisted of Goodluck, Cheshire, Cure, Ox and Stone, The Revelry, The Owl House, The Daily Refresher, The Playhouse, and Fee Brothers. Anyone who’s been to any of the named locations knows just how talented the bartenders are. All someone has to do is name a taste or a preferred spirit and the bartenders will serve up something to please the palate. If you have no preference, the bartenders can serve you one of their favorites, which never fall flat.
There are events every day of the Revival held in more than just bars. Many days the revelers gather in Strathallan park to experience spirits from around the world and learn about the various components that can go into a cocktail. The focus isn’t solely on drinking, either. Participants are able to attend seminars to learn about the use of bitters, the spirits below the equator, or the different types of agave.
The festival comes to a culmination on the final night with a battle between host bartenders. Four cocktails are to be made as fast as possible without spilling a drop, using the wrong garnish or glassware and all while the festival goers cheer on. The event is meant to be intense as it is merry.
The date has yet to be announced for this year’s Cocktail Revival. While the anticipation builds for this years event, people are encouraged to check out past host bars for a taste of the scene. The Playhouse is situated inside of an old church on South Clinton Avenue. Inside is an arcade filled with childhood favorites and an array of pinball machines. Off the side sits Swillburger, a cost-friendly burger joint that will pair well with any drink. For those wanting to add a latin flair to their meal or drink, Ox and Stone is the right place to go. Anyone worried about vegan-friendly choices can find safe refuge at The Owl House.
No matter which joint you end up finding yourself in, the food at all of these cocktail bars has never disappointed. The drinks will only leave you wanting another sip. Perhaps the best reason of all, the bartenders will keep you coming back with their approachable nature, congenial smiles and willingness to create whatever it takes to keep you satisfied. <<