Summer Crush from Chester's Kitchen and Bar

The "Summer Crush" drink from Chester's Kitchen and Bar.

Summer is finally here. It’s warm. The sky is blue. And with it comes a whole host of cocktails that can cool you off during hotter temperatures. A lot of places are doing seasonal summer cocktails (and even Forager has jumped on to the beer Icee/slushie bandwagon with aplomb), so if you’re looking for a treat to help you cool down, you’ve got options. The ones we have featured are just the tip of the iceberg, but some of our favorites so far this summer. Whether you like gin, tequila, or a lot of fruit, Rochester restaurants and bars have you covered.

Chester’s — Summer Crush

Peach and lemon shine in this gin- and Moscato-based cocktail. There are a lot of summer-worthy cocktails on this menu (key lime mojito, anyone?) but this one just clicks. Maybe it’s the name, and the way each flavor is fulfilling yet fleeting – just like those summer crushes of yore. Plus, the Chesters’ patio is always a fun one to sit on with a cool drink, with the backdrop of colorful flowers and the Peace Fountain’s rushing water.

Bramble from Bar Buffalo

The "Bramble" drink from Bar Buffalo.

Bar Buffalo – Bramble

I really like raspberry. It is a great fruit in so many drinks and food dishes. Bramble is what happens when Tanqueray gin fuses with lemon and raspberry flavors. It’s insanely easy to drink, with a raspberry flavor that tastes real, refreshing, and simple. I get this drink nearly every time I’m at Bar Buffalo – and it’s never let me down. Pictured above.

Five West Kitchen + Bar —Strawberry Rhubarb Mule

There are few things in life that form a better combo than strawberry and rhubarb, whether it be in a crisp New Glarus Strawberry Rhubarb beer, or just plain ol’ jam purchased at the Rochester Farmers Market. This duo is seriously tasty. The cocktail tastes like strawberry skittles, and is made with Smirnoff strawberry vodka, house-made rhubarb syrup, limes, and ginger beer. And you know what? It pairs really well with many of Five West’s breakfast items.

Oops...

The "Oops" at Bleu Duck Kitchen

Bleu Duck Kitchen — Oops...

What drew my wife and I to this drink was the purple color. It’s beautiful. The color comes from the Crème de Violet. As far as flavor goes, the Ford’s Gin shines with floral notes at first before the lemon overtakes the palate (this gin isn’t known for having a strong flavor, but is nicely even-keeled for cocktails). It’s indeed a fun little cocktail than pairs well with summer. And it’s just really nice to look at. Pictured on the right.

Hefe Rojo – Pale Ryder

I’m not typically one to eat cucumber. I don’t hate it, but don’t love it. But somehow it works in this drink. The crisp veggie is joined by Tres Agaves Tequila, lime, agave, and Tattersall bitter orange. Every component works together to deliver a tour de force of flavor and complexity. The cucumber is always there, at least for me, but it does well to reel in your taste buds and help each fruit shine.

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