Put your signature on a special drink

By Marissa Block

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

In the movies and on TV, character personalities are sometimes generalized by drink choice.

Beer drinkers might be portrayed as more laid-back individuals, (think "Cheers"), cosmopolitans might represent a night out on the town, (the fabulous four on the HBO series "Sex and the City") and a strong sipper might mean business (I’m reminded of the first-class gentlemen passengers on the movie "Titanic," who’d after dinner, retreat into clouds of cigar smoke and "congratulate themselves on being masters of the universe.")

Just as your drink of choice can say a lot about you, signature drinks can say a lot about the place that’s serving them. Signature drinks also tend to be best-sellers, so they make ordering easy if you’re new to the location or are looking to try something different. Here’s a roundup of some of the signature drinks in the Rochester area:


At Martini’s, 20 Second Ave. S.W., try The Blue Goose. Made with both citrus and vanilla vodka, Blue Curacao and white cranberry juice, this blue martini matches the decor — blue lights, candle holders, etc. Perfect for someone looking for a drink that’s "fairly sweet, but not too sweet."

Although both Whistle Binkies locations in Rochester have different specials each night of the week, Thursday specials include $2 Sponge Bobs. Jon Carisch, the bar manager at the north location, says these fruity drinks — peach schnapps, rum and a variety of fruit juices like pineapple and orange — are a big hit.

A top-seller at McGoon’s, 7 Second St. S.W., is the Col. Fischer’s Wigwam, made with amaretto, sloe gin, sour, grenadine and Southern Comfort.

If you’re looking for a tropical escape, head over to Paradise Petes, 14 17th Ave. N.W., for one of their several signature drinks. Their top-sellers include the Lava Flow, which is "like a strawberry pina colada," a Tropical Itch, and the Pete’s Painkiller.

The ingredients of this last one are Pete’s secret, and consumers are limited to two. Why? "It’s one of the strongest drinks I’ve ever had," one person said. "After one, my head felt like it was on fire ... but in a good way." According to another person, this blue cocktail is "like a Long Island, with a twist."

Chester’s, 111 S. Broadway, also has a long list of signature drinks, including a Pomegranate Splash, and their No. 1 seller, the Stoli Doli. The Stoli Doli is served as a martini made with pineapple-infused vodka, which they make themselves by soaking freshly-cut pineapples in a jar of vodka for up to 10 days before crushing and straining the juice from them.

If stopping into 300 First, 300 First Ave. N.W., try a Smokin’ Martini. With several varieties to choose from including Candy Apple, Pomegranate and Grapefruit Cosmopolitan, this martini is unique in that a chunk of dry ice is dropped into the bottom of the glass to give it a "bubbly, smoky look." While difficult to describe, it’s definitely worth trying.

Marissa Block is the Life section editor. Have a specialty drink you’d like me to know about? Send it to

What To Read Next
Get Local