Rochester Magazine's Best Cocktails. You picked'em. We drank them

First World Problems. Purple Goat Punch. Old Fashioned. Blackberry Mojito. Knobs and Hollers.

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Blackberry Mojito at The Tap House

The Blackberry Mojito at Tap House.
Ken Klotzbach / Special to the Post Bulletin

What’s in it? Blackberry cordial, lime juice, house made simple syrup, mint, rum, soda water, and fresh blackberries and lime.

What makes it special? “Mojitos in general are always a popular drink. They are refreshing and flavorful, but not too sweet—a balance of sorts in the cocktail land. They are incredibly easy to drink, which we all know can be dangerous! We added this recipe to our rotation back in 2014, and it is one of our staple drinks that never leaves the menu. We batch this drink more than any other.”
— Natalie Victoria

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First World Problem at Bitter & Pour

Rochester Magazine - Bitter and Pour
Bitter and Pour's "First World Problem" cocktail on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, in downtown Rochester.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

What’s in it? Buffalo Trace bourbon, demerara sugar, and house bitters.


What makes it special? “The First World Problem is a new and improved version of the Problem Solver, which was a former best cocktail in Rochester. This is a barrel-aged Old Fashioned made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, demerara sugar, and our secret house bitters. The barrel aging process adds complexity. The medium heavy toasted American oak adds baking spice notes, enhances the sweetness and cereal notes in the bourbon, and softens the hard edges.”
— Andy Ferguson

Old Fashioned at Bleu Duck Kitchen

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The Old Fashioned at Bleu Duck.
Ken Klotzbach / Special to the Post Bulletin

What’s in it? Old Granddad Bourbon, Old Overholt Bonded Rye, Turbinado Sugar, and our house blend of bitters.

What makes it special? “This Old Fashioned is very nice in the balance of spirit and sweetness, as well as the nice hint of spice from the bonded rye.” — Corbin Holmen

Purple Goat Punch at Purple Goat

Rochester Magazine - Purple Goat Punch
Purple Goat's "Purple Goat Punch" on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Rochester.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

What’s in it? Don Q silver rum, Tempus Fugit Creme De Banane, strawberry puree, passion fruit puree, orgeat syrup, and lemon.

What makes it special? “Definitely the fact that it is put into a slushie machine—and the purple flower garnish! My inspiration for this drink was actually Orange Julius, believe it or not. I wanted to make an adult version of an Orange Julius because I thought it would be fun and different. I really like to pair fruit with vanilla or orgeat or banana to add a depth of flavor to the drink and I feel like I did that with this one. I use a Swedish Liqueur called Tempus Fugit Creme De Banane as my background flavor for this cocktail. Tempus Fugit is Latin for ‘time flies’ and their banana liqueur is one of my all-time favorite cordials. It tastes like overly ripe bananas and has a caramel flavor to it so it basically tastes like banana bread!” — Charles Morris


Knobs and Hollers at Half Barrel

Knobs and Hollers at Half Barrel.
Ken Klotzbach / Special to the Post Bulletin

What’s in it? It’s a twist on an Old Fashioned. We use a quality bourbon, add a cacao nib tincture (bitter) and splash of upper-tier chocolate liqueur (sweet) and stir with ice. We mist the glass with Minnesota-made Dashfire bitters.

What makes it special? “This drink tends to play to the olfactory much more than any other Old Fashioned you’ll find in town. It’s this trigger that brings back any and every memory involving cinnamon, chocolate, clove, and vanilla. It’s Christmas, fall, Thanksgiving, and colder nights wrapped up by the fire. The velvety cocktail showcases the best bourbon qualities supported by the complementing cocoa notes. For those who don’t know about it, the only way to get one is to have it recommended by a staff member or an avid patron. It’s not on the menu anymore, so anytime the recommendation is passed on, it’s from true love of the cocktail.”
—Chris Fierst

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