Whenever I’m on the road and mention that I’m from New York, most people assume I’m either in NYC or what New Yorkers call “upstate”. Actually, I’m located in Syracuse, the exact center of the state in the area regionally known as the Fingerlakes or Central New York. To the west lie Rochester and Buffalo. To the east lie Utica and Albany. None of these areas are known as destinations for cocktail lovers. If you do like to drink, you will find an abundance of beer festivals and wine festivals, but little else. However, a few weeks ago, this all changed with the debut of the Rochester Cocktail Revival (May 2-4, 2014). A well planned event supported by several local restaurants, a distillery, the Fee Bros. company and major spirit brands attracted several hundred people over three days.
The GSN staff was able to attend the first two days and get a feel for what the cocktail scene is like in Rochester. We were highly impressed, having been to bars like PDT, the Clover Club, the Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar and many, many others across the U.S. Rochester’s drinks are amazingly creative and well executed, the bartenders and servers top notch, the food incredibly luscious and the seminars diverse and interesting.
Special guests included Dale “King Cocktail” DeGroff, Tobin Ellis of BarMagic Las Vegas, Joe Fee of bitters fame, James Beard Award nominated chef Paul Myers, and Jackie Summers (creator of Sorel liqueur).
With the success of this event, we’re looking forward to attending again in 2015!
Here are some pictures of the event to give you an idea of what we experienced.