For the nights (or mornings) when you find yourself in need of a creative cocktail out on the town, it’s important to know where to turn. Here are a few of our most recent favorites – we think they’re worth a try. You know, the ones that are worth the hassle of putting on jeans, the money, the calories and whatever else happens after you drink one (or five).
The “East Side on Fire” from Handlebar
149 Swan Street in Buffalo / (716) 259-9632
Handlebar is proudly portrayed as being Buffalo’s premier cycling-themed gastropub. Handlebar’s bartenders whip up some delicious drinks, but one definitely takes the cake. The East Sider ($9.50) is made with Hendrick’s gin, St. Germain, cucumber, lime, and rocks; already a crisp combination. To kick it up a notch (literally) add Sriracha to make it East Side on Fire. The crisp, cooling flavor components like the cucumber and lime mixed with the heat from the Sriracha creates a special cocktail that you can’t get enough of.
Close runner up: “The Slapshot,” a Loganberry whisky sour.
The “Sassy Senorita” from the Public House of Buffalo, Inc
1206 Hertel Avenue in Buffalo / (716) 551-6208
The Sassy Senorita ($8) consisting of Don Julio Blanco Tequila, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters, lime juice, and salt is a “must try” at the Public House of Buffalo, Inc. Between the floral, sour, and salty elements, this cocktail has so much going on to wake up the taste buds.
The “Black Rooster” from Webster’s Bistro & Bar
102 Webster Street in North Tonawanda / (716) 264-4314
The Black Rooster ($10) is usually made with vodka, Chambord, Blue Curacao, garnished with fresh blackberries. I opted for gin instead of vodka and it was delightful. The drink was a beautiful, dark plum purple color with a fresh and fruity flavor.
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The “Salsa Something” from Bourbon and Butter
391 Washington Street in Buffalo / (716) 253-6453
The Salsa Something ($10) mixes tequila, mescal, lime, tomato honey, avocado cordial, and jalapeño. The unique ingredients like tomato honey and avocado cordial is what caught my eye first. I wasn’t surprised when the drink was special, as well. The Salsa Something is full of flavor while incorporating spicy, creamy, sweet, and acidic pieces to satisfy the palate.
The “Bloody Wilbur” from Hydraulic Hearth
716 Swan Street in Buffalo / (716) 248-2216
I was blown away by the Bloody Wilbur ($8) at Hydraulic Hearth. This has to be my new favorite, and I’ve tried a wide variety of seasoned, specialty Bloody Mary’s all over Buffalo. The Bloody Wilbur is a blend of house made bacon bourbon, (yeah…bacon), stout, and house chipotle sauce. The chipotle sauce is made using Community Beer Works beer. “The End Is Rye” is usually the brew of choice for this HH concoction, but soon they’ll be giving CBW The Whale a chance to get in the mix. Finally, the “brooze” (brunch booze) is garnished with a skewer of crisp bacon and a green bean for good measure.
Close runner up: “The Corpse Reviver,” gin, Cointreau, lillet blanc, fresh-squeezed lemon juice and absinthe.
Have a drink in mind you think we should try? Comment below or email us at [email protected] We answer everything.