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Cheers To The 2018 Rochester Cocktail Revival

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 2:00 PM by Elise Miklich

Get ready to imbibe at year five of the Rochester Cocktail Revival (RCR), May 1-6, 2018, because as we shovel, skate or crawl out of this winter, we all deserve a drink. While some of us were hibernating, bartenders, managers, and restaurateurs in the local cocktail scene have been hard at work preparing for this year’s weeklong event, perfecting their craft and thriving off the industry's undeniable camaraderie.

This year, 23 total bars - new additions and old faithfuls alike - will pull together to dine and dazzle our great city, sliding their best drinks forward and putting hospitality into high gear. While it truly is the most wonderful time of the year for those whose drink preference is “often,” we locals know passions pours behind the pine in Rochester all year ‘round.

So far, from 2014-17, 7,500 industry professionals and spirit enthusiasts alike have experienced the best cocktail events upstate New York has to offer- with this year’s schedule queued up to be the best yet. It’s the only weeklong festival of its kind, so grab a friend and choose from over 50 events at 27 different venues, including intimate dinner pairings, lively DJ sets, and, of course, the glitz and glamour of the 2018 RCR Gala, which is “Ocean’s 11” themed and takes place in seven different spaces at the ARTISANworks warehouse this year.

If the promise of spectacular spirits alone doesn’t melt your post-winter blues, rest easy knowing a portion of the proceeds go to Gilda’s Club of Rochester, an affiliate of the Cancer Support Community that offers free support to men, women, teens, and children affected by cancer.

You’ll drink to that.

Highlights of the 2018 Rochester Cocktail Revival Include:

  • "La Storia de Singani," a screening of Steven Soderbergh’s documentary about the making of his spirit brand Singani63. A short talkback with Soderbergh will follow the film | Tuesday, May 1

  • Drinking in Color,” a party at George Eastman Museum featuring colorful cocktails and an interactive experience with the “Dreaming in Color: The Davide Turconi Collection of Early Cinema” exhibition | Wednesday, May 2

  • The 2018 RCR Gala, held at ARTISANworks this year, is inspired by the 1960 “Ocean’s 11” film. The annual event will feature casino games, music, virtual reality, and several themed drink stations  | Thursday, May 3

  • The Spirit Tasting Spectacular at The Metropolitan, where attendees can taste through dozens of brands of spirits, including New York State Distillers, and mingle with cocktail writers Don Cazentre (“Spirits & Cocktails of Upstate New York: A History") and Jason Wilson ("Godforsaken Grapes") | Saturday, May 5

  • The Bar Room Battle Royale, the much-anticipated festival finale where local bartenders go head-to-head to earn mixologist supremacy | Sunday, May 6

  • Educational seminars with topics ranging from women in bartending history with SpeedRack co-founder Lynnette Marrero to a hands-on mint julep seminar with cocktail author and historian David Wondrich | Various dates


Author: Elise Miklich

Elise Miklich is a digital marketing professional at Nazareth College and one half of the Rochester Cocktail Revival Social Media Team. A Rochester transplant who now calls the city her forever home, Elise enjoys discovering new coffee shops, fitness classes, and making an effort to write every day.