Here are five top-notch cocktails to enjoy from the Buffalo area bar scene.
1198 Hertel Ave. (873-4291)
A smooth, velvety after-dinner drink, Lombardo’s Supressor #21 is the perfect blend of earthy, bitter and forest-fruit sweet. The sherry and umami Cynar are decadently rich, while orange bitters perk up the finish.
333 Franklin St. (783-8699)
The Ginger Baker is the margarita lovers’ introduction to craft cocktails, with a little jalapeño spice, some ginger zest and yes, grapes. Lime highlights the rum’s bright side, while the grapes keep the spice in check.
[Read Lizz Schumer's breakdown of Buffalo's cocktail culture here]
The Black Sheep
367 Connecticut St. (884-1100)
A nod to the current hipster cocktail lovers’ obsession with Chartreuse and Fernet Branca, this one blends them to bring out the best in both. Chartreuse’s high-octane herbs balance out Fernet’s licorice tang, and lime juice brightens it all up for a satisfyingly complex sip that’s just different enough to feel like a night out.
[See Sharon Cantillon's photo gallery of local bartenders and craft cocktails]
220 Lexington Ave. (551-6262)
This one tastes like summer, without tickling your tonsils with too much sugar. St. Germain is an herbal sweetness, with a strawberry and blackberry purée that’s your morning smoothie all grown up. Lemon juice is just sour enough for balance and a bonus for the drivers: The alcohol can be adjusted by adding more or less purée.
Bourbon and Butter
391 Washington St. (253-6453)
The 100th Problem will make the drinker forget about the other 99, with a vegetal chill that tastes like the best parts of working in the garden, right down to faint whiffs of smoke from nearby campfires. Cucumber and vanilla recall summer’s bounty, while eucalyptus and absinthe define fresh, with hints of licorice and Halls. Finish it off with charred lemon sour, and the 100th Problem is the solution we’ve all been looking for.