Roger Kirby

The world has reached the point where, after a tough day at work, you can’t pull up a barstool and unwind with an expertly made Negroni cocktail without feeling like it’s an act that puts your friends and family in danger.

Not since the coronavirus pandemic, “when the world changed,” Chuck Cerankosky says.

“But we’re all still here. The bars are still here, we’re struggling to survive. We’re trying to navigate through this forest of precautions and guidelines and morality.”


A couple of weeks ago, the actor Stanley Tucci went viral. He simply posted a brief video in which he demonstrates how he makes a Negroni cocktail. A double shot of gin, a shot of sweet vermouth, a shot of Campari. Shaken with ice, garnished with an orange, which he first squeezes into the glass as he advises, “Don’t let anyone see you handle it like that.”

Simple, yet elegant. Others may quibble. The late Anthony Bourdain suggested a 1:1:1 ratio on the booze, don’t bother shaking, and just drop in an orange wedge. It’s a big world; to each his own.


Muddle together two lemon wedges, a few shards of mint and a half-ounce of simple syrup. Add crushed ice, followed by two ounces of Flower City gin. Mix. Top off the glass with more crushed ice and a mint garnish.

And please tip your bartender.

That’s Stephanie Rebensky’s Southside Old Fashion. The recipe is posted on smokeoutcovid19.com, a website where bartenders and related industry people can show off their work even as the coronavirus pandemic dries up their workplaces.

The Rochester Cocktail Revival is back. This year’s event includes seminars about drinks journalism and on how hospitality professionals create narratives and stories about beverage culture.

We preview those events, and our guests discuss what’s new, trending, and hot in the local and national cocktail scene. Our guests:

Research shows that when they go out for a drink, Americans – especially millennials – are more likely to order wine or cocktails over beer. Why? Many consumers say wine and spirits taste better, cost less, and are healthier.

The news has the beer industry taking on new strategies to grow and maintain its customer base. Will those strategies work? This hour, we discuss if the decline in beer consumption is a trend, if beer has a marketing problem, and what the future of the alcoholic beverage industry looks like. Our guests:

The Rochester Cocktail Revival is getting ready for another big week. This year, there's a special emphasis on women in the industry: diversity in the workforce, the industry's culture, and the way women are treated behind the bar.

Our panelists discuss these issues, along with the current trends in the cocktail world. Our guests:

  • Chuck Cerankosky, founder of the Rochester Cocktail Revival, co-owner and beverage director of Good Luck and Cure, and co-founder of Boomtown Table
  • Evvy Fanning, owner of Cheshire
  • Cat Archer, bartender at Radio Social and coordinator for the Eastman "Drinking in Color" event
  • Jason Wilson, author of Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rate, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits

It's been a long week; anyone need a drink?

We preview the upcoming Rochester Cocktail Revival, which has grown into a full-fledged regional attraction since its inception. We also put the art into the concept of cocktail making by previewing the "Art of the Mix" at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center. Our guests:

  • Cameron Phelps, owner of The Daily Refresher
  • Bleu Cease, executive director/curator of the Rochester Contemporary Art Center
  • Chuck Cerankosky, founder of the Rochester Cocktail Revival, co-owner and beverage director of Good Luck and Cure, and co-founder of Boomtown Table
  • Abby Quatro, bar manager at Branca

A new list of seven up-and-coming American cocktail cities is out and Rochester... isn't on it. But maybe we should be. The 2016 Rochester Cocktail Revival is on the way, and our city marks the only such celebration in New York State this year. We talk about the craft, the trends, the economics, and what to expect at the 2016 event with our guests:

The Rochester Cocktail Revival is back, and we're getting an education on the growing world of mixed drinks. From high-end craft cocktail creation, to cocktails in literature, the revival tries to cover all angles. Guests:

  • Chuck Cerankosky, event organizer, 585 Contributor, and Partner in Good Luck and Cure
  • Jeff Ching, owner of Owl House & soon to open bar/arcade/burger joint -The Playhouse
  • Aimee Rock, lead bartender of the Owl House
  • Jason Barrett, president & head distiller, Black Button Distilling
  • Noah Rothbaum, author and former editor-in-chief of Liquor.com