CITY SIPS 2021 – Toledo City Paper

As Kool and the Gang observed…celebrate, good times, come on! Yep, as the light at the end of the COVID tunnel gets brighter and brighter, plenty of Toledo area residents will be looking for a chance to toast to happier days ahead and enjoy a few delicious cocktails from some of Toledo’s best bars. We gathered Northwest Ohio’s greatest drink slingers and asked them about their drinks of choice!

Cocina de Carlos

Carlos Mendez, Owner
27072 Carronade Drive, Suite F Perrysburg OH
419-872-0200
Tuesday through Sunday, 11am-9pm, Closed Monday
cocinadecarlos.com

Are you optimistic about your business this summer? Yes, very high expectations.

What’s your go-to cocktail to make at home? Smokey pineapple Margarita.

What’s your favorite uncommon liquor or spirit to use in a cocktail? Mezcal (Smoky Maguey distillate).

Are there any new cocktail trends that readers should keep an eye out for? Yes, the cocktail industry is always changing, right now a very strong trend is the creation of multiple “local” distilleries, with a great variety of high quality spirits.

What makes your cocktails and drink selection unique? We focus on our Latino and Mexican roots, and also, we support local distilleries and micro breweries. For this reason our menu is full of Tequila-base drinks (12-16 Margaritas), and we also offer a long list of local crafted beers.

What’s your favorite summer drink recipe? Cantarito (In the USA it’s best known as Paloma).

Do you have any happy hour specials and/or featured summer cocktails? We have daily specials, available all day. We also have a rotation of margaritas depending on the season of the year. Also, in support of our great relation with “Toledo Spirits,” we offer cocktails inspired by their spirits.

What are five absolutely necessary items for the home bartender? My bar is simple: tequila, limes, Squirt (Grapefruit Soda), oranges and salt.

I walk into your place and say “surprise me!” What do you serve me? Blue Caribbean Coconut Margarita.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know? We offer over 120 agave distillates, from the classic Tequila (Silver-Extra Aged), to Mezcals and Sotols. We have Taco Tuesday and Tequila, every Tuesday we have all Tequilas half price.

Cantarito or Paloma

In a tall glass
1. Start with a pinch of sea salt in the bottom
2. Add Ice (Half Glass)
3. 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
4. 1-2 oz fresh orange juice
5. 1 oz fresh grape juice
6. 2 oz of silver tequila (100% agave, I like suavecito)
7. Fill with squirt or grapefruit garrets

Stir and Enjoy

Urban Pine Winery

Jennifer McAlear, Owner and Winemaker
3415 Briarfield Blvd, Maumee, OH 43537
419-773-4088
Closed Mondays, Noon-9pm Tuesday-Thursday, Noon-10pm Friday and Saturday, 11am-3pm Sundays.
UrbanPineWinery.com

 

Are you optimistic about your business this summer?
We are excited to open our doors this spring and serve Toledo this summer.  We will have a new fresh menu that pairs with all of our wines handcrafted onsite.  Our most exciting wine for the summer are our sangrias.  We hope people will come enjoy a glass or two of sangria on our large patio this summer!

What’s your go-to cocktail to make at home?
I have sangria on tap at home and it is delicious.

Are there any new cocktail trends that readers should keep an eye out for?
At Urban Pine Winery we will be introducing wine cocktails so come and check us out!

What makes your cocktails and drink selection unique?
All of our wines are made onsite from the finest grapes from all over the world.

Do you have any featured summer cocktails?
Our sangrias and our new wine cocktails.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
We will also have a large private party space where you can have any kind of a gathering or celebration.  You can also design your own custom label and have it on any of our wine bottles for a gift or any type of gathering.  We will also have small plates available on our menu that will pair well with all of our wines.  Come try our food and wine experience.

Kamey Richards, bartender, Bar 145

Bar 145

Brandon Saba, Owner
5305 Monroe Street
419-266-0478
Kitchen: 4-10pm, Monday-Thursday; 11:30am-10pm, Friday-Sunday. Bar: 4pm-midnight; Sunday-Thursday; 11:30am-1am; Friday & Saturday.
bar-145.com

Are you optimistic about your business this summer? 100%. Everyday is a step forward.

What’s your go-to cocktail to make at home?
The classic Manhattan. You can’t beat a classic bourbon cocktail. It’s the cornerstone of American spirits.

What’s your favorite uncommon liquor or spirit to use in a cocktail?
Elderflower is always a great addition.

Are there any new cocktail trends that readers should keep an eye out for?
I hope it’s anything besides seltzers regardless of cocktails or liquors.

What makes your cocktails and drink selection unique?
They’re all created by the staff & the team members here in house.

What’s your favorite summer drink recipe?
Jalapeño Cucumber refresher! Come by 145 to try it.

Do you have any happy hour specials and/or featured summer cocktails?
We have an entire happy hour/cocktail menu inspired by the summer!

What are five absolutely necessary items for the home bartender?
A good bourbon, bitters, fresh lime, orange, lemon, soda water, a good ice cube (ball or square cube mold) olive juice.

I walk into your place and say “surprise me!” What do you serve me?
That’s a good one! We have so many well rounded bartenders & everyone has their own specialty!

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
All we want to do is provide every individual with the equal amount of love through food, drink, experience & service every time!

Rosie’s Italian Grille

Matthew Fredericks, Bar Manager
606 N McCord Rd.
419-866-5007
11:30am-9pm, Sunday-Thursday. 11:30am-10pm, Friday & Saturday.
rosiesitaliangrille.com

Are you optimistic about your business this summer?
We are all very optimistic about business this summer. Everyone has been stuck inside a lot this past year and now with the vaccinations taking place it seems like there will be a lot of pent-up demand for socializing and seeing people. We expect to be busy at Rosie’s within our restaurant, the bar, and both of our outdoor patios this year.

What’s your go-to cocktail to make at home?
I love dark rum so I would make myself a Dark N’ Stormy. Dark rum and ginger beer served over ice. If I am feeling fancy I would add lime juice and maybe simple syrup. It’s basically akin to a Moscow Mule but with dark rum.

What’s your favorite uncommon liquor or spirit to use in a cocktail?
I love to use Fernet. It is an Italian aromatic spirit that is fierce but also bitter and made from several different types of herbs and spices. It was originally used for medicinal purposes but it has a great balance of sweetness and bitterness that can really pack a punch.

What makes your cocktails and drink selection unique?
Our cocktail menu at Rosie’s incorporates a lot of prohibition-style cocktails like the Negroni made with Beefeaters gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth.

What’s your favorite summer drink recipe?
My favorite summer drink recipe would have to be a Pear Tom Collins. Gin cocktails are such a perfect summer drink. I make my Pear Tom Collins with Hendricks gin, lemon juice, pear juice, soda water, and garnish it with a sliced pear and luxardo cherry.

Do you have any happy hour specials and/or featured summer cocktails?
For the Summer our guests seem to really enjoy our Sangria. We offer Ginger Peach, Raspberry Rose, and Red Sangria. They are a perfect match for our Italian food and beautiful patios. We also do offer happy hour specials every day at our bar from 3 to 6 pm with $7 drinks and $1 off our domestic and draft beers and well drinks.

I walk into your place and say “surprise me!” What do you serve me?
I would probably serve you one of my favorite gin cocktails, the Lavender Bee’s Knees. It is a classic gin cocktail perfect for summer with its light and herbal with the perfect about of citrus.

Black Pearl

Brad Holler, General Manager
4630 Heatherdowns
419-380-1616
4-9pm, Wednesday and Thursday. 3:30-9:30pm, Friday and Saturday. Noon-9pm, Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday (will open for parties).
blackpearltoledo.com

 

What’s your go-to cocktail to make at home?
Tito’s and Cranberry. Just add Tito’s Handmade Vodka and cranberry juice to a glass over ice. Simple and delicious.

Are there any new cocktail trends that readers should keep an eye out for?
Wood-flavored bourbons.

Do you have any happy hour specials?
We offer happy hour Wednesday through Sunday at Tar Top and Patio until 6:30.

What makes your cocktails and drink selection unique?
Our cocktails are affordable but with a generous pour. You get your money’s worth at the Pearl.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
Thank you to all our customers, we really appreciate all your support. Our Drink of the Month is a Cleveland Thumper— we made it up watching the Browns in the playoffs.

Hamburger Mary’s

Bailey West, bar manager
26 Main St.
419-205-9393
4-9pm, Tuesday-Thursday; Noon-11pm, Friday and Saturday; Noon-9pm, Sunday. Closed Mondays
hamburgermarys.com/toledo

Are you optimistic about your business this summer?Absolutely! Between the amazing shows featuring some of the best queens in Toledo, amazing guest performers and one of the best patio views of the city— we are positive that this summer will be a good one.

What’s your go-to cocktail to make at home?
Has to be a classic Old Fashioned!

What’s your favorite uncommon liquor or spirit to use in a cocktail?
Here at Hamburger Mary’s, we infuse some of our own vodkas in order to create our special-tease cocktails! I love the process of infusing the vodkas along with coming up with new unique creations based around them.

What makes your cocktails and drink selection unique?
Here in Mary’s house we like to make sure that our cocktails reflect our environment— festive, unique and diverse. Each cocktail is crafted keeping in mind that the customer is here to pair it with having a great time!

I walk into your place and say “surprise me!” What do you serve me?
The Pretty in Pink, of course! This house-infused raspberry vodka-based drink is paired with a raspberry liquor and lemonade for a sweet cocktail that is regularly enjoyed by customers.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know? 
Eat, Drink and be Mary!

Sidelines Sports Eatery 

Annette Fleck, Regional Manager
5601 Telegraph
419-724-0097
11am-11pm, Monday-Thursday; 11am-Midnight, Friday-Saturday; noon-11pm, Sunday
sidelinessportseatery.com

Are you optimistic about your business this summer?
Yes we’re very optimistic about business this summer.  We believe people are excited to get out this summer and enjoy good times outdoors and on local patios. We’ve remodeled our patios to maximize the dining experience at our locations. 

What’s your go-to cocktail to make at home? 
When I am at home I like something simple so my go to cocktail is Captain Morgan and Ginger Ale. That being said I love a good margarita made with 1800 Silver and fresh strawberries. I like to blend that up in my ninja on warm summer days while we’re grilling out!

What’s your favorite summer drink recipe?
My favorite summer drink is a peach margarita.  I love our Peach Blossom at Sidelines which is our twist on the peach margarita.  We add a little pineapple, peach schnapps and Ketel One for a unique flavor.

I walk into your place and say “surprise me!” What do you serve me?
When a customer walks in and wants us to surprise them you can’t go wrong with the Sidelines Slammer. A sweet drink that never disappoints.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
We love being a hometown favorite and are excited for new people to come check us out!!

Vida Cantina

Cassi Ysassi, bar manager
4477 Monroe St.
567-315-8979
3pm-2am, daily
facebook.com/tacosarelife419

Are you optimistic about your business this summer?
Absolutely! With our killer patio we’re ready for our best summer yet. I think people are eager to get out and back to somewhat normalcy. 

What makes your cocktails and drink selection unique?
We hand muddle all of our signature cocktails. We have over 40 different tequilas, a wide variety of tequila seltzer’s and Mexican beer. 

What’s your favorite summer drink recipe?
I like a Lime Chelada. It’s a fresh and tart spiked Mexican beer cocktail. Fresh lime juice, Mexican beer poured over ice with a tajin rim. 

Do you have any happy hour specials and/or featured summer cocktails?
Yes! Everyday from 3pm-6pm we have 1/2 off apps, $5.00 Vida Margaritas, and $1.00 off all drinks. We just created a new menu with refreshing summer cocktails, perfect to sip on Toledo’s hottest patio!

I walk into your place and say “surprise me!“ What do you serve me?
I’d give you our Pink Señorita, it’s one of our new signature drinks. It’s made with Avion silver tequila, triple sec, fresh squeezed lime juice, and pink lemonade. Shakin up to perfection!

Mancy’s Bluewater Grille

Alexia Franco, bartender
461 W. Dussel Dr.
419-724-2583
11:30am-9:30pm, Tuesday-Thursday; 11:30am-10pm, Friday; 4-10pm, Saturday
mancys.com

Are you optimistic about business this summer?
I am optimistic about my business always! I enjoy making cocktails that my guests like so they come back for more.

What’s your go-to cocktail to make at home?
My pomegranate martini! And of course tequila shots!

What makes your cocktails and drink selection unique?
I think what makes our cocktails unique is that we are a hand-crafted bar. We make everything in house— syrups, juices— and it’s all in the SHAKE!

What’s your favorite summer drink recipe?
Raspberry lemon drop would be my favorite summer drink, or if you enjoy bourbon, I would say Bourbon Smash, which consists of bourbon, mint, fresh lemon juice and simple syrup.

I walk into your place and say “surprise me!” What do you serve me?
If a guest were to ask me to surprise them, I would first ask what kind of liquor they prefer and go from there. One of my favorite cocktails to make is an Old Fashioned, along with any martini.

Hannon’s Block Restaurant

Michael Stancati, owner
(pictured: Carl Mazzurco, bartender)
619 Monroe St.
419-407-5146
11am-10pm, Wednesday through Thursday; 11am-11pm, Friday and Saturday; 11am-9pm, Sunday
Hannonsblockrestaurant.com

Are you optimistic about your business this summer?
We are so excited for this summer in downtown Toledo and optimistic that all of the big events will bring more people downtown!

What’s your favorite uncommon liquor or spirit to use in a cocktail?
Black Kite Liqueur from Toledo Spirits

What makes your cocktails and drink selection unique?
We use all fresh squeezed citrus and craft spirits to create balanced and delicious cocktails!

Do you have any happy hour specials and/or featured summer cocktails?
We will be featuring a list of light, crisp and refreshing cocktails

I walk into your place and say “surprise me!” What do you serve me?
We have a great list of off menu cocktails. The favorite at the moment is our Lambrusco cocktail featuring Toledo Spirits East Side Gin, fresh lemon juice and egg white. Shaken and topped with a blackberry forward sparkling Lambrusco.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
Hannon’s Block strives to deliver a quality cocktail experience and is committed to using all natural ingredients and house infused simple syrups.

Plat8

Nathan Trumbull, bartender
4330 Central Ave.
419-214-0370
11:30am-2:30pm & 4-9:30pm, Tuesday – Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday
plat8toledo.com

Are you optimistic about your business this summer?
Yes, I am very excited about the coming summer. With the new drink menus wine list and our new food menu we hope it will excite people to get out on the patio for some fun summer cocktails. I’m sure everyone is tired of sitting at home and are going to want some place to go; I know I did.

What’s your go-to cocktail to make at home?
It all depends on the season. At the moment the Last Word cocktail is one of my favorite drinks; but I’m sure as summer hits I will be drinking tiki cocktails.

What’s your favorite uncommon liquor or spirit to use in a cocktail?
Green Chartreuse, it’s a fun herbal liquor with a great story.

Are there any new cocktail trends that readers should keep an eye out for?
Cocktails are finally coming out of the dark ages. Cocktails were in their prime before prohibition; then the soda gun was invented and it was another step back. We are getting back to using fresh fruit and house made syrups.

What makes your cocktails and drink selection unique?
Every cocktail we make is made with fresh juice and house made syrup.

Do you have any happy hour specials and/or featured summer cocktails?
We have 10 dollar classic cocktails all the time. It’s our way of getting people to try traditional cocktails made the right way.

What are five absolutely necessary items for the home bartender?
1. Ice. 2. Shaker. 3. Bar spoon. 4. Strainer. 5. Jigger. Every bartender has their own preferences on what all of these things should be and the best way to use them. If you really want to know all about it, stop in some time and ask us, we will be glad to share.

I walk into your place and say “surprise me!” What do you serve me?
Part of a bartenders job is to figure out what you would be looking for; I can make you something I like, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will. My job is to find out what you like and then come up with a drink from there. Could be pulling out a classic or creating something new. You will have to come in and find out.

Mancy’s Steakhouse

Deborah Walker, Bar Manager
953 Phillips Ave.
419-476-4154
11am-2pm & 4:30-9pm, Monday through Friday; 4-9pm, Saturday
mancys.com

Are you optimistic about your business this summer?
Yes, because we are excited everyday to see Mancy regulars and new faces

What’s your go-to cocktail to make at home?
The Lemon Drop Martini

What’s your favorite uncommon liquor or spirit to use in a cocktail?
Cointreau, it’s my favorite secret ingredient!

What makes your cocktails and drink selection unique?
Consistency, I’ve tended bar here at Mancy’s for 23 years!

What are five absolutely necessary items for the home bartender?
Martini shaker, muddler, fresh fruit, cointreau and aspirin!

Six Fifths Distilling

Rachel Ryan & Corda Ryan, Bar Manager & Bartender
120 W South Boundary St., Perrysburg
567-336-6057
Noon-9pm, Tuesday through Thursday; Noon-11pm, Friday and Saturday
sixfifthsdistilling.com

Are you optimistic about your business this summer?
Yes! We’re absolutely optimistic about this summer! We have a lot of fun summer drinks and shows lined up to make a great summer here.

What’s your go-to cocktail to make at home?
Rachel’s favorite cocktail at home is a Pickle Juice Martini with a Tajin Rim. Corda’s favorite is a Dirty Martini with blue cheese olives.

What’s your favorite uncommon liquor or spirit to use in a cocktail?
We both love using Absinthe in drinks. We use it as a bitter to give that special twist that helps the cocktail really stand out. 

What makes your cocktails and drink selection unique?
Our selection is unique because we create every recipe ourselves. Even our classic cocktails are served with a unique twist. We make all our own syrups, use seasonal fresh fruit, freshly squeezed juices and fresh herbs. Every cocktail is built and made to order with the freshest of ingredients.

Do you have any happy hour specials and/or featured summer cocktails?
Our favorite happy hour special is our 6/5 House Seltzer. We create a new flavor every weekend that showcases a seasonal flavor, by using fresh fruit and juices, of course! Our special cocktail menu changes every weekend and always features seasonal craft cocktails

What are five absolutely necessary items for the home bartender?
A muddle Stick (for fresh fruit and herbs), a citrus juicer, a nice selection of flavored bitters, 6/5 Vodka and your favorite person to enjoy with.

Basil Pizza and Wine Bar

Emily Gunn, Bartender/Assistant Manager
3145 Hollister Lane Perrysburg
419-873-6218
11am-9pm, Monday through Thursday; 11am-10pm, Friday and Saturday; 10am-9pm, Sunday
basilpizzaandwinebar.com

Are you optimistic about your business this summer?
I am so excited for the new accomplishments and the growth we will be able to achieve this summer. As the confidence of the community grows, I think we will have continuous opportunities to wow our guests. 

What’s your favorite uncommon liquor or spirit to use in a cocktail? 
Fernet Branca/Averna (herbal liqueurs). I’m also a sucker for bitters. Give me a new flavor of bitters and I will undoubtedly come up with a quirky and fun cocktail.

What makes your cocktails and drink selection unique?
I love that we use local spirits and fresh juices/syrups at Basil. We make almost everything by hand and I think you can taste that when you sip at the Basil bar. Not to mention our extensive wine list!

What’s your favorite summer drink recipe? 
Paloma! Tequila, grapefruit soda & fresh lime juice. Bonus points for a salted rim!

What are five absolutely necessary items for the home bartender?
Jigger, Hawthorne strainer, bar spoon, muddler, shaker tin.

I walk into your place and say “surprise me!” What do you serve me? 
Definitely making my take on a Paper Plane. Bourbon of choice, Averna, Aperol, sugar, lemon juice and a splash of soda. Stirred and served with an orange peel if you feel so inclined.

Barr’s Public House

Kayci Abayari, Pub Manager
3355 Briarfield Blvd., Maumee
419-866-8466
3-10pm, Tuesday; Weds-Friday 11:30am-11pm, Wednesday through Friday; 3-11pm, Saturday
barrspublichouse.com

Are you optimistic about your business this summer?
I am very optimistic! We have the best guests in town and some exciting events coming up like our Margarita Week and the Launch of Heavy Brewing— Breakfast For Dinner. Every day is starting to feel more and more like the good old times.

What’s your favorite uncommon liquor or spirit to use in a cocktail?
Suze, Cynar, or Sfumato Rabarbaro

What makes your cocktails and drink selection unique?
All of our cocktail menus are employee created. We collaborate to keep everything evolving and fresh. I love creating N/A cocktails for people that are looking for a great drink without the booze. 

I walk into your place and say “surprise me!” What do you serve me?
If you’re looking for a cocktail, for sure something amaro based. 

Do you have any happy hour specials and/or featured summer cocktails?
We have a great happy hour Monday-Saturday 3-6 PM. It has something for everyone, $5 select glasses of wine and beer, discounted specialty cocktails, whiskey singles, appetizers, tacos, and Kobe beef sliders.

Benchmark Restaurant

Luis Haro, Lead Bartender
6100 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg
419-873-6590
4-10pm, daily
Benchmark-Restaurant.com

What did the pandemic teach you about your industry?
The pandemic showed us how much love there is for this industry and its people. Our local community came out in full force to rally around local businesses and were so generous supporting individuals. For us industry workers, it allowed us to remember what we love about working in restaurants— taking care of people and building connections.

What’s your go-to cocktail at home?
Benchmark’s “Old Timer,” a riff on old fashion using Chocolate Aztec bitters, Carpano Antica Formula, and a big ice cube.  

What’s your favorite uncommon liquor or spirit to use in a cocktail?
I love the botanicals that Fernet Branca brings to a cocktail, a long drink, or simply served neat. 

Are there any up-and-coming cocktail trends that readers should keep an eye out for?
Tiki Drinks. 

What are five absolutely necessary items for the home bartender?
Being a good home bartender is easy, but you do need the basic tools to do it right- a shaker, GOOD knife, jigger, muddler, and strainer.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
Yes, thank you for supporting your local businesses, especially during these unbelievably hard times. We hope to see you soon at Benchmark!

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