Nickel City Drink, taking place at locations all over Buffalo October 12 through 16, celebrates our region’s hearty embrace of the craft cocktail movement and the people, places, and drinking culture that inform it.
A massive calendar of events has been tied together to create one large-scale cocktail festival. From classes and pairing dinners to popups and parties, drinkers and home-tenders may struggle to choose from the more than 50 opportunities to revel, imbibe, and learn.
Founded by a group of owners who call themselves the League, the team made up of Buffalo Proper, Lloyd Taco Factory, Marble + Rye, Mes Que, Toutant, and Vera have dedicated a year of planning to the festival. Other city locations are involved as well, including Tipico, Lockhouse Distillery, Hydraulic Hearth, the Dapper Goose, Tommyrotter Distillery, the 20th Century Club, Town Ballroom, Gates Circle Wine & Liquor, and others.
A smattering of events is listed below, but you’ll want to be sure to check NickelCityDrink.com for a full schedule. Nickel City Drink benefits Crisis Services of Erie County.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 14
Heaven Hill and the Dapper Goose
Dapper Goose, 491 Amherst St, 5pm
Experience three courses paired with Bernheim, Elijah Craig, and Rittenhouse whiskies. 5pm at the Dapper Goose. This meal is available to the entire dining room for the evening at only $45 plus tax and gratuity.
Toutant, 437 Ellicott St, 6pm
This four course pairing dinner highlights the different expressions of Scotch whisky, featuring the Macallan Single Malt, Highland Park, and Famous Grouse. 6pm. at Toutant. $60; tickets required.
No Tea, No Shade, No Pink Lemonade
Marble + Rye, 112 Genesee St, 11pm
Life is such a Drag (Night), featuring performances, music, and ladylike specials from Plymouth Gin and Lot 40! 11pm at Marble + Rye. No cover charge.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 15
The Recovery Room
Mès Que, 1420 Hertel Ave, noon
Join Compass Box for some serious medicine, and let the doctors treat you with specialty cocktails and a delicious brunch menu. Noon at Mes Que. No cover charge.
How ’Rita Got Her Groove Back
Lloyd Taco Factory, 1503 Hertel Ave, 12:30pm
Learn the traditional way to make this popular but much-abused summer favorite. 12:30pm at Lloyd Taco Factory. $10; tickets required.
Scotchy Scotch Scotch at Vera
Vera, 220 Lexington Ave, 7pm
A delightful pairing dinner featuring Black Bottle Scotch. 7pm at Vera. $60; tickets required.
Lockhouse Distillery, 41 Columbia St, Buffalo, 8pm
Join Lockhouse Distillery and Chamucos Tequila for a party of literary proportions! Dress as your favorite literary character and enjoy drink specials, giveaways, and a 1900s-era photo station among old books and bookshelves! 8pm at Lockhouse Distillery. No cover charge.
Jägermeister Bitter Barroom Brawl
Buffalo Proper, 333 Franklin St, 10pm
Join the fun as Proper’s expert barkeeps go head-to-head to create the best Jagermeister cocktail of the night. You vote the winner since only one can be the champion! 10pm at Buffalo Proper; no cover charge.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 16
Sunday Shakedown, The Grand Finale
Town Ballroom, 681 Main St, 7pm
Dozens of vendor samplings from our favorite liquor brands, specialty cocktails from Nickel City Drink’s League menu (only $5!), killer food from Buffalo Catering Company, tunes from DJ LoPro and Gravy, and the showstopper, a live competition for Buffalo’s Fastest Bartender! Competitors compete in this timed, head-to-head challenge live on the Town Ballroom stage! 7pm at Town Ballroom. $40; tickets required