Hot Bartender: Making Drinks in Downtown Rochester


Meet Amanda Prince, born and raised in Rochester, Minnesota. She is the bartender at Salute Wine Bar & More located in the Marriot Hotel downtown on the Peace Plaza at 101 First Avenue SW, Rochester.  Salute is rated four out of five on TripAdvisor and ranked in the top 75 of 275 restaurants in Rochester. 

“I would say that 95 percent of our business at Salute comes from Mayo Clinic patients and employees. We are so convenient for those guests because we are located right downtown,” explains Amanda.

The customers and the visitors make Amanda love her job. “Our guests are from all over the world. I love talking to them and listening to stories about their lives and where they are from,” Amanda says. “Remember what guests drink and their names. They will appreciate that you remembered them, and it’s a great way to get to know people.”


As a bartender, some may say that perhaps their blender, strainer or even a torch might be their favorite tool, but not for Amanda. She goes right back to the good ol’ standby: the wine bottle opener. “I use it every day. Mine has a hinge, which I find easier to use than the openers without one. It makes it so you don’t have to pull as hard to get the cork out of the bottle,” claims Amanda.  The quicker the cork comes out, the faster you get the wine!


Amanda loves creating new and exciting drinks. She gets her inspiration from the popular website that inspires so many: “I browse the drinks on Pinterest. When I find one that looks good, I make it, then tweak it to make it my own.” 

But there is a limit to where she’ll go for herself. Although her first drink choice is a strawberry margarita, she shies away from the hard liquor. “I hate Jägermeister and anything mint,” she says. Amanda didn’t elaborate too much on why Jäger was something she doesn’t care for (we all have those
bad memories!).

What’s one of Amanda’s favorite drinking memories? “Last summer my dad and I went camping for the fourth of July. We made up a drink called the ‘Prince’ (our last name). It consists of vodka, Squirt and orange juice. We went tubing down the river drinking and fishing.”


While I was sitting there enjoying a very nice pumpkin spiced martini Amanda made for me to try, a man next to me ordered the quesadilla. The smell was intoxicating (along with the martini). I would highly recommend checking out Salute’s Italian American food menu as well as their amazing cocktails.  

Salute will be participating in the SocialICE on the Peace Plaza in February. Go check out the two special drinks that Amanda has helped create:  the “Grown Up Root Beer Float” with RumChata and ice cream and the “Drunken Apple Pie” served warm—to keep you warm out there in the cold.

Dawn Sanborn, professional photographer, food lover, wine and spirit lover but agrees with Amanda; Jägermeister is not for her either.