Dwayne Mitchell at the Upper Deck Tavern 353 King St. Downtown. (843) 958-0002
Anybody can pour Jack in a glass and add Coke, but to witness a true mixologist who takes real, well-deserved pride in his or her liquor concoctions, venture down that narrow alley next to Gilroy's on a Friday night. When you climb the stairs, you'll find the Upper Deck Tavern and, if you're lucky, Dwayne Mitchell will be tending bar. This hole-in-the-wall dive is probably the last place one would expect to find a barkeep who knows (or cares about) the difference between sour mix and bitters, but Mitchell is a diamond in the rough. From Hurricanes to Dirty Martinis to Old Fashioneds, his portioning is precise, his garnishes are fresh, and the taste is always right. In this topsy-turvy world where nothing is certain, Mitchell's consistently excellent mixed drinks give us all hope for a brighter tomorrow. Just make sure to find some sunglasses, 'cause you're gonna have a headache.