The Cocktail Bandits share their favorite sips 

Talking Shop (and pop-tails)

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Jonathan Boncek

Even though the temperature may be dropping from summer, the heat from our Charleston restaurant/bar scene is here to stay. There have been some pretty amazing places that have recently opened up in the city and now that the tourists are gone (for only a moment) one can enjoy a meal or beverage a little more comfortably. We have had the pleasure of sampling some of the new cocktails, so, before we get too deep into fall, here are five drinks you should sample from the new kids on the block.

click to enlarge JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek

Avion de Acronacias
The Best Friend Bar at the Mills House Hotel
millshouse.com

This cute little bar is located in the Mills House and re-opened two months ago after a much needed remodel. Bar manager and cocktail curator Roger Gelis created this smoky cocktail. Made with mezcal, aperol, averna, lemon, and garnished with sal de chapulin a.k.a. "grasshopper salt," it's one of the most unique drinks you'll find right now. The grasshopper salt, a favorite in Mexican states, is made from, well, powdered grasshoppers, and complements the smokiness of the mezcal perfectly. The cocktail is delicious, very creative, and something a little different from the norm.

Vertical Railroad
Le Farfalle
lefarfallecharleston.com

Le Farfalle opened in July and has taken the town by storm with Chef Michael Toscano's amazing food. The cocktails are just as good. When we stopped by, bartender Bruce Shultz made this perfectly balanced tequila/mezcal drink with pineapple orgeat and lime. Try it with Le Farfalle's single meatball for a happy hour treat.

click to enlarge The Vertical Railroad at La Farfalle features pineapple orgeat - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • The Vertical Railroad at La Farfalle features pineapple orgeat

Portuguese Negroni
Sermet's Southernterranean Cuisine-Bar

Sermet's Southernterranean Cuisine-Bar, on James Island, opened at the beginning of August and their bar manager, Roderick Groetzinger came up with this terrific late summer/early fall nightcap that is actually a twist on an old classic. The Portuguese Negroni is made with local Hat Trick gin from Highwire Distilling Co., campari, madeira, and fig water. That's right, we said fig water. It's the best Negroni we've ever had.

click to enlarge JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek

Green Gimlet
Feathertop
feathertop.scarecrowandco.com

Feathertop opened this summer and brought amazing cocktails with them. The Green Gimlet was one of our favorite cocktails of the summer, but we think it could easily become an autumn staple as well. It's made with gin, genepy, cucumber, lime, matcha, and thyme. Even better, the Green Gimlet is definitely as good as it looks. This cocktail is perfect for a chilly evening as well thanks to the matcha that creates a frothy, velvet consistency while thyme and gin produce earthy aromas reminding us of fall.

Molly Mac
Crooked Crown
21 Spring St.

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Crooked Crown may appear to be all about King of Pops' fabulous popsicles, but bar manager Caroline Woodruff makes some amazing drinks. The Molly Mac is a vodka based cocktail, made with rose pecan simple syrup, watermelon, and topped with champagne. For those few remaining hot days, this is the perfect beverage to bid farewell to the summer. This is a regular cocktail from their bar; but Crooked Crown serves pop-tails, (Popsicle Cocktails) so they occasionally create it in pop-tail version as well. Either way, it's pretty awesome.

click to enlarge Caroline Woodruff whips up one of Crooked Crown's Molly Macs - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • Caroline Woodruff whips up one of Crooked Crown's Molly Macs

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