A margarita, on the rocks, with salt. It's such a no-brainer that when ordering the tequila concoction, the words sort of just slip out of one's mouth in a big gobbledy-gook. Some drinks were just made for rim jobs. And others? Well, made for rims or not, Charleston bartenders are whipping up drinks with all kinds of special accoutrements. Here are some of our favorites.
Reversal of Man ($9-$11)
Brad Goocher, Le Farfalle's beverage director, is a fan of half rims on cocktails, so guests can decide how they want to sip and lick. Goocher is always reinventing Le Farfalle's cocktail menu and if you're lucky you can order the Reversal of Man, a warm and spicy mix of jalapeño tequila, pineapple juice, lime juice, and orgeat rimmed with cinnamon dust. Goocher says that cinnamon "gives a perception of sweetness without any added sugar." While this particular rim is just begging to make a mess all over your mouth, the mingling of sweet and spicy feels just right for fall.
Le Farfalle, Downtown, lefarfallecharleston.com[location-1]
OK, so it isn't the fanciest rim job on our list. In fact it's the opposite of anything high-falutin', but the Windjammer's Unicorn Stinger is just plain fun. The frozen double vodka Red Bull with passion fruit, orange, and pineapple screams bachelorette party and honestly, we're OK with that. The rim? Rainbow nerds, of course. Fun fact: this boozy concoction was created by none other than mixologist Hallie Arnold, formerly of The Grocery.
The Windjammer, IOP, the-windjammer.com[location-2]
Like margaritas, Bloody Marys are ripe for rims. While a lot of places in town rim their Bloodys, we do have a favorite: Triangle Char and Bar offers a make-your-own notecard during brunch, where you can select everything from your vodka to your rim job. You can rim things up with a house barbecue rub or cajun rim and garnish with pickles, pickled okra, olives, or New Primal local beef jerky. Finish things off with your fave Bloody Mary mix — we're all about the zing zang — and you're good to go. What can we say, we're suckers for those little mini pencils they give you.
Triangle Char & Bar, West Ashley and Mt. Pleasant, trianglecharandbar.com[location-6]
Maybe it's because we just rewatched Natalie Portman's badass role in V for Vendetta — but Bar Mash's V for Verdita, created by bar manager Teddy Nixon, has us all in a tizzy. Made with casa noble blanco tequila, ancho reyes, lime, mint, and house verdita, this tall glass of, err, not water is rimmed with smoked salt and makes us want to lead a revolution.
Bar Mash, Downtown, mercandmash.com[location-5]
Shoot for the moon with 5Church's specialty rimmed cocktail, appropriately named Amarillo Moon. Made with agave tequila infused in house with jalapeño and passion fruit puree, this refreshing bev is rimmed with locally-produced Bulls Bay Red Mash sea salt and black volcanic salt. Lava, baby.
5Church, Downtown, 5churchcharleston.com[location-4]
The Macintosh's bar manager Megan Deschaine makes the Sister Basil with vodka, yellow charteuse, strawberry, basil, lemon, balsamic, and black pepper. Savory in the vein of a spicy Bloody Mary, this bad boy is rimmed with a balsamic reduction. Throw a piece of mozzarella in there and you've got a hearty appetizer. Deschaine says that rim jobs create dynamic flavor profiles — in the Sister Basil the tangy balsamic reduction balances the sweet strawberry.
The Macintosh, Downtown, themacintoshcharleston.com[location-3]