This is the second edition of: “My Top 10 Cocktails In Charleston, Right Now.” Last summer I kicked of a quarterly installment on the blog that featured my favorite spots to eat and followed it up a few weeks later with my favorite seasonal cocktails. The series has been a hit, and gotten a lot of great feedback-so here is the holiday edition featuring the cocktails, I’m loving around town right now! For me the autumn/holiday list (because let’s be real, even though its December-its not winter in Charleston right now) needed to feature the flavors of fall, I love my autumn and holiday beverages to have a little spice, smoke or dryer tones. I’m not opposed to sweet and fruity drinks, but I don’t want them in the fall. I think the list I’m sharing really showcases the best of whats around town, right now! Enjoy!!!
(There are some fav spots on the list that have been previously featured in the last installment, they are identified with * by the name of the restaurant/bar).
Charleston Food Writer
#1 *492: Cardamum’s The Word
The cocktail: Vodka, Licor 43, Cardamom Bitters, Yerba Mate, Cream, Black Pepper
What I love about it: I’m not going to pretend to know what half of those ingredients are, but its awesome. For me this is what fall tastes like as a drink! I love the splash of cream and pepper on top, SO GOOD!!!
#2 *Zero George Cafe + Bar: GOLDBUG
The cocktail: Vodka, Ginger, Allspice, Gold Leaf, Cider, Plum Bitters, Remy Martin VSOP
What I love about it: THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COCKTAIL THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN! I love the fall flavors this cocktail showcases but equally love the local collaboration behind the drink. Zero George St. teamed up with Croghan’s Jewel Box to create this beautiful drink, inspired from their Gold Bug jewelry Collection. Fantastic!
#3 Minero: Titan
The cocktail: Bourbon, Cognac, Peach Liqueur, Agave, Citrus, Nutmeg
What I love about it: Bourbon and Nutmeg…yeah, that has my name all over it! Great combo, loved every bit of this bev (and loved the new space, really great)!
#4 *Indaco: Rolex Wearing Straight Rick Flairin’
The cocktail: Jaspers Bourbon, Barrel Aged Gin, Auchentoshan 12 yr, Sibona, Liquor Strega, House Made Juniper Falernum, Jamaican and All Spice Bitters
What I love about it: When I drank it, it made me want to go buy a Christmas wreath and decorate my house for the holidays. The feeling I had, put me in the holiday spirit!
#5 The Belmont Lounge: Antidote (Snake Bite)
The cocktail: Smokey Scotch, Guinness Reduction topped with Dry Cider
What I love about it: If you had to describe what sitting around a campfire sipping something yummy tasted and felt like…this is the drink that describes it perfectly!
#6 Lee Lee’s Hot Kitchen: Lily Vanilli
The cocktail: 4 Roses, Apple, Vanilla, Cinnamon, 5 Spice
What I love about it: Its spicy, its delicious, its unique and I want another one!
#7 *Indaco: Wolfsbane
The cocktail: Gin, Sibona, Luxardo, Fresh Lemon, Egg White, Grapefruit Bitters
What I love about it: I love just about any cocktail with egg white, so good! This drink specifically makes me feel very holidayish (and its hard to put it into words…its just the feeling I get when I order it and it’s always my first drink I get, when I’ve gone in, the last weeks).
#8 The Grocery: Cannonborough Old Fashioned
The cocktail: Rye, Sugar Cane Syrup, Orange Bitters
What I love about it: I’m a rye lover and a good old fashioned just warms me up and hits the spot!
#9 *492: Fireside Chat No.2
The Cocktail: Rye, Banana-infused Rum, Black Walnut Bitters, Orange
What I love about it: AMAZING. I love the walnut tones and orange zestiness with the rye-WOW. Must order item to grab after dinner if you’re on Upper King St. This is a great cocktail to get and go sit outside on the patio by a heat lamp! Perfect time of year for this drink, LOVE IT!!!
#10 The Belmont Lounge: Calvados
The Cocktail: Apple Brandy, Hints of Baking Spices
What I love about it: This is the kind of drink that makes you reminisce about picking apples in the orchard as a child. You remember the colors of the foliage, the smell of the fallen leafs, the crispness of the air. If you didn’t grow up picking apples, then you need to do it next fall (plan a trip up to North Carolina and schedule an apple picking day…its a special experince). This drink took me back to that place and time. Awesome!
(Here are a few fun pics of some of our fav bartenders in action! The art of cocktail making is a beautiful thing. Shout out to 492 and The Belmont Lounge for these bad ass moments).