When it comes to food and beverage, Charleston has plenty to talk about. With world-class restaurants serving some of the best food there is, it’s no surprise that Charleston yields some world-class cocktails as well. Take a look at these five signature Charleston cocktails:
Likely the most refreshing drink on this list, this gin cocktail combines fresh tarragon, Ruby Red grapefruit juice, St. Germain, simple syrup, club soda and, of course, gin. Originally inspired by Cannonborough Beverage Company, a Charleston-based soda company, their Grapefruit Elderflower soda can be used to add some extra flavor to this cocktail in place of club soda.
The Charleston Light Dragoon Punch 1792
Sean Brock, Husk’s executive chef, has created the perfect signature Charleston cocktail with this punch that uses tea, raw sugar, lemon juice, brandy, rum, peach brandy and soda water. The recipe was actually adapted from antebellum militia recipe that Brock received from the South Carolina Historical Society, making this drink a true Charleston classic.
Rumored to have been created at Charleston’s own Planter’s Hotel in the nineteenth century, it’s unclear where exactly this recipe came from. While this cocktail isn’t necessarily a Charleston signature, Garden & Gun gives Peninsula Grill in downtown Charleston credits for making one of the best versions of this punch that you can get. With the ingredients of rum, freshly squeezed orange juice, pineapple juice and grenadine, this summer cocktail can help anyone beat the heat.
The Charleston Breakfast Coffee
Athens-based bartender Jerry Slater came up with this cocktail recipe during the Charleston Wine + Food Festival using local whiskey from High Wire Distilling Co. This drink, made to match the mood of the cold and rainy weekend it was created on, is perfect for any day that you’re stuck indoors. All you’ll need is High Wire’s sorghum whiskey, simple syrup, dark roast coffee and heavy cream.
Last, but not least, is an elegant drink worthy of being created in the high-scale food scene of Charleston. This signature cocktail uses bourbon, madeira, Angostura bitters and an orange peel for garnish. The Charleston is similar to a manhattan with its bourbon base, but uses madeira as they did in the early 19th century to give it that classic Charleston feel.