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Southern hospitality meets some mighty fine sips in charming Charleston, South Carolina. Whether you’re thirsty for a cooling cold-brew, cocktail or beer, Chucktown’s innovative drinksmiths are at your ready. Here are five of the city’s most delicious sips.
Echo Echo at The Ordinary
Booze and bivalves are the calling card of The Ordinary. Try multitiered shellfish towers, lobster ceviche, shrimp hushpuppies—the maritime menu goes on. And to wash down all the coastal cuisine? We’d never say no to a glass of Muscadet, but the Echo Echo cocktail serves as seafood’s siren call—a mix of gin, velvet falernum, green Chartreuse and fresh grapefruit.
544 King St., Charleston, SC; eattheordinary.com
Ligurian Sea at McCrady’s
One of the most storied restaurants in Charleston, McCrady’s was built in 1788 and counts George Washington among its original dinner guests. And spot on the National Register of Historic Places and James Beard Award-winning chef aside, the cocktail bar is worth a visit itself. Snag a seat at the long stately bar and watch as drinks manager Ryan Casey stirs up house originals and classics. Just be sure you order his Ligurian Sea—combining Cynar, gin and sweet vermouth, and topped with louched absinthe, it drinks like an cloud-capped Negroni.
2 Unit Alley, Charleston, SC; mccradysrestaurant.com
Bartender’s Choice at The Belmont (pictured)
Want an expertly executed cocktail? Go where the bartenders go. One of Charleston’s hidden cocktail gems, this tin-ceilinged, 40-seat bar is where the city’s service industry folk head for cocktails. Put your tastes in the hands of the able barkeep and be rewarded with a drink mixed with any number of spirits not seen elsewhere in town.
511 King St., Charleston, SC; thebelmontcharleston.com
Peanut Butter & Jelly Beer at Edmund’s Oast
The yin and yang of sandwich spreads hit the pint glass at Edmund’s Oast—a restaurant and beer bar where more than three dozen taps pour an eclectic mix of international and house-developed brews. Order a pint of the Peanut Butter & Jelly—a copper-colored house concoction that combines notes of roasted nuts and malts up front with a subtle splash of fresh grape juice on the finish.
1081 Morrison Dr., Charleston, SC; edmundsoast.com
Draft Cold-Brew at Black Tap Coffee
Come summertime, Charleston is a city that could drink its weight in iced coffee. And ready to slake the thirsts of caffeine-weary locals and travelers alike, downtown Charleston’s Black Tap serves its kegged cold-brew via a retrofitted cask beer draft line. In the mood for something else? Black Tap’s baristas are known for all sorts of coffee-fueled creations—try the delicately floral lavender latte or the honey-sweetened Black Julep shaken with espresso, fresh mint and ice.
70 Beaufain St., Charleston, SC; blacktapcoffee.com