The City Magazine Since 1975

Charleston’s Top Cocktails

Charleston’s Top Cocktails
March 2014
Toasting the city’s most fashion-forward drinks and their makers

From left: Ben Arnold Beverage Co. Bacardi USA business manager Patrick Martin, Charleston editor-in-chief Darcy Shankland, and Kiawah Island Golf Resort director of food and beverage Vipin Menon

The Contest
Twenty-five local bartenders were invited to take on Ben Arnold Beverage Company’s CFW challenge: create a drink based on either Grey Goose vodka or Herradura tequila to complement the five nights of fashion in Marion Square. After an online vote at last winter, 10 contenders moved on to the main event, a live competition at the tony Cocktail Club on King Street. There, thirsty partygoers sipped Grey Goose and Herradura cocktails, while our panel of judges sampled the competitors’ entries, scoring them according to originality, taste, and presentation. Meet our winning mixologists in the Style Lounge, and try the 2014 Top Cocktails for yourself.

Taste the Winning Results!
Charleston’s Top Cocktail winners will be pouring their drinks during the Style Lounge pre-parties on:
Wednesday, March 19, 6-7:30 p.m.
Jim McCourt serving “Itty Bitty”
Thursday, March 20, 6-7:30 p.m.
Jonathan Calo serving “Cheongsam Cocktail”


<p><strong>Jonathan Calo, Burwell’s</strong><br /> When a group of ladies asked for a unique, light cocktail last summer, Burwell’s bartender Jonathan Calo played off an interesting idea. “I’d been wanting to combine tequila and Scotch to make a distinctly sexy drink,” he explains. The Scotch, he says, brings out a nice smoke flavor in the tequila. So he blended that with calamansi and yuzu juices, which provide acid to help balance the cocktail. As for the name? “A cheongsam is a traditional Chinese form-fitting dress,” notes Calo.