The City Magazine Since 1975

Charleston’s Top Cocktails

Charleston’s Top Cocktails
March 2012
A toast to the city’s most fashion-forward drinks and their maker

The Contest:

More than 30 local bartenders took the CFW and Ben Arnold Beverage Company challenge to create two drinks—one based on Grey Goose vodka, another on Gentleman Jack whiskey—to complement the five nights of fashion in Marion Square. After an online vote by fans and fashionistas at, five contenders from each category moved on to the main event, a live competition at Club NV. While thirsty partygoers enjoyed sipping the drinks, our panel of judges sampled each, scoring them according to originality, taste, and presentation. Meet our winning mixologists in the Style Lounge, and try the 2012 Top Cocktails for yourself.

2012 Judges:

Brown Forman portfolio manager Orfilio Quintero

Bacardi USA business manager Patrick Martin

Charleston editor-in-chief Darcy Shankland

Food writer Brys Stephens

Taste the Winning Results!

Charleston’s Top Cocktail winners will be pouring their drinks during the Style Lounge pre-parties on:

Wednesday, March 21, 6-7 p.m.
Evan Powell, Gentlemen’s Bet

Thursday, March 22, 6-7 p.m.
Jasmine Beck, The Antipasto Cocktail

<p> <strong>The Antipasto Cocktail:</strong></p> <p> A salad in a sip? This savory, crave-worthy cosmo—made with roasted red pepper-infused Grey Goose vodka—is so delectable, you’ll want to eat it. “We aimed for a complex, salad-inspired cocktail that would take one’s senses outside the norm—just as great fashion does,” says Cocktail Club head spiritist Jasmine Beck.<br />  </p>
<p> <strong>Gentlemen’s Bet:</strong></p> <p> With the goal of updating a classic cocktail with modern style, Fish manager Evan Powell concocted his version of a whiskey sour, the Gentlemen’s Bet, by “accessorizing” the flavor components in the Gentleman Jack. “The Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur accentuates the dark fruit notes, the elderflower nectar the floral,” he explains. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon for balance, and you’ve got a sure bet for a winning drink.</p> <p> <br />  </p>