The City Magazine Since 1975

Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar
December 2011
Five Charleston food and beverage veterans are crafting their own one-of-a-kind libations

Sparkling wine innovator Brad Ball owns Social Restaurant +Wine Bar.

La Bubbly

Maker: Brad Ball
Headquarters: Charleston (grapes harvested in Chile)
Inspiration: “20-somethings looking for a sparkling wine that’s approachable and fun”
Wine: Sixty percent chardonnay and 40 percent pinot noir with infusions of white floral notes and hints of ripe pear and apple
Buy a bottle: Whole Foods, Caviar & Bananas, Bottles, Social Restaurant + Wine Bar, and East Bay Wines and Spirits

Jake Johnson and David Szlam have been recently joined by
partner Ben Capa (not pictured).

Virgil Kaine Bourbon

Makers: Jake Johnson & David Szlam
Headquarters: North Charleston
Inspiration: Virgil Kaine, an 1860s Danville, Virginia, train conductor, whose name, say the makers, “became synonymous with delivering goods of the utmost importance to Confederate troops during the Civil War.” His most precious cargo? “Homemade bourbon.”
Spirit: Kentucky bourbon infused with ginger
Buy a bottle: Coming soon to Total Wine and Spirits and Clarey’s, Burris, and Foresberg’s liquor stores

Along with running Jack Rudy Cocktail Co., Brooks Reitz (left, with Matt Burt) manages the bar at FIG.

Jack Rudy’s Cocktail Co. Small Batch Tonic Syrup

Maker: Brooks Reitz & Matt Burt
Headquarters: Charleston
Inspiration: Reitz’s great-grandfather, Jack Rudy, “a pilot, inventor, and engineer who lived a life of unconventional success by constantly being a daredevil.”
Mix: White pepper and orange zest blended with quinine syrup extracted from the bark of the cinchona tree
Buy a bottle: Indigo & Cotton and Heirloom Book Company