CHARLESTON, SC - Looking to skip the beer in favor of a more sophisticated adult beverage? Downtown Charleston has plenty of great options for those in search of high quality cocktails made by bartenders who specialize in the liquid spirits.
Whether you prefer your cocktail made with a local liquor like one from Striped Pig Distillery in North Charleston, or something much more rare, these five spots spots have something for everyone:
Proof - 437 King Street
At Proof, you can get a little bit of everything. Grab a seat at the tight-packed bar or at one of the few large communal tables and order from their extensive list of classic cocktails. For the more adventurous, go for the Absinthe served the way it is meant to be, with ice cold water poured over a sugar cube on a spoon. Proof also features a wine list and has about a dozen "Real Good" craft beers on tap.
The Belmont - 511 King Street
This is the bar for true whiskey and bourbon enthusiasts. The cozy, dimly lit bar features pounded tin ceilings and classic black and white movies projected on a far wall. It is obvious the experts behind the bar not only know their lengthy list of bottled booze, but they celebrate them with every delicate pour and stir. Our suggestion: Tell them what you normally drink, and then let them surprise you. You won't be disappointed.
The Rarebit - 474 King Street
With a long, curved bar and plenty of booths and tables, this King Street favorite looks something of a diner. But don't let that fool you, these bartenders are slinging incredible cocktails made from a long liquor list. For something refreshing, go for their signature cocktail: The Moscow Mule. The cocktail combines Smirnoff Vodka with housemade ginger beer and limeade over ice in a copper mug.
The Cocktail Club - 479 King Street
Up above The Macintosh you'll find this classy cocktail lounge. With a beautiful wooden bar, wood floors, exposed brick walls and leather seating, The Cocktail Club is pure elegance. And with a name like that, you better believe they pour mighty fine drinks. For the gin lover, order the Right & Wrong: Hat Trick Gin made at High Wire Distillery several blocks down the road, with Cocchi Americano, Honey-Sage Syrup, Lemon Juice, Grapefruit Bitters, and a splash of Jack Rudy Tonic.
The Gin Joint - 182 East Bay Street
The Gin Joint is a hard-to-find treasure located off East Bay Street behind a wrought iron gate. This cozy, narrow space features booths and a large communal table to supplement the small bar space. And the folks behind the bar are true masters of their craft. Give them your full trust and order the Bartender's Choice: Pick any two flavor profiles (such as sweet & spicy) and leave the rest up to them.
Comment below and tell us your go-to spot for a great cocktail.