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Charleston's 15 Hottest Cocktails: What to Drink Now

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[Photo: courtesy of The Rarebit]

The work week is more than half over. It's sunny. St. Patrick's Day is almost here. There are any number of reasons to hit the town tonight, and 15 of them are right here. Presenting the city's hottest cocktails at the moment, straight from the bartenders and managers who make them daily. Apertifs have a strong presence, as do infused vodkas and gin drinks and, of course, The Rarebit's super-hot Moscow Mule is representing. Need food? Here's the Eater Heatmap.

— Reporting by Ashley Mason

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Xiao Bao Biscuit

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224 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 743-3880
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Their known for Asian comfort food, but their cocktails are just as noteworthy. At the moment, the Taipei Storm is taking over, with Taiwanese coconut milk, Plymouth sloe gin and Goslings Black Seal rum. Co-owner Joey Ryan says it's similar to both a Dark and Stormy and a Pain Killer.

2. Tristan Restaurant

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10 Linguard Street
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 534-2155
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At the modern Tristan, the Violet Hour is reigning as the drink of the minute. It's made with house-infused fig vodka, Dimmi, crème de violette and cassis, Cointreau, and lemon. Of course, it's topped with a flower.

3. Hall's Chophouse

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434 King St.
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 727-0090
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At this fancy steakhouse, the 434 is their staple sipper. It's a simple one--just pineapple-infused Stoli Oranj.

4. The Original Ms. Rose's Fine Food & Cocktails

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1090 Sam Rittenberg Blvd
Charleston, SC 29407
(843) 766-0223
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At West Ashley's Ms. Rose's, the cucumber martini is the drink people can't stop ordering (along with the fried chicken). It's all about the house-infused cucumber vodka with lemon, basil and mint.

5. McCrady's

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2 Unity Aly
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 577-0025
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It might be tucked down an alley, but the drinks and bar snacks at McCrady's are no secret. Right now, their Eli Cash is boss, with bourbon, root, averna, mole bitters, orange twist.
232 Meeting St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 805-5900
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At downtown favorite FIG, the Berlin Wall is topping the request list. Recently written up in Esquire, it's a blend of tequila, velvet falernum and orange bitters.

7. The Ordinary

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544 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 414-7060
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At Mike Lata's oyster emporium, Brooks Reitz's Pink and Tonic is tearing it up. It's a mix of Gordon's gin, angostura bitters and his own Jack Rudy Tonic.

8. The Macintosh

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479 King St
Charleston, SC
(843) 789-4299
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At King Street's The Macintosh, The Mac-hattan is king. It's a blend of rye whiskey, Buffalo Trace bourbon, sweet vermouth, Aperol, Newtonian Chocolate Bitters, all served on the rocks. Half and half bourbon and rye whiskey makes it more dry with a great depth of flavor.

9. Rutledge Cab Company

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1300 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
At Bob Carter's new hotspot, his namesake Welcome Back Carter is the current favorite. Their filled with sage and honey tangerine, rhubarb, Aperol, over ice with sparkling wine cava finished with eucalyptus spray. Tastes like a mimosa but it’s stiff on the liquor.

10. Burwell's Stone Fire Grill

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14 Market Street
Charleston, SC 29402
(843) 737-8700
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The lady-centric steak spot and bar can't stop pouring their Berry Bubbly for diners. The light drink has Smirnoff Citrus Vodka, St. Germain, house sour mix, Champagne and frozen seasonal fruit.

11. The Cocktail Club

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479 King St.
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 724-9411
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Right upstairs from Jeremiah Bacon's The Macintosh, The Cocktail Club's Double Standard is besting their other fancy drinks. The spicy drink has house-infused serrano gin and cucumber vodka blended with cucumber water, ginger syrup finished with celery bitters. It's garnished with fresh cilantro and serrano pepper.

12. The Rarebit

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474 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403
(434) 466-9366
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No shocker here: The Rarebit's Moscow Mule has been hot since it opened. Served in their famous copper mugs, it's a mix of Smirnoff Vodka, housemade Sweatman’s Ginger Beer, housemade lime cordial.

13. Social Wine Bar and Restaurant‎

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188 E Bay St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 577-5665
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Crazy popular after-work spot Social is serving their Blood Hound by the pack. It's got blood orange puree, Bulleit rye whiskey, crème de cassis, lime, angostura bitters. Tastes like a Greyhound, but their take is made with dark liquor.

14. Circa 1886 Restaurant

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149 Wentworth St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 853-7828
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It's nearly spring, but upscale Circa 1886 is serving plenty of their Snap Cider, which has ginger snap flavored liquor, apple cider, fresh grated ginger and cinnamon all poured into a cold rocks glass.

15. Stars Grill Room

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495 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 577-0100
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It's nearly roof season, and Stars is already sending out plenty of their lighter drinks. Currently most popular is the apertif Lost in Translation, with Cathead Honeysuckle vodka, Aperol, Cocchi Americano, San Pellegrino Aranciata, celery bitters, orange twist.

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1. Xiao Bao Biscuit

224 Rutledge Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403
Their known for Asian comfort food, but their cocktails are just as noteworthy. At the moment, the Taipei Storm is taking over, with Taiwanese coconut milk, Plymouth sloe gin and Goslings Black Seal rum. Co-owner Joey Ryan says it's similar to both a Dark and Stormy and a Pain Killer.
224 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403

2. Tristan Restaurant

10 Linguard Street, Charleston, SC 29401
At the modern Tristan, the Violet Hour is reigning as the drink of the minute. It's made with house-infused fig vodka, Dimmi, crème de violette and cassis, Cointreau, and lemon. Of course, it's topped with a flower.
10 Linguard Street
Charleston, SC 29401

3. Hall's Chophouse

434 King St., Charleston, SC 29403
At this fancy steakhouse, the 434 is their staple sipper. It's a simple one--just pineapple-infused Stoli Oranj.
434 King St.
Charleston, SC 29403

4. The Original Ms. Rose's Fine Food & Cocktails

1090 Sam Rittenberg Blvd, Charleston, SC 29407
At West Ashley's Ms. Rose's, the cucumber martini is the drink people can't stop ordering (along with the fried chicken). It's all about the house-infused cucumber vodka with lemon, basil and mint.
1090 Sam Rittenberg Blvd
Charleston, SC 29407

5. McCrady's

2 Unity Aly, Charleston, SC 29401
It might be tucked down an alley, but the drinks and bar snacks at McCrady's are no secret. Right now, their Eli Cash is boss, with bourbon, root, averna, mole bitters, orange twist.
2 Unity Aly
Charleston, SC 29401

6. FIG

232 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401
At downtown favorite FIG, the Berlin Wall is topping the request list. Recently written up in Esquire, it's a blend of tequila, velvet falernum and orange bitters.
232 Meeting St
Charleston, SC 29401

7. The Ordinary

544 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403
At Mike Lata's oyster emporium, Brooks Reitz's Pink and Tonic is tearing it up. It's a mix of Gordon's gin, angostura bitters and his own Jack Rudy Tonic.
544 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403

8. The Macintosh

479 King St, Charleston, SC
At King Street's The Macintosh, The Mac-hattan is king. It's a blend of rye whiskey, Buffalo Trace bourbon, sweet vermouth, Aperol, Newtonian Chocolate Bitters, all served on the rocks. Half and half bourbon and rye whiskey makes it more dry with a great depth of flavor.
479 King St
Charleston, SC

9. Rutledge Cab Company

1300 Rutledge Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403
At Bob Carter's new hotspot, his namesake Welcome Back Carter is the current favorite. Their filled with sage and honey tangerine, rhubarb, Aperol, over ice with sparkling wine cava finished with eucalyptus spray. Tastes like a mimosa but it’s stiff on the liquor.
1300 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403

10. Burwell's Stone Fire Grill

14 Market Street, Charleston, SC 29402
The lady-centric steak spot and bar can't stop pouring their Berry Bubbly for diners. The light drink has Smirnoff Citrus Vodka, St. Germain, house sour mix, Champagne and frozen seasonal fruit.
14 Market Street
Charleston, SC 29402

11. The Cocktail Club

479 King St., Charleston, SC 29403
Right upstairs from Jeremiah Bacon's The Macintosh, The Cocktail Club's Double Standard is besting their other fancy drinks. The spicy drink has house-infused serrano gin and cucumber vodka blended with cucumber water, ginger syrup finished with celery bitters. It's garnished with fresh cilantro and serrano pepper.
479 King St.
Charleston, SC 29403

12. The Rarebit

474 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403
No shocker here: The Rarebit's Moscow Mule has been hot since it opened. Served in their famous copper mugs, it's a mix of Smirnoff Vodka, housemade Sweatman’s Ginger Beer, housemade lime cordial.
474 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403

13. Social Wine Bar and Restaurant‎

188 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401
Crazy popular after-work spot Social is serving their Blood Hound by the pack. It's got blood orange puree, Bulleit rye whiskey, crème de cassis, lime, angostura bitters. Tastes like a Greyhound, but their take is made with dark liquor.
188 E Bay St
Charleston, SC 29401

14. Circa 1886 Restaurant

149 Wentworth St, Charleston, SC 29401
It's nearly spring, but upscale Circa 1886 is serving plenty of their Snap Cider, which has ginger snap flavored liquor, apple cider, fresh grated ginger and cinnamon all poured into a cold rocks glass.
149 Wentworth St
Charleston, SC 29401

15. Stars Grill Room

495 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
It's nearly roof season, and Stars is already sending out plenty of their lighter drinks. Currently most popular is the apertif Lost in Translation, with Cathead Honeysuckle vodka, Aperol, Cocchi Americano, San Pellegrino Aranciata, celery bitters, orange twist.
495 King St
Charleston, SC 29403

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