6 Charlotte Cocktails You Can Make From Home
No bar, no problem. Whip up premium libations from your favorite spots all without leaving your kitchen.
by Beth Castle
Bardo - "Putting Down Roots" Cocktail
Drawing from a range of influences, everything from Spanish to Japanese, the eclectic restaurant aims to keep dishes and drinks on trend. Enter exhibit A: Putting Down Roots, a beet-ginger-mezcal concoction.
- 1 1/2 ounces Muddy River Carolina Rum
- 1/2 ounce Sombra Mezcal
- 2 ounces "root blend"*
- 3/4 ounces lime juice
- 3/4 ounce carrot juice
- 3/4 ounce golden beet puree
- 1/2 ounce ginger and dill syrup
- Create root blend using carrot juice, golden beet puree, and ginger and dill syrup. Combine rum, mezcal, lime juice and root blend into a shaker with ice. Shake. Fine strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a small bunch of dill.
Idlewild - "Rougue One" Cocktail
Idlewild, a no-menu craft cocktail bar, opened in the NoDa neighborhood in 2019 by Vince Chirico. Known for operating without a set drink menu, Idlewild is a stand-out when it comes to both classic and custom craft cocktails.
- 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
- 1/2 ounce Campari
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce vanilla syrup
- 2-3 slices of blood orange
- Vanilla Syrup: Combine equal parts by weight white granulated sugar and hot water. Slice open three vanilla beans, let rest inside mixture overnight or to taste.
- Muddle the blood orange, lemon and vanilla in a cocktail shaking tin. Add the rest of the ingredients, shake briefly, and strain over crushed ice in a glass. Garnish with a blood orange slice.
Haymaker - "Grassy Knoll" Cocktail
General manager Brad Grubb, who's in charge of the restaurant's beverage program, ensures drinks reflect chef William Dissen's signature style: a down-to-earth, ingredient-driven menu. Take this Grassy Knoll cocktail, for instance. Here the classic gin-citrus-basil combination springs eternal, all thanks to flavorful ingredients straight from the garden.
- 1 1/2 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
- 3/4 ounces Green Chartreuse
- 3/4 ounces fresh lime juice
- 3/4 ounces basil-infused simple syrup*
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 5 basil leaves
- Simple Syrup: Combine one cup of water with one cup of sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sugar is thoroughly combined in the water. Stir occasionally during the process. Take off the heat and add five large basil leaves to the mixture. When the mixture is cool, remove the basil. Any leftover syrup can be refrigerated for future use.
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Double strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with basil leaf and lime wheel.
Rosemont - "Soccer Mom Special" Cocktail
Like its sister establishments All American Pub and Whiskey Warehouse, Rosemont’s wheelhouse is, essentially, bar food. Yet what makes the South End restaurant stand out among its peers is its utterly over-the-top selection. Then there’s the drink menu, which is more tiki than taproom. Slushies, Long Island iced teas and these Capri Sun-style pouch drinks (called the Soccer Mom Special) offer a refreshing spin on late-night and pub fare.
Ingredients for the Peach Ring
- 1 1/2 ounces Bird Dog Peach Whiskey
- 1 ounce orange juice
- 2 ounces sour mix
- 1 ounce grenadine
Combine the whiskey, orange juice, sour mix and grenadine in a cocktail mixer. Pour the concoction over ice, and serve.
Ingredients for the Transfusion
- 1 1/2 ounces vodka
- 3 ounces grape juice
- Pour the vodka and grape juice into a glass with ice. Fill up the glass up with Sprite, and serve.
Hello, Sailor - "Cherry Lemon Sundrop Negroni" Slushie
Joe and Katy Kindred, owners of Kindred Restaurant in Davidson, have long beguiled Charlotteans with their culinary capabilities, which is why their sophomore effort, Hello, Sailor, opened in December 2017 amid such anticipation. Food & Wine magazine listed it as one of “The Most Exciting Restaurant Openings of 2017,” and on opening day, a line of hungry patrons trailed from the door to the parking lot.
The bar stays true to the establishment’s vacation vibe with frozen and fruity cocktails like this one, the Cherry Lemon Sundrop Negroni Slushie. Blended in a slushie machine, the drink epitomizes Hello, Sailor—sweet, refreshing and here just in time for patio season.
- 10 ounces Beefeater Gin
- 21 ounces Campari
- 32 ounces simple syrup
- 28 ounces Meyer lemon juice
- 42 ounces Cherry Lemon Sundrop
- Mix all the ingredients together and store in a container to freeze for 24 hours. Break up the contents and serve with a spoon once desired consistency is achieved. Note: Hello, Sailor uses a slushy machine for this application.
Not Just Coffee - "The Vatican" Cocktail
Who could believe in 2011, when Miracle and James Yoder opened Not Just Coffee, that the caffeine connoisseurs would within a few years helm one of Charlotte’s most recognized coffee brands? With a variety of locations in Charlotte, the Dilworth shop has been, by far, the largest leap for the brew masters; in addition to coffee, the shop dishes out breakfast, lunch and bar snacks, plus alcoholic beverages. Although java still brings in the morning rush, it’s craft cocktail recipes like this one that make us anticipate the days when there’s a Not Just Coffee—Dilworth edition—on every block.
- 1 ounce Cardinal Barrel Rested Gin
- 1 ounce Cocchi Blanc
- 3/4 ounce Byrrh
- 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
- 1/4 ounce lemon
- Crude Lavender Oak Hibiscus bitters
- Stir ingredients except lemon and bitters until chilled. Strain over one rock (ice cube) in a rocks glass. Add four dashes Crude Lavender Oak Hibiscus bitters. Express and zest burnt lemon and discard.