What better way to spend a random Tuesday night in June than celebrating with the Bacardi Cocktail Classic? This event, proceeds of which go to help the Special Olympics, pits the talents of some of Charleston's best bartenders in a winner-take-all Mixology battle for the PERFECT Bacardi Cocktail.
The location couldn't be better, the South Carolina Aquarium. Tables set throughout the space allow you to enjoy your cocktail while wandering through the exhibits, such as the new Madagascar section.
The crowd was definitely on the younger side, dressed for a Miami cocktail party. The live Latin jazz and hand-rolled cigar bar helped with the effect.
The award for best centerpiece goes to the Aqua Terrace, which may be one of the least known but greatest bar settings in Charleston, with amazing views of the Ashley River from the Marriott Rooftop. Their Squall Heart Sour, featuring Bacardi Oakheart rum was good, but read more fall in flavor profile, which sat it in contrast with the much more summery offerings by other tables.
If you have ever been Upstairs at the Icehouse in Summerville, it is no surprise who was the most entertaining. Pete Nickel, the man behind Charleston Flair Bartenders, puts on a show that reminds you of the movie Cocktail, except without the beach, and horrible shirts, and bad acting, and lame bar tricks, and crappy drinks, and Hobbit that married Katie Holmes. His Smokin' Cherry Blaze had a great, though spicy, flavor.
Evan Powell, formally master mixologist of Fish, manned the table for his not-yet-open venture Republic. His Farewell to Arms Cocktail seemed to be a big hit, though I must admit it wasn't my personal favorite. Then again it was cocktail number 13, so take that with a grain of salt.
The Judges choice for best cocktail went to Mt. Pleasant's Eurasia. Mike's Changes in Latitude mixed Bacardi Silver, St. Germaine, lemon basil sorbet, ginger beer, lemon, and star anise. Very tasty, very fun.
The People's Choice winner went to the aforementioned Fish, with their Liquid Sunshine, a blend of Bacardi Silver, elderflower syrup, Sauvignon Blanc, Lemon, Lime, orange slices and soda.
The Girl and I went a different direction with our vote for best cocktail. We both went with the Honeydew and White Tea Fizz, courtesy of Bryan Voss at Vendue Rooftop. Light, fragrant, refreshing, and a perfect Summer sipper.
Photo curtesy of Keannnete Perez of CarolinaNightLife.com
The Girl, who by the way is allergic to rum and therefore the perfect DD for this event, and I both had a fantastic night. Between the great cocktails (of which she had a few sips), the good food catered by Tristan, the great conversation of Boomer and Jonah from The Becket Agency, and the fun on the deck with Ramses the Great (Chef Jonathan of the Woodlands), this was a great way to spend an evening.
Ramses the Great, unafraid of the cigar I can't keep lit
Now thats some good Jazz
Pretty sure he wanted to eat my face