Basic Kitchen

The Garden of Good cocktail at Basic Kitchen

Whether or not you plan on attending the Spoleto Festival, you can join the fun by sipping on a Spoleto-themed cocktail.

A total of 23 Charleston restaurants, chosen based on their proximity to Spoleto venues, have created cocktails inspired by the festival's concerts, plays, characters in those plays as well as the event's history. 

Husk's featured drink, for example, is named after a song by the Punch Brothers, a bluegrass group that performed earlier this week.

Drinks such as The Spoleto Collins, End SCENE and Curtain Call will appear on downtown menus through the festival’s run. It kicked off Friday and ends June 9.

Of the participating restaurants, 13 are new to the program, while restaurants such as The Macintosh, Victor Social Club, Le Farfalle and Zero Restaurant + Bar have made Spoleto-inspired drinks three years in a row. 

Read on for details about the Spoleto-themed drinks. 

Basic Kitchen

The Garden of Good cocktail is inspired by "Roots," a play based on a series of rarely told folk tales, at the Emmett Robinson Theatre. "Roots" is making its world premiere during the Spoleto Festival. The drink is made with parsley Verdita, which is a blend of pineapple, apple, parsley, cilantro and jalapeno, and lemon mixed with Seedlip, a non-alcoholic spirit. It can also be mixed with tequila. Try it at Basic Kitchen, 82 Wentworth St. 

Cocktail Club

Cocktail Club, 479 King St., is serving a drink called End SCENE, which is made with Hendrick’s Gin, Del Professore Classico Bianco vermouth, fresh-pressed grape, lemon, simple syrup and soda water.

The Darling

Try the Spoleto Swizzle, a drink with velvet falernum, white rum, orange juice and pineapple at The Darling, 513 King St.

Doar Bros.

Doar Bros., 225 Meeting St., took inspiration from the festival's roots in Italy to concoct the Due Mondi, which is made with Hat Trick Botanical Gin, Amaro al Tartufo, Carolina peaches and prosecco. The cocktail is named after an Italian phrase that translates to "two worlds" in English. 


In his 1892 play "Salome," Oscar Wilde wrote the line, "They say love has a bitter taste." The line also appears in the 1905 operatic adaptation of the same name, which Felix, 550 King St., counted as inspiration for its King Herod cocktail. The drink is made with bourbon, a maple/brown sugar syrup, the herbal liquor Bénédictine, black walnut bitters and orange twist garnish. The opera, "Salome," will be performed four times at the Charleston Gaillard Center during the Spoleto Festival. 


Try The Pink Slipper, which is made with sparkling wine, Aperol, orangecello, soda and orange peel, at HoM, 563 King St. 


The Pink Slipper cocktail at HoM


“Between 1st and A” is the title of a song by the Punch Brothers, a musical group that played Sunday at the College of Charleston Cistern Yard. Husk, 76 Queen St., borrowed the tune's title for the name of a cocktail with brandy, creme de cassis, mint demerara syrup, lemon juice, soda water and garnished with blackberry.

Josephine Wine Bar

Josephine, which has a Spoleto-inspired three-course tasting menu, is serving Salome's Seven Veils, tied to the opera at the Charleston Gaillard Center. The drink includes the fruit liquor Kirschwasser, Dolin Blanc vermouth, grapefruit juice, Bittercube Jamaican No. 2 Bitters and house-made hibiscus syrup. 

Le Farfalle

The composer and pianist Carla Bley, who is performing Friday at the College of Charleston Cistern Yard, got her start as a teenager working as a cigarette girl and checking coats in clubs in New York. That's why Le Farfalle, 15 Beaufain St., named its bourbon cocktail Cigarette Girl. The drink is made with vermouth, orange bitters and smoked ice. 

McCrady's Tavern

Check out The Brown Derby, made with Old Grand-Dad bourbon, grapefruit, lemon and honey, at McCrady's Tavern, 2 Unity Alley. The drink is inspired by a classical orchestra showcase that happened Tuesday at the Dock Street Theatre.

The Macintosh

The Macintosh's Spoleto sip is based on the London-based troupe Shakespeare's Globe, which will be performing "Pericles" at the Dock Street Theatre. The cocktail is named after the titular character's role, Prince of Tyre, and made with Beefeater Gin, Dolin Génépy le Chamois liqueur, yellow chartreuse and Bittermen's orange cream citrate. Try it at The Macintosh, 479B King St.

Millers All Day

Millers All Day, 120 King St., is serving The Spoleto Collins, a gin drink with Pedro Ximénez Sherry, lemon juice, strawberry-basil syrup and soda. 


Minero's Los Santos Sangria is a drink inspired by "Path of Miracles," a musical theater production with a performance set for Friday at the Charleston Gaillard Center. Try the sangria, made with rosé, passion fruit liqueur, peach and lemon, at Minero, 153 E. Bay St. 

Parcel 32

Parcel 32, 442 King St., will be serving a cocktail named Ekphrasis during the Spoleto Festival. It's a rum cocktail made with strawberries, mint, lime juice, lavender simple syrup, soda and lemon garnish.

Parcel 32

Ekphrasis cocktail at Parcel 32

Poogan’s Porch 

Poogan’s Porch will be serving Poogan's Prosperity, a cocktail inspired by the history of the festival. Ingredients include gin, prosecco, elderflower, crème de violet, pomegranate juice and edible flower garnish.


Named after "The Fever,” a 70-minute show by the Brooklyn troupe 600 Highwaymen, Prohibition, 547 King St., is serving a cocktail with gin, green apple syrup, lime juice and cardamom bitters. You can see "The Fever," which is listed as being "performed in complete collaboration with the audience," at Woolfe Street Playhouse through June 9. 



Menotti's Composted Pie cocktail at O-Ku

Menotti’s Composed Pie is named after the composer Gian Carlo Menotti and it is comprised of shochu, blueberry, vanilla, pineapple shrub and a lemon-herb meringue whip. It is available at O-Ku, 463 King St. 


Inspired by Shakespeare’s Globe’s performances of "Twelfth Night" at the Dock Street Theatre, Tradd's, 167 E. Bay St., is serving a drink called Viola, named after the play's protagonist, and made with gin, crème de violette, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice, Champagne and edible flower garnish.


Viola cocktail at Tradd's

Victor Social Club

This cocktail is named after Cuban pianist David Virelles, who has several concerts on tap at the Simons Center Recital Hall. Called Victor Virelles, the drink is made with jalapeño-infused tequila, St. Germain and strawberry. It will be served at Victor Social Club, 39F John St. 

Vintage Lounge

Vintage Lounge, 545 King St., is serving a drink called Coppa di Spoleto. Ingredients include Pimm’s No. 1, Lillet Rose, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, rhubarb bitters, Angostura bitters, soda and lemon garnish.

The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits

The Watch, inside the Restoration Hotel at 75 Wentworth St., is serving a drink dubbed Curtain Call. Ingredients include Citadelle gin, Giffard Crème de Pamplemousse rose, St. Germain liqueur, grapefruit juice, lime juice, mint, cucumber and lavender.

Wild Common

Wild Common, 103 Spring St., put together a cocktail named Pay No Attention to the Colour, inspired by the upcoming performances of "Pay No Attention to the Girl" at Woolfe Street Playhouse. Along with pink peppercorn–infused tequila, the drink is made with Cocchi Rosa, rhubarb liqueur, grapefruit cordial, lime juice, club soda and jasmine flower garnish.

Zero Restaurant + Bar

Can you guess what the Cocktail of Errors is named after? Zero, 0 George St., is making it with Plymouth gin, fresh-squeezed orange juice, Giffard lychee liqueur, Suze and egg white. Shakespeare’s Globe will perform "The Comedy of Errors" at the Dock Street Theatre. 

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Reach Amanda Hancock at 843-937-5320. Follow her on Twitter @Amanda1hancock.