In the last few seasons, many of Charleston’s top bars and restaurants have created delectable signature cocktails, perfect for pre- or post-performance sipping. For the Spoleto Sips campaign, each restaurant chose a performance from that season’s lineup and used its title or theme as inspiration for the creation. Take, for instance, Le Farfalle’s “Cigarette Girl” from 2019—a drink that included smoked ice—that was inspired by jazz artist Carla Bley’s first job at Birdland jazz club in New York City.
While this year’s Spoleto at Home keeps us safely in our own bubbles, we wanted to re-share some of our favorite Spoleto Sips from years past—with the recipes this time so you can try your own hand at them before taking in your next (digital) concert.
Rise and shine with this sip from Zero Restaurant + Bar! While we don’t always have cocktails before an 11:00am concert, this creation incorporates fresh-squeezed OJ and an egg… Pro tip: Instead of discarding the yolk, use it for a brunch plate to accompany your weekday dose of Bank of America Chamber Music concerts on SC Public Radio’s “Sonatas and Soundscapes.”
This sip from Le Farfalle was inspired by the Festival’s 2018 production of Pia de’ Tolomei. The poblano chile liqueur provides a fiery bite; a satisfying complement to the sweet blood orange and lemon juices.
This sip from Prohibition Charleston was inspired by an innovative theater piece from 600 HIGHWAYMEN that examined our roles within our communities and how we care for strangers around us. It was presented at the Woolfe Street Playhouse during the 2019 Festival, but we think its message is pretty perfect for the challenges of the present day.
This sip from Victor Social Club is ideal for al fresco dining—and listening! Take this breezy, rum-based drink into your backyard, and imagine you’re enjoying a jazz concert under the oaks in the dreamy College of Charleston Cistern Yard.
*For Victor Social Club’s house-made falernum:
4 oz. Wray & Nephew rum
4 oz. Ed Hamilton 151 Demerara Rum
4 oz. chopped and peeled ginger
Zest of 6 limes
4 Tbsp. cloves, toasted
6 Tbsp. almonds, toasted
Add the first six ingredients to a 16-ounce Mason jar, and mix well. Let the mixture sit for seven days. Strain the liquid through a cheese cloth. Measure the liquid and combine at a ratio of 1:1 with simple syrup.