A classic menu with standout desserts
April 15, 2021
This is what you should be ordering, according to bartenders
Most of us tend to order something familiar when we look at a cocktail list — but by doing so, we’re missing out on some of the best cocktails around town. We asked 10 Charlotte bartenders what their most underrated and under-ordered cocktail is. From old-fashioneds to personalized concoctions, these are the cocktails that deserve more love.
Dot Dot Dot, Montford Park
The bar: An upscale speakeasy with a classic feel serving craft liquors and cocktails plus curated bites.
Most underrated drink: The Richardson
What’s in it: Makers Mark 46, Amaro Montenegro, Pedro Jimenez Sherry, Drambuie, and Peychauds bitters.
Sophia’s Lounge, Uptown
The bar: An elevated bar in The Ivey’s Hotel with a vintage feel serving cocktails and small plates.
Most underrated drink: Pineapple Express
What’s in it: Plantation Pineapple rum, Gosling’s Black Seal rum, coconut syrup, pineapple juice, lime juice, and fresh mint, topped with Fever Tree ginger beer.
The bar: A “no menu,” cozy cocktail bar in the neighborhood of NoDa.
Most underrated drink: The Elder Fashioned
What’s in it: An old-fashioned consisting of gin, elderflower, and orange bitters with a zest of grapefruit.
The Crunkleton, Elizabeth
The bar: A stylish, light-filled bar offering classic cocktails with a modern twist.
Most underrated drink: Bartender’s Choice
What’s in it: This order allows the bartenders to get to know you, and offer you something custom. “All of our staff members are creative and bring a certain culture to the bar,” says bartender Hunter Thurston.
Soul Gastrolounge, Plaza Midwood
The bar: A hip and cozy lounge specializing in global small plates, sushi, and cocktails.
Most underrated drink: Any low-ABV drinks
What’s in it: Amaros, liqueurs, and other low-proofers that won’t leave you feeling tipsy.
Fin & Fino, Uptown
The bar: A spacious seafood eatery specializing in small plates and 12 different types of oysters.
Most underrated drink: Most Likely to be a Cougar
What’s in it: Pineapple gin, Thai basil, Lillet, vanilla, and citrus bitters.
The Cotton Room, Uptown
The bar: A Southern-inspired bar with a speakeasy vibe pouring classic and specialty cocktails plus beer and wine.
Most underrated drink: Gin Drink #3
What’s in it: Butterfly pea flower extract, smoked chili bitters, smoked gin, and Licor 43
Bardo, South End
The bar: An eclectic, chic spot for chef-driven American small plates with beer, wine and signature cocktails.
Most underrated drink: Another Word for Tantrum
What’s in it: Conniption Navy Strength Gin, Zucca Rhubarbaro Amaro, strawberry, lemon, and egg white.
The Cellar at Duckworth’s, Uptown
The bar: A classic speakeasy with vintage vibes offering a variety of creative cocktails.
Most underrated drink: East Village
What’s in it: A take on a Manhattan with bourbon, orange oils, burlesque bitters, cherry garnish, and Old Forester.
Dogwood Southern Table & Bar, SouthPark
The bar: A restaurant specializing in local Southern eats with a stylish, rustic bar.
Most underrated drink: Endless Unfoldment
What’s in it: A blend of local apple brandy, rum, coconut cream, chamomile tea, citrus, and agave.
BackStage Lounge, South End
The bar: A modern neighborhood speakeasy with an intimate, romantically elevated vibe.
Most underrated drink: Sunglasses At Night
What’s in it: Tanqueray Ten gin, passion fruit, falernum, orgeat, and spices.