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Charleston Wine + Food

Tasting Notes

CHSWFF Blog

Happier Hour: Morgan Hurley

The stress of everyday life can take its toll. We at Charleston Wine + Food believe some of the best memories are made gathered around the table, drink in hand, with friends + family. Our Charleston beverage professionals are taking a few minutes to help us spread some happiness + share their favorite drinks to help you unwind + destress after a long day.     Morgan Hurley of Mex 1 Coastal Cantina finds joy behind the bar, connecting with guests over the fun + flavor of unique cocktails. Whether you're having a rough day or celebrating a milestone, he believes there is a cocktail for every situation.  

What inspires you behind the bar?

Giving the guest a great experience. When people come to our restaurant it's time to eat, drink, and socialize. I want to make sure they have the best time and catch a good buzz.

 

If you could craft a cocktail for anyone, living or dead, who would it be and what would you serve?

Hopefully one day Will Ferrel makes it to Charleston and Danny McBride brings him into Mex 1 Sullivan's. Danny is one of my favorite actors only followed by Will Ferrell. I would love to have them come in, feed them tequila, and crack jokes.

 

What was the best bar conversation you’ve overheard?

I am going to go a different route. When I worked at Blu on Folly Beach, a lot of people come in bathing suits. I saw some wild and terrible tattoos. One guy had a massive $100 bill chest tattoo. It was terrible.

 

Do you have any advice for would-be bartenders looking to get into the game?

Show up hungry and humble. The best ways to learn to bartend is to get experience as a barback first. Learn how to stock and restock a bar efficiently and before the bartender asks you to do it. Next would be get on the service well on a slow night and learn to make the cocktails without guest interaction. That way you can work on consistency and speed. Lastly, read bartending books, follow cocktail and bartender pages on instagram, and go to seminars and conferences from our local USBG to national events like Tales of the Cocktail. It's important to always be learning and educating yourself.

Favorite Cocktail: The Hydrator

Nothing beats this hangover cure!

Vodka Coconut Water Passionfruit   Shake ingredients and pour over ice. Garnish with a cherry on top.   Visit Morgan at Mex 1 Coastal Cantina in West Ashley, Sullivan's Island, and Mount Pleasant. Follow him on Instagram at @mixpoursurf + @mex1coastalcantina.
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Recipe: Bzzeets

Sean Umstead of Kingfisher Bar in Durham, NC shares his fresh + fun cocktail recipe featuring bright colors + bold flavors. Drawing inspiration from the local ingredients found at the Durham Farmer's Market , Sean and his wife + co-owner, Michelle, are bringing their "ground-to-glass" philosophy to the forefront. Check out Sean's creative concoction and find him during the 2019 CHSWFF at RetrEAT, Holi City Shakedown and Southern Renaissance.    

Ingredients

  1oz Honey Beet Syrup 1oz Acidified Beet Juice 1.25oz Durham Distillery Wax Infused Navy Strength Gin  

Instructions

  Shake All. Strain Through Fine Mesh Strainer into a Coupe Glass. Garnish with Dehydrated Beet Chip.  

Honey Beet Syrup

  5oz Beet Juice 5oz Honey 2oz Dry Red Wine 2oz Raw Sugar 4-5 Large Rosemary Sprigs   Combine all into a sauce pan and bring to bare simmer over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Strain through fine mesh strainer.  

Acidified Beet Juice

  Add 1/4 teaspoon citric acid powder for ever 2oz of fresh beet juice.  

Wax Infused Gin

  Melt down 1oz of local edible wax inside a mason jar over a water bath.  Remove from bath, swirl to coat and harden.  Add 750ml of gin and steep for 4 days.  Strain gin and rebottle.    
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2019 Cocktail Competition Semi-finalists

Charleston Wine + Food has once again challenged local bartenders to conjure up their craftiest cocktail creations for the 2019 Charleston Wine + Food Cocktail Competition. This year, the Holy City’s best + brightest beverage professionals were tasked with mixing up a unique cocktail featuring Charleston Wine + Food’s official 2019 spirit - American Whiskey.   Dozens of mixologists submitted their take on the classic spirit to a panel of four judges. Judges evaluated each cocktail based on four categories: Originality, Use of Product, Taste, and Presentation. After the judges scored the recipes, the top 10 recipes were chosen to move onto the semi-finals.   Semi-finalists will serve up their original drinks at their respective restaurants or bars from November 1 - November 30 for the public to enjoy. Beginning November 1, people will be able to vote for their favorite cocktail online. The People’s Choice votes will contribute to the scores in Round 3.   A Fine How Do You Do Anna Lazaridis - Fiery Ron's Hometeam BBQ Spirit Used: Russell's Reserve 6 Year Rye   From the Ashes Darren Fallon - The Watch Spirit Used: Virgil Kane Ginger Infused   Pipe Dream Franklin Arevalo - The Obstinate Daughter Spirit Used: Templeton Rye aged 4 years   Star Value James Bolt - The Gin Joint Spirit Used: Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon 100 Proof   Strawless Strawberry Smash Katie Daniel - Bar Mash Spirit Used: Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon 100 Proof   Sugar Spice Everything Nice Melissa Yard - Joséphine Wine Bar Spirit Used: Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey   Up All Night in NOLA Morgan Hurley - Mex 1 Coastal Cantina Spirit Used: Larceny Bourbon   Real Mermaids Drink Whiskey Rochelle Jones - Stars Rooftop & Grill Room Spirit Used: Wild Turkey Bourbon Rye   Sweet Lil Nellie Ryan Wise - The Establishment Spirit Used: High West Double Rye   Whippersnapper Sam Gabrielli - Proof Spirit Used: Four Roses Bourbon   Vote Now!
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Cocktail Competition finalist: Morgan Hurley from Mex 1 Coastal Cantina

The beverage director at Mex 1 Coastal Cantina puts his own spin on the classic cocktail 2018 Cocktail Competition finalist Morgan Hurley has been a part of Mex 1 Coastal Cantina since the beginning. Getting his start at the Tides hotel on Folly Beach, Morgan made the switch to Mex 1 after his father, an original investor in the restaurant, asked him to join the team as the beverage director. Since his first night, Morgan has become a fixture behind the bar at Mex 1, creating exciting cocktails and training a new generation of mixologists. His competition entry “A Noble Hospitality” focuses on the soul of the tequila. Blended together with Aperol and pineapple juice, the tangy cocktail is served with a mezcal spritz and orange garnish. Morgan is proud that he and fellow competitor and coworker Shannon Standhart are representing Mex 1 in the competition. “Yes I’d like to win,” Hurley said. “But I just want to see Mex 1 bring home the title.” You can see Morgan and the other finalists of the 2018 Cocktail Competition battle it out at Souls + Saints: Día de los Muertos on November 1st. Tickets can be bought here.
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Cocktail Competition Finalist: Dan Williams of The Darling Oyster Bar

The Midnight hour shines a little brighter with Dan Williams Midnight Sun Cocktail. Bursting with local ingredients, 2018 Cocktail Competition finalist takes his favorite tequila drink and spices it up with Southern Twist Ginger & Jalapeno Syrup. After spending time at Stars and then Cypress, Dan is now the bar Manager at The Darling Oyster Bar. Heating up the competition with his Midnight Sun cocktail containing a mix of lime, local Southern Twist Ginger & Jalapeno Syrup, and Chile liqueur this spicy drink will keep you going long past sunset. We had a chance to sit down with him and ask where his inspiration for this sizzling masterpiece comes from. Keeping with Charleston's tradition of using local ingredients is what inspired his twist on a classic tequila cocktail. Dan says staying “true to food and true to drinks” is something he has learned throughout his time behind the bars of Charleston.   A regular attendee to the Culinary Village, Dan is excited to participate this year in a Charleston Wine + Food event. Although the crowds are larger than the average bar allows, Dan is confident he can shake things up. Catch Dan Williams and our three other contestants at the Charleston Wine + Food's Souls + Saints: Día de los Muertos event on November 1st. Buy your tickets and be sure to vote for Dan as your crowd favorite! SaveSave SaveSave
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2018 Cocktail Competition: Patricia Smith of 5 Church

Pouring up a cocktail that eases us into the weekend, Patricia Smith of 5 Church mixes things up with her Tea is for Tequila Mexican/Asian fusion cocktail. Digging deep and pulling influence from her memories of growing up in San Diego and taking the trolley to Tijuana, Patricia uses those influences mixed with the Asian influences from her city to bring her drink together. Two types of tequila mingle with Hibiscus Tri Pepper Tea, with a splash of lemon juice and topped with Lemon Mint Sea Salt Boba this drink will transport you around the world and back. When asked what she loves about bartending she instantly answered with “Talking to people...You never know who you’re going to meet and everyone's an interesting character. If you dig down deep, everyone has interesting stories.” Patricia takes the calm of tea and mixes it with a confidence boost of tequila to give you a drinkable cocktail to sip and enjoy while you mingle with others. Stories are sure to be shared between sips at Charleston Wine + Food's Souls + Saints: Día de los Muertos on November 1. Get your tickets and watch our four finalists prepare their signature drinks and vote for your crowd favorite! SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave
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Cocktail Competition finalist: Shannon Standhart of Mex 1 Coastal Cantina

The bubbly bar manager at Mex 1 Coastal Cantina serves up an un-bee-lievable cocktail 2018 Cocktail competition finalist Shannon Standhart has made a big splash at Mex 1 Coastal Cantina. After receiving a bartending course from her grandmother for Christmas, she fell in love with the exciting, fast-paced environment behind the bar. Trading in the Maine coast for South Carolina’s shores, Shannon is now a bar manager at Mex 1 where she dazzles customers with her infectious smile and tasty cocktails. Her cocktail entry “MisBEEhavin’” is a simple yet fun mix of lemon juice, agave nectar and honey liqueur. Served in a chilled glass rimmed with lemon zest and sugar, the sweet cocktail is sure to leave you buzzing with excitement. Although she is competing against her fellow Mex 1 mixologist Morgan Hurley, Shannon is ready to take home the title. “I would love to beat him,” she said. “He would never be able to live it down.” You can see Shannon and the other finalists of the 2018 Cocktail Competition battle it out at Charleston Wine + Food’s Souls + Saints event on November 1st. Tickets can be bought at www.charlestonwineandfood.com.
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The Hunt Is On: Charleston Wine + Food Cocktail Contest

Calling all cocktail sipping + tequila loving, mixologists. This one is for you! Charleston Wine + Food is hosting the 2018 Cocktail Competition, inviting all local beverage professionals to compete for the title of Official 2018 Charleston Wine + Food Signature Cocktail. This year’s spirit of celebration? TEQUILA! With a grand prize of $500 and features at events throughout the festival season and a digital feature in Imbibe Magazine this is one competition you want to be a part of.  Before you run off to sign yourself up let's talk a little more about how this is going down. Join us for Round 1 on Tuesday, October 3rd at our new office digs.  Pack up your favorite tequila, juices, mixers, herbs, sweeteners, spices and whatever secret ingredients your heart may desire. Remember that first impressions are key, so be sure to bring any presentational notes (ice, garnish, glassware) that makes your drink rank supreme. Each contestant will have 15 minutes to prepare their cocktail, then our team will present your creation, along with your recipe card, to the judge panel featuring: Penelope Bass of Imbibe magazine, Dan Dao of SAVEUR, Robert Berry of Pancito & Lefty, and Hanna Raskin of Post and Courier. Your cocktail will be scored on aroma, appearance, taste, imagination and overall impression. The four drinks with the highest score will be invited to compete in the Finals on November 1st at Souls + Saints: Dia de los Muertos. With the stakes just a bit higher, competitors will prepare their cocktail live before our judge panel and guests. Event attendees will also get to participate in the fun by sampling + voting for a crowd favorite. The winner will be announced at the end of the event and be crowned The Official Charleston Wine + Food Cocktail Competition winner and their cocktail will be dubbed the Signature Cocktail of the 2018 festival. If you feel your creativity flowing and you think you have what it takes. Sign up to compete by September 29th. For those that simply love a good night out and want to leave the competition out of it, we understand. We still have tickets to our Souls + Saint: Dia de los Muertos available here.
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10 Can't Miss Events Under $100

It’s crunch time people! With the festival less than almost a week away, those looking to purchase last minute tickets to the best events can look no further. Check out our favorite events under $100 here: Fowl Mouth - $95 This’ll be the best #partyfowl you’ve ever seen. Check us out at Cooper River Brewing Co. for all things winged fowl. Accompany your smoky snacks with fresh beer, wine, and deep bourbon cocktails at this low-key hangout that’s sure to kick off your weekend the right way! Dynamic Drinking: Making Sinsky Of It All - $95 For one of the best deals of the festival, make your friends jealous with this once in a lifetime chance to hear what Master Sommeliers and elite vineyard owners have to say about some of the best wine in the world. Sustainable and environmentally friendly wines are the focus of this panel, so sit back and get ready to have your tastebuds tannon-talized! Commodores + Admirals - $75 Think delicious party at Charleston’s hottest new late night hangout, The Commodore. Yummy snacks and craft cocktails to be provided by Roti Rolls accompanied by special guests from The Lot on James Island and Eric Warnstedt of the Hen of the Wood (Burlington, VT). Come dance the night away with us at CHSWFF’s hottest new event of 2017! The Ice Age of Mixology - $75 Ever wondered what it takes to make a good cocktail? Fresh mixers, elite liquor, and ICE, of course! Come to Proof with mixologist Charlotte Voisey to learn how ice can make or break a great drink. What The Pho? - $70 Oodles of East-Asian inspired noodles and high energy music by DJ Rehab, this event held at the Le Creuset Atelier is sure to go down in the history books. Imagine a dozen of your favorite local and guest chefs partyin’ all night long- chopsticks provided. The Business of Food - $70 With guests speaker stars like Chef Danny Meyer, Nancy Silverton, Ruth Reichl, Darcy Shankland, and Steve Palmer, those looking to get the inside scoop on the restaurant business look no further. Those already in the local food + bev business, enter code INDY17 and receive a $25 ticket! Namaste Bubbly - $65 Join us in the Cedar Room at the Cigar Factory for an exclusive yoga class taught by local favorite Cortney Ostrosky followed by Sunday champs and healthy fare. Round up your friends and let’s get fizzical! Pedals + Pints - $65 Bring your own bike or rent one from Trek Mt. Pleasant for a stylish, leisurely ride through downtown Charleston with your favorite brewmasters. Reward yourself after with local food truck bites and drafts; this event is sure to be snatched up by beer and bicycle lovers everywhere, so don’t wait! Iron Mixologist - $65 This live action, Iron Chef America-style cocktail combat is back and supported by Imbibe to bring guests the ultimate exhilarating experience. Enjoy exclusive cocktails crafted by local mixologists at Bar Mash and watch the competition unfold! Pecha Kucha + Wine + Food - $40 Join an all-star lineup of local chefs and restaurateurs MC’ed by Tradesman Brewing Company’s Chris Winn to be inspired by food + bev chatter and snacks + drinks. Get your tickets now for this 3rd time event that’s sure to be the opposite of boring. Didn't find the event curated perfectly for you + your crew? No fear! Find a complete list of all of our events with a simple click!
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843 727 9998
info@charlestonwineandfood.com
635 Rutledge Avenue, Suite 101, Charleston, SC 29403

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