Keep it sweet or keep it spicy?
World Best Bar
Aug 06, 2018
26 November 2020
Charleston, the oldest and largest city in South Carolina, has long enchanted travellers with its historic mansions, cobbled streets, salt marshes and walled gardens.
The city’s appeal is nothing new. But in addition to its Gone with the Wind glamour, people are now flocking to the city thanks to its thriving drinking and dining scene.
And when you learn that bartenders are experimenting with ingredients such as jalapeño honey, it’s no surprise.
The Rarebit, a mid-century restaurant on Upper King Street, has secured a reputation as the perfect destination for delicious late-night treats. With its retro décor and booths, it is heart-warmingly nostalgic without feeling at all old-fashioned.
While the full menu – no-frills classics like grilled cheese and fried chicken – is on offer from 11am to 10pm, breakfast is served until 2am. This all-day feast – huevos rancheros, grits, rye toast, steak and eggs, French toast, waffles and chicken – has been delighting locals and visitors alike since 2012.
A bit of a misnomer, our extremely popular Chicken and Waffles™ honestly should really be named Chicken and Waffle. There is only the one waffle and it functions as a syrupy, buttery bed for the fried chicken breast to sleep on. Pro Tip: lift the chicken breast and spread the housemade honey butter sheets onto the waffle bed. Gently lower the chicken back down onto the waffle. Then take your ramekin of maple syrup (the covers) and apply liberally all over the chicken and his bed to warm him as he sleeps. Served until 1 am every day. ☺️ 12$
And the Rarebit is also known for its old school cocktails. Staff can mix up a brilliant Sazerac or Corpse Reviver, as well as the bar’s signature Moscow Mule.
Ahh, the illustrious, always-refreshing Moscow Mule. A personal favorite of ours here at The Rarebit. Good ol' drunk Brent Sweatman makes his hommeade Ginger Beer and limeade and we keg them up with a couple bottles of @smirnoffus vodka. Then we pour them straight from the tap like manna from heaven. I'm looking forward to enjoying one too many this weekend. Happy hour starts at 4. Pro Tip: Drink them fast so that you feel the vodka quicker. 6$ at Happy Hour
But one of the more innovative beverages to come out from behind The Rarebit’s marble-topped bar is the Infield Punch cocktail. The drink was originally created on a hot and humid Friday night, when, after a long shift pouring house pleasers. bartender Rogan Elliott decided to experiment with a banana and jalapeño honey concoction.
Far from being a slap-dash accident, the cocktail has gone on to become a restaurant favourite. The Infield Punch cocktail is the perfect drink to enjoy on hot Charleston evening, the heat of the jalapeño matching that famous Lowcountry humidity while the grapefruit and orange provide a refreshing wake-up – a great accompaniment to the all-day breakfast.
Below is the recipe for Rogan’s now celebrated cocktail. Of course, most of us don’t have jalapeno-infused honey lying around but you can mix up some of your own.
Infield Punch – Recipe
1.75oz Zaya Gran Reserva rum aged 12 years
1 oz freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
0.5 oz Giffard Banane du Brésil (banana liqueur) and jalapeño-infused honey
Lemon peel for garnishing
Shake the ingredients with ice, strain and garnish with the lemon peel.
One thing is for sure. Charleston may be the oldest city in the state, but it is home to some the newest, freshest flavours in the region.