5 reasons to enjoy Port City Craft Cocktail Week

End of Days is the sponsor of Port City Taste Craft Cocktail Week, with many attendees using locally made spirits in their Craft Cocktail Week menus. (Port City Daily / Matt Ray Photography)

WILMINGTON – Raise your glasses: Port City Taste celebrates over a dozen local bars and restaurants, whose bartenders and mixologists have assembled a multitude of flavors to tempt your palate over the next seven days. It will start on Monday, October 4.


Craft Cocktail Week takes place October 4-10 only and features over 30 specialty drinks that go beyond the flavor profiles of a simple Jack and Coke or vodka-soda. Crafting the perfect cocktail is an art form in itself.

Don’t believe us? Well, just scroll through each menu (see # 5) to see for yourself the many colorful images and read the creative ingredients that local bartenders and mixologists used to create the sippers. Every drink is offered this week.

There are no coupons, no special menus, no special passwords, no tickets needed to enjoy Craft Cocktail Week. Just head to one of the drinks listed, ask for the special cocktail menu, and indulge yourself!

Here are a few reasons to take advantage of Port City’s first week of Taste Craft Cocktail offers.

1. Support the locals.

The most obvious reason to support Craft Cocktail Week (CCW) is the support it gives to local bars and restaurants. The industry has taken a hard hit since Covid-19 closed many establishments for months (nine months for some bars). Once operations got back to full swing, persistent staff shortages, supply chain issues and rising costs presented a myriad of challenges and continue to this day. The fact that many of our favorite restaurants and bars have survived and continue to overcome the challenges in itself deserves applause.

CCW is also sponsored by one of Wilmington’s distilleries, End of Days. Most of the 30 cocktails featured are made with rum, vodka and gin purchased directly from Wilmington. Ultimately, dollars invested locally go even further, which equates to a stronger economy and workforce. Local businesses are known to invest 50% more money in their towns and villages than national chains and brands.

2. Fresh is the best.

The appeal of the craft cocktail goes beyond high fructose and syrup mixers and well liquors. It combines premium ingredients to create drinks that leave an impression on the palate. There is no bottled sour here; instead, freshly squeezed juices and herbs, tinctures and shrubs blend together to create surprising flavor profiles.

Fall means campfires and s’mores, but not just for kids. Adults will find their own take on the classic treat at Indochine – in liquid form, of course. Bartender Holly Accomando has created a twist on the classic Old Fashioned, which still includes bourbon but is enhanced with chocolate bitters and toasted marshmallow syrup.

At Indochina’s new sister restaurant, Café Chinois, Michael Schlager reinvented the mule under the name Matahari, with sake, canton estate, lime juice and ginger beer.

According to service manager Kathy Long, both restaurants try to create a complete dining experience for diners from the bar to the kitchen, with “thoughtful local ingredients in the hands of a curious bartender.”

“We don’t exist anymore in the age of the screwdriver, bourbon, coke and Manhattan,” agreed Lorraine Roderick, director of Sweet n Savory. “People come out of the proverbial box and mix cocktails like they’re cooking a meal.”

As part of CCW, Sweet n Savory will be offering two drinks for $ 7: a lavender-jalapeno, rum-based lemonade will provide a cool and refreshing indulgence, while the mocha martini will offer something more filling as the days go by. cool down.

“The coffee beans we use are roasted specifically for Sweet N Savory,” said Roderick.

Java Estate beans are brewed with Godiva chocolate liqueur, then shaken with vanilla vodka.

Nearby at Ceviche, Laura Tiblier’s team offers three cocktails at $ 12. “We have infused fall fruit and tropical flavors to create our signature blends,” Tiblier said.

The Lost and Found brings out hints of the harvest season, as fresh apple and lime juice are added to the gin, served in an absinthe-washed glass and garnished with a dehydrated apple.

The ceviche’s also improved on the Old Fashioned standard with a new flavor, passion fruit, while its ginger pear combines local honey, pear juice, bitters and an egg white, shaken to produce mousse and garnished with a candied pear.

RELATED: North Carolina Distilleries Now Allowed To Sell Bottled Alcohol On Sundays

3. Fun techniques and unique ingredients.

Not only are there fresh ingredients on the deck, but the cocktails are made with different techniques from just shaking or stirring.

At Whiskey Tango Foxtrot in downtown Wilmington, the first step in making its two specialty drinks – Smoking Hot Coffee and The Missing Link – is to smoke the glass on a cedar board, so that a Smoky flavor essence runs through every bite.

The bar also hand brews a sugar or a sweet plantain over the drinks for a burnt topping.

While not necessarily a technique, the Cameron Art Museum’s use of activated charcoal in its Shadow Martini is perhaps the most unique ingredient on the list this week. A teaspoon turns the drink into dark black – a perfect nod to her new art exhibit, “The Shadow We Create”, for which the drink is named.

Activated charcoal is known as a detoxifying agent and can extract toxins from the body. (However, it can delay the absorption of medications, so be sure to study its effect with all the prescriptions in your cupboard and take them at least an hour before drinking.)

People are encouraged to enjoy CAM cocktails after visiting the exhibits.

4. No alcohol? No problem.

While Craft Cocktail Week celebrates alcoholic beverages, one restaurant has a specialty option from its zero-proof list. The newly opened vegan restaurant, The Green House, offers a full alcohol-free menu of restaurateurs, shrubs, and tinctures that exude the same essence of social drinking, but alcohol-free.

“I feel like the zero-proof menu has raised eyebrows,” said owner Anastasia Worrell, “but it accounts for half of our bar sales and is enjoyed by drinkers and teetotalers. take our commitment to inclusiveness and intention seriously, and our zero-proof menu is an alternative to something less than.

Worrell, who does not drink, said his first experience with spirits was a sip of RASĀSVĀDA, which are decoctions of whole plants.

“I tried it at a cocktail tasting after a long day of planning and it really cheered me up,” she said. “RASĀSVĀDA consulted with at least twenty experts in various fields when developing their three unique flavors.

For The Green House’s Matcha Man, $ 12, drinkers will taste RASĀSVĀDA’s Repairing Artemisia Ruby Alcohol, Seedlip Garden 108, Matcha, Fresh Lemon Juice, Home Body Field Fig Cardamom Shrub and the aquafaba.

“The Home Body Field Goods shrub helps balance the herbaceous and earthy flavors of matcha,” Worrell said. “The moment for zero-proof spirits is just beginning – it’s not about getting an alcohol-free buzz and creating something with intention and a layered flavor profile. “

5. The menus

In the end, the menus will be enough to convince you to go out this week.

Below is each attendee and a link to the CCW menus, which can be printed and even emailed to friends so you can plan your week of dating and indulgence. And if you feel the urge to snap a photo of your drink and share it on social media, tag the bar or restaurant, Port City Daily and #PCTCraftCocktailWeek.

Sip, Treat Yourself, Support Local!

End of an era

Cape Fear Sunset: $ 8

End of days Negroni

C Bee knees D: $ 14
Dr. Sturdy’s Serum: $ 14
Zac’s Green Ginger Aid: $ 14
Doc Reed’s Pirate Potion: $ 15

Witch’s blood
Bourbon butter and brown sugar beer

Smoke hot coffee
The missing link

Rising Sun: $ 12
Pomegranate Ginger Mojito: $ 12

Matahari Cocktail: $ 11

Pinkie’s Punch: $ 13
The Shadow Martini: $ 13

True Blue Cocktail: $ 13

Asian potato blossom: $ 12
Shipwreck-A Rebecca: $ 12

Lost and found items: $ 12
Old Fashioned Passion: $ 12
Pear with ginger: $ 12

Matcha Male: $ 12
Twisted vintage: $ 13

Lavender and jalapeño lemonade: $ 7
Mocha chocolate martini: $ 7

Spanish Gin Tonic: $ 13

Marie Roget and Mask
Red death

Old-fashioned rum: $ 12
Château Saint-Mojito: $ 12

Old fashioned s’mores: $ 11

Do you have any advice or comments? Write to us at [email protected]

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