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Ian Palmer


Cathead Distillery

The King and the Cat cocktail feature King’s Ginger Liqueur from Cathead Distillery.

Harold Daniels

Founded in 2010, Cathead was the first legal distillery in Mississippi (the last state to repeal Prohibition). Owners Austin Evans and Richard Patrick distill Cathead Vodka six times and mix sweet grain corn into each batch. In addition to the original vodka, Cathead produces a white barley whiskey, a chicory liqueur, and several flavored vodkas, including pecan and pumpkin spice. Their passion for spirits is blended with a love for Mississippi roots music. Through partnerships with local foundations, Cathead supports live performances and local musicians. catheadvodka.com

The King & Cat
Recipe courtesy of H&F Bottle Shop,  Atlanta, Georgia

  • 2 oz. Cathead Vodka
  • 1 oz. King’s Ginger Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Luxardo Bitter
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • Lemon swath

Shake and strain over ice in a Collins glass. Garnish with a lemon swath. 

Click here to view additional cocktail recipes using our featured Southern spirits.

Southern Artisan Spirits

Peach Cardinal, made with Southern Artisan Spirit's Cardinal Gin.
Peach Cardinal, made with Southern Artisan Spirit’s Cardinal Gin.

Harold Daniels

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Southern Artisan Spirits creates its beverages by combining traditional distilling methods with unusual ingredients. Its premier product, the award-winning Cardinal Gin, contains juniper, clove, coriander, spearmint, and frankincense. Founded in 2008, the family-owned-and-operated small-batch distillery also produces a barrel-rested gin and two white whiskeys. southernartisanspirits.com

Peach Cardinal

Recipe courtesy of Pisces Sushi Bar, Charlotte, North Carolina

  • 1/2 oz. absinthe
  • Muddled lemon wedge
  • 1 1/2 oz. Cardinal Barrel Rested Gin
  • 3/4 oz. Teavana’s Peach Tranquility tea simple syrup*
  • 1/4 oz. Luxardo
  • Maraschino liqueur
  • Fresh peach wedge

*Brew tea very strong and turn into a simple syrup with half the normal amount of sugar.

Shake with ice and double strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with fresh peach wedge.

Click here to see cocktail recipes from all of our featured Southern distilleries.



Carolina Distillery

Blue Ridge Runner, make with Carolina Distillery's Carriage House Apple Brandy.
Blue Ridge Runner, make with Carolina Distillery’s Carriage House Apple Brandy.

Harold Daniels

Keith Nordan and Chris Hollifield, producers of the award-winning Carriage House Apple Brandy, opened Carolina Distillery in 2008. Their brandy gets its name from the distillery’s original building, an old carriage house in downtown Lenoir. The recipes for the distillery’s flavored brandies pay homage to previous generations of moonshiners who would use fruit as primary ingredients in their distillations when they ran out of corn. The apple brandy is made using a Hollifield family recipe that incorporates locally grown apples. Carolina Distillery also produces strawberry, white, and apple-pie brandies, all of them distilled in copper pots and single barrel proofed. carolinadistillery.com

Blue Ridge Runner
Recipe courtesy of The Wine Cellar & Bistro, Lenoir, North Carolina

  • 1 1/2 oz. Carriage  House Apple Brandy
  • 3 1/2 oz. Ginger ale
  • Lime slice

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add brandy and ginger ale. Garnish with lime slice.

Click here to see more recipes from our featured Southern distilleries.

My Charleston: Nathalie Dupree

Nathalie Dupree is the award-winning author of New Southern Cooking and several other cookbooks. She lives in Charleston and is the founding chairman of the Charleston Wine and Food Festival.

New restaurants are opening in Charleston like mad. I’ve never seen a town flowing with such enthusiasm for food. The amazing thing is that the older restaurants are more than holding their own. Also, we don’t have many huge restaurants with large crowds, so the food is more individuated.

The Ordinary is a new one by the James Beard Award winners at FIG. It’s in an old bank building with high ceilings, and it has really wonderful oysters and seafood. Edmund’s Oast has a lovely grouper that’s served with a variety of fresh peas and ham hock, and seasoned with fennel, cumin, and coriander to give it a Moroccan flavor. I also like SNOB (Slightly North of Broad), which has a nice bistro ambience. They don’t do anything too far out, but it’s all New Southern and fresh, and the chef is a leader in Charleston cuisine. And Hominy Grill is one of my very favorite restaurants. It’s a James Beard winner, but it’s a very easygoing restaurant with wonderful seafood and down-home food done in a sophisticated way.

Charleston Grill has some of the best food in the city as well as the best jazz. There is nothing better than eating a crab cake in the bar area and listening to jazz.

As the founding chairman I’m biased, but I think the Charleston Wine and Food Festival has positioned us as a food town and enhanced the reputation of the city.

Among Charleston’s historical sites, Drayton Hall is a fine example of Palladian architecture and has worked at bringing to light the role of slaves in the plantation. Middleton Place has regular showings of planting and reaping rice, and has a furnished home worth touring.

—As told to Ian Palmer

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