Cocktails And Patios
Most of the hours spent on Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms are happy ones—so why contain happy hour to a strict time limit? SiP’s deputy editor, Margaret Pilarski, takes you on a tour of the signature cocktails on the island that can be paired with picturesque patios. Grab a friend, or three, and soak up the sun, take in the views and set your clock to island time. Photos by Steve Rosamilia.
This iconic burger joint inspired by literary legend Edgar Allan Poe’s stay on Sullivan’s Island, is a solid spot for a beer, but their new cocktail list has a variety of options for those seeking a stronger swill. The Tito’s vodka cocktails are all served in embossed copper mugs—the award-winning Charleston Sipper is tart and strong, with grapefruit juice and club soda, but it’s buffered by a sweetly sugared rim so that each sip has a little sparkle. Poe’s Tavern’s charming outdoor seating is bordered by a white picket fence and blooming flowers, making this reliable neighborhood favorite as comfortable as your own front yard. Plus, your neighbor will probably stroll by and end up joining you for a round. Better order two.
SALT AT STATION 22
Salt at Station 22 is a stunner of a space— and the cocktails don’t disappoint either. The airy, vaulted deck has prime spots for perching and people-watching passersby along Middle Street, as well as community tables for the sizable group of friends that will inevitably want to come along. Our tipple of choice here was the highly recommended Londonberry—a summery mix of St. Germain, Creme Yvette, crushed mint and fresh blueberries. Oh, and Bombay Sapphire gin, of course. Don’t be deceived by the ladylike look of this cocktail though, The Londonberry is a strong contender for the best way to celebrate five o’clock. And six o’clock. And seven o’clock.
The deck at High Thyme is no stranger to high spirits—it overlooks Middle Street and has unobstructed access to the sunshine, but is narrow enough to still feel casual and intimate. Tables for two and four dot the deck, which gets full by 7 p.m. High Wire Distillery’s Hat Trick Botanical Gin is featured in The High Society cocktail, which is complemented by St. Germain, muddled cucumber, club soda and a lime. A refreshing antidote to a long day, this light delight is a frisky nod to the Charleston-based distillery without taking the whole tour and keeps you cool as a cucumber even when the SPF is out.
CODA DEL PESCE
This authentic Italian spot is tucked upstairs along Isle Of Palms’ Front Beach and is a more intimate place to tuck into a well-crafted cocktail. The Coda Spritzer is a sprightly sip made with bianco vermouth, limoncello and dry prosecco—evidence of an adherence to the old country’s ingredients. Take that heavenly spritzer out on the patio where the vine-entwined deck gives you a straight-shot view of waves rolling in. Community tables and intimate two-tops make this an ideal spot to start the evening.
Evenings at The Boathouse are an easy choice: The restaurant boasts a walkway strung with twinkling lights that is one of the few places to grab a drink and watch the sun set over the water from a west-facing vantage point, in this case, where multiple creeks come together at Breach Inlet. Climb the stairs and find a second small bar for catching the breeze and settling in with the bartender or at a deck-top table. Get in the island mood with a Boat Breeze, a beachy concoction of Malibu Rum, Myer’s Dark Rum, pineapple and orange juices and a splash of grenadine. Water views and a generous pour of rum go hand-in-hand, best to just go with the flow.
MORGAN CREEK GRILL
At the far north end of Isle of Palms sits Morgan Creek Grill—arrive by boat, car or golf cart, and make your way to any number of outdoor areas. There are slightly covered patios, wide walkways with sunset-facing tables and plenty of seating for friends and families or gossipy groups of gal pals—whatever form your drinkmates take, they’ll go gaga for a Cadillac margarita. The classic tequila cocktail is amped up by bartenders with Patron, freshly squeezed lemon, lime and orange juices, simple syrup and a Grand Marnier float. This summertime favorite is a punchy mix of citrus, smooth liquors and a salty rim—just what the doctor ordered for drinks on a well-loved, windwhipped patio. Just get there in time to order a second one to coincide with the spectacular sunset views.