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Charleston Cocktail Culture

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Maybe it's the heat, or just that relaxed Southern way of life, but Charlestonians do like their cocktail hour. Here are some spots to get your mint julep on, from the old-school Thoroughbred Club to the craft cocktail joints that have popped up over the past several years.
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2169, 182 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
The Gin Joint opened in 2010 and was Charleston's first real dedicated craft cocktail spot. Five years later, it's still going strong with its creative drinks menu (including a "bartender's choice" option for the patron who wants a surprise) and...
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511 King St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
With its pressed tin ceilings, exposed brick walls, and extensive cocktail menu, The Belmont could easily be mistaken for a bar in Brooklyn. But the laid-back vibe is pure Lowcountry. The Belmont is one of Charleston's first craft cocktail bars,...
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474 King St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
The classic cocktail list at The Rarebit is hard to beat: Moscow mules served in gorgeous copper mugs, Manhattans with a touch of Benedictine. The food menu is composed of similarly solid throwbacks: a pork chop with mac and cheese and green...
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437 King St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
Proof serves great classic cocktails, like Manhattans and Sazeracs, but it's also a good place to get a glass of wine or some beer (fancy or cheap). The rotating snacks menu is small but solid—try a pickled egg.
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205 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
The Thoroughbred Club is in the lobby of Charleston Place hotel, right in the middle of downtown Charleston. They serve up classic cocktails (try their gussied-up negroni) and also have a great tea service, with live music every afternoon and...
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547 King St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
Prohibition serves great classic cocktails, like a Blood and Sand and a solid mint julep. The place also serves fancy comfort food (chorizo- and mushroom-studded mac and cheese, pork chop with a ginger-peach glaze), hosts live music and swing...