As Asheville’s culinary scene booms, it’s no surprise that a smorgasbord of food and beer tours have cropped up. In one evening, visitors and locals can head out to sample the best restaurants, bars, and breweries the city has to offer. But a new tour catering to the craft cocktail trend lets folks savor the most original drinks in Asheville from the comfort of one bar stool.
Josh Bailey and Stephen Steidle, who launched Eating Asheville walking food and brewery tours earlier this year, have cultivated the Craft Cocktail Experience. And that’s exactly what it is, a complete experience that highlights some of Asheville’s most talented mixologists in one location with live music, hors d’oeuvres, and original drinks.
The October debut at Sazerac featured sips by Peter Slamp, co-owner of Zambra, Joel Hartzler, owner of The Vault and The Southern, Mike Burnette, general manager of the newly opened MG Road, and Marco Garcia, manager of Sazerac. Each prepared two drinks in craft cocktail fashion, pairing local spirits with fresh ingredients and homemade mixes to produce intriguing flavor combinations. Garcia’s popular Horchata Brandy, for example, was a blend of Carriage House Apple Brandy, rice water, cloves, and cinnamon. Eats, such as barbecue frog legs and rock shrimp with sage and aged-cheddar grits were provided by Snout Catering Productions, a Blind Pig creation.
But don’t expect to see the same faces behind the bar at the next event slated for mid December at MG Road. “We want to mix it up and make it unique each time,” Bailey says. Just like each inventive cocktail.
Craft Cocktail Experience
December 14, $59