The Local in Boone starts the party early on summer nights. Students sip cold pints on the outdoor deck, while in the dining room, families gather around hulking wood-fired pizzas. Behind the bar, co-owner Alaina Walker shakes and stirs a bevy of summer cocktails.
A nine-year veteran of mixology, Walker loves exploring new flavors. “I love getting to know the botanical and herbal liqueurs and how they add just the right nuance to a cocktail to make the libation pop,” she says.
The Local’s drink menu features highlights like the cheek-puckering Chipotle Margarita, with house-made chipotle simple syrup; the bittersweet Ruby Red Salty Dog, with grapefruit juice and the French vodka and fruit-based X-rated Fusion Liqueur; and the complex Lavender Word, with green chartreuse, gin, lemon juice, and lavender syrup and bitters. And, for hot summer days, Walker loves a gimlet—restyled. Hers, a cucumber-basil concoction reinvented with garden-fresh summer produce, has just the slightest hint of sweetness. Enjoy this one at home, up or on the rocks.
179 Howard St., Boone