Tightly arranged within century-old exposed brick still intact are master bartenders stationed in The Bar at Husk, a bellow that recalls a bygone era of Charleston nightlife and serves as a more personal way of experiencing Husk’s emphasis on classic cocktails.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Travis Platt Contributing writer
It happens when you least expect it: a moment of fulfillment that appears unexpectedly during casual conversation. In this moment, a breath quickly halts as synapses explode like fireworks in the night sky of the mind. Taste and pleasure collide like an unstoppable force and an immovable object. It happened at The Bar at Husk, and a question rose from the smoke: “Is this the best cocktail I’ve ever had?”
Then logic and reasoning kicked in to find an excuse. Maybe it’s the setting, one of the nation’s most renowned establishments, or perhaps it’s the cool layer of air inside, evaporating sweat beads from my brow. It could be that Charleston’s allure has filled my soul with historical curiosities all day, eliminating any worries outside of the old harbor town. Or maybe this is actually it. Maybe in this unexpected moment, on this small creaking bar stool, I have found the greatest cocktail to ever spill down my throat.
as a veteran barman aware of the rising popularity of this specific drink, it was hands down the best cocktail I’ve ever had.
Husk is widely known as the one of the South’s best culinary experiences thanks to owner Sean Brock, who has fought adversity more times one can count to rise up the ranks. Thousands flock to fill their gullets from Husk’s kitchen, but we simply aimed where our Cyties business does best: the dimly lit affiliated bar next door.
Enclosed in century-old brick is a team of mixologists ready to greet you with self-assured grins. Metal instruments click and clank while ice hits thick glassware, giving birth to modern cocktails with a historic zest. Every drip has a South Carolina touch, poured alongside local microbrews and a wine list guided by flavor notes of soil.
Order the Light Dragoon’s Punch emptied from a jam jar of infused liquor, a recipe that dates back to 1783. (It finishes like a sweet tea on steroids.) The barrel-aged Manhattan sits for 30 days before it hits any glass, and the Talking in Cursive tastes like it could be paired with any front porch sunset over a salty marsh.
Wood rails lead up to the lounge, where any afternoon reset can turn into an vibrant evening. We always insist on bellying up and getting to know the crew. That’s where it occurs, where the moment can happen. The cocktail was a suggested White Negroni. Simple, yes, but even as a veteran barman aware of the rising popularity of this specific drink, it was hands down the best cocktail I’ve ever had.
Perhaps trying to apply logic to demystify a moment actually does the opposite. But if we simply pause to listen closely, it can help clarify the shock. So yes, it was more than the ingredients in the glass — it was everything that had transpired that day. It was cobblestone streets and moss-covered graveyards, the beautiful diversity of welcoming nods, the sight of the oldest architecture in the country, and the thick evening breeze that accompanied me into The Bar at Husk. It was a West Coast mind underestimating the environment. It was the charm of the city that hit my lips; it was Charleston that did it.
Listen, Husk is getting national attention, it’s a big deal. But the bar still feels exclusive, away from the crowd
Plan on having a few here, cocktails are made with precision — dare you order the Dragoons Punch
Ask for local beers, lot’s of goof things starting to happen with hometown suds in Chucktown
When ready, take a look at the menu, ANYTHING is worth ordering