Charleston's Happy Hour Just Got More Sophisticated

posted in: Bottles Beverage | 0

Sponsored by: Bottles Beverage Superstore

Move over happy hour – there's a new way to usher in the evening. Stems & Skins and Bottles Beverage Superstore are partnering to change the way people think about their pre-dinner drink by introducing Charleston to the aperitivo culture. An Italian tradition, aperitivo is the time of day when you relax after work and prepare for dinner with an appetite-stimulating drink.

"This is a time of day where you can prepare for the dinner meal and celebrate the beginning of the best part of the day," says Matt Tunstall, co-owner and beverage director at Park Circle’s Stems & Skins.

Aperitivo is a bit of a switch from the traditional American “happy hour” that promotes a quick drink after work and, usually, more inexpensive liquors or beers. Common around Europe, aperitivo involves serving up beverages that are often many generations old and vary from town to town, Tunstall says.

"A glass of wine, a cocktail, a beer are all part of the celebration, but also there are many localized liqueurs from all over Europe," he says.

During the month of June, Stems & Skins is highlighting Bonal Gentiane-Quina as its aperitif – an alcoholic beverage usually served before a meal to stimulate the appetite. This particular wine hails from France. It has a Mistelle base with gentiane and chichona bark as well as grape brandy to boost the alcohol level.

"It is a wonderful, earthy, off dry wine that we pour over rocks with a twist," Tunstall says. "It is refreshing and appetite stimulating."

In addition to serving drinks from around the world, Stems & Skins has a menu of charcuterie and cheese, Mediterranean-style bar snacks and sandwiches. The Bonal Gentiane-Quina pairs nicely with hard cheeses and nuts.

As part of the partnership, Bottles Beverage Superstore in Mount Pleasant is offering the Bonal Gentiane-Quina for sale as its drink of choice for June. It's perfect for guests who want to purchase a bottle to replicate the dining experience at home. In fact, they just might want to start their own aperitivo to welcome the best part of the day.

"At Bottles, we pride ourselves on customer service, and our philosophy is to provide more than just a liquor delivery option to our Class B partners. We like to work with our clients to help advance the cocktail culture in Charleston," says Travis Hartong, Spirits Consultant for Bottles Beverage Superstore. "The monthly Bottles Cocktail Collaboration program helps promote those that are passionate and working hard in our industry. Since we are a local business ourselves, we're partnering with other locally owned establishments for this ongoing program in an effort to support the community we live in."

Stems & Skins, 1070 E. Montague Ave., opens at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Bottles Beverage Superstore, 10 Coleman Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464. Open 9AM to 9PM Monday to Saturday, and 11AM to 6PM on Sunday.