Bartender Tyler Rothenberg
Tyler Rothenberg is the beverage director at Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. A U.S. Army veteran, Rothenberg entered the Charleston cocktail scene in 2013 as a barman at Felix Cocktails et Cuisine. He was also behind the stick at McCann’s Irish Pub, Cypress, Magnolia’s on King, and Tazza Kitchen in Virginia.
Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails
Tell us about the cocktail program at Handcraft:
We seek to tell a specific story of the cocktail in America through a historical timeline. Our menu is divided into four categories: the 19th Century, 20th Century, 21st Century, and the Future. Each section has cocktails reflective of that time period. We want to have a diverse list that offers something for everyone and we use our drinks as a tool to elevate the experience and captivate our guest.
What are the “must try” cocktails or what should be our first drink of the night?
Our favorite drink is the one that you like the most. In order to identify what that might be, we typically ask a series of questions and based upon your answers, we’ll navigate you to the drink(s) we believe will be most enjoyable. So, you’ll have to come in to find out.
One of your creations, the B-a-n-a-n-a-s Cocktail, is made with Peanut Butter Fat Washed Rum. What is that flavor like, nasty or tasty?
It is super tasty. Peanut Butter Fat Washed Rum is when you take peanut butter (I recommend creamy peanut butter), melt it down, and combine it with rum. You then freeze the ingredients. The peanut butter will freeze, but the spirit won’t. Through this exchange — the oils, flavors, textures, and color of the peanut butter wash off into the rum. The peanut butter gives the rum a rich and creamy texture, with the subtle nuttiness and earthiness you get with peanuts.
HANDCRAFT KITCHEN & COCKTAILS
735 Coleman Boulevard
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
BARTENDER’S CHARLESTON GUIDE
What makes Charleston an exciting drinking town?
We are in the midst of an identity transformation. The Charleston of ten ago is not the Charleston of today. Every day, there are new faces moving to town from all over the world. Trends from everywhere are finding their way to our little home and helping push the boundaries in both our culinary and drinking scene. There are so many new places popping up (which also makes things challenging) with unique and unusual perspectives that help push our capabilities as a drinking destination. Our city has been in the public eye for quite some time, but we are continuing to define who we are and who we want to be, and that really makes me excited.
Lowlife on Folly Beach has the complete package. Their food, drinks, and hospitality are amongst the best in town. They serve brunch seven days a week, not to mention being so close to the crashing waves and salty air of Folly Beach. If you haven’t checked them out yet, please do yourself a favor. The Dark & Shady (Cruzan Black Strap Rum, Amber Rum, Fresh Ginger and Lime Juice) is my guilty pleasure. They also have the best fries in town.
LOWLIFE ON FOLLY BEACH
106 East Hudson Avenue, Folly Beach, SC 29439
I have to make a shameless plug for Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails because I think we have the best happy hour in town. From 4pm to 7pm, every day of the week, we serve $3 Miller Lite drafts, $5 premium wells, $6 Highball Cocktails from our 21st century section, and $6 select wines. We also have themed nights with great specials. Monday is Meltdown Monday serving our food and beverage community with $3 beers, $4 shots, and a special grilled cheese menu. Tuesday is Tiki Tuesday with Polynesian -inspired cocktails and food. Wednesday is Wine Down Wednesday with a monthly complimentary wine tasting with complimentary cheese and charcuterie and we sell those tasted bottles half off for the month, along with wine inspired cocktails.
HANDCRAFT KITCHEN & COCKTAILS
735 Coleman Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
Bars | Classics
At Gene’s Haufbrau, order the hot wings, sip on one of their many beers, and play Cards Against Humanity. The Griffon is my spot for a shot of Jameson and dirty jokes. Head to The Windjammer and order whatever crazy frozen drink Hallie has in the machine. It’s PBRs and Old Crow at the Recovery Room Tavern. At Surf Bar, they make a banging Painkiller.
Bars | Modern
At Dalila’s you’ll be happy drinking anything on their menu, not too mention the Cuban sandwich. Do yourself a favor and just eat and drink through entire menu at Doar Bros. At The Watch Rooftop & Spirits, Darren is always coming up with something fun and interesting — just ask the bar what they’re excited about or what new bottled beverage they might have.
Off The Beaten Track
Seanachai always has fun and interesting cocktails. Ask Adam to tell you a funny joke, you won’t be disappointed. Upstairs at The Icehouse is one of my favorite bars in town. They have the largest liquor collection in South Carolina. Ask Peter to do cool bar tricks and show you how to play every bar game that exists. If you are an American whisk(e)y nerd, then Paddock & Whisky is the place. They have an incredible selection and their bar staff is always warm, welcoming, and knowledgeable. McCann’s Irish Pubs serve the best pint of Guinness; the best Irish Whiskey selection; and the best Fish & Chips.
3157B Maybank Highway, Johns Island, SC 29455
UPSTAIRS AT THE ICEHOUSE
104 East Doty Avenue, Summerville, SC 29483
McCANN’S IRISH PUBS
Mount Pleasant | 2700 N Highway 17, Mount Pleasant, SC 29466 | T: 843.800.5080
Seabrook | 1001 Landfall Way, Seabrook Island, SC 29455 | T: 843.737.0347
Go the back bar at Prohibition and enjoy the patio. Hit up The Commodore when they are rocking live music and Burns Alley for Jägermeister and weird karaoke. The Palace Hotel is the place for dogs and beer. For sweets, Carmella’s Cafe & Dessert Bar serves up desert and sandwiches.
CARMELLA’S CAFE & DESSERT BAR
198 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC 29401
High Wire Distilling Co. has a whole range of booze worth picking up. They represent South Carolina and create amazing whiskey products.
The Hat Trick Gin has beautiful botanical notes that are bright and balanced. Their Revival Whiskeys use heritage grains that were almost lost or forgotten. Their Southern Amaro is one of the most interesting amari I have tasted and it represents the flavors of the South perfectly.
Red Harbor makes a rum that is balanced and is great for sipping or mixing. Dixie Southern Vodka is the best vodka in the south.
HIGH WIRE DISTILLING CO.
652 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403
Charleston: Beyond Food & Drink
The best tattoo shop in town is Upper Hand Tattoo Studio and Chad is the best at what he does. Barrelli Barber is an amazing spot for a haircut. Make sure to ask for Jake, if he isn’t completely booked. Pivotal Fitness has great work out facilities that has everything you need under the same roof.
UPPER HAND TATTOO STUDIO
1869 B Sam Rittenberg Boulevard, Charleston, SC 29407