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Made in the South: Charleston, Cocktails, Cotton Fields

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Celebrating the best of Southern makers and culture, Garden & Gun Jubilee represents much of what I enjoy about Charleston and beyond: good living, good music, hand-crafted dry goods, fresh-caught seafood and a stiff drink, all savored under an ancient grove of oaks along the quiet waters of an Ashley River bayou.

Last month’s 2015 Made in The South Weekend was no exception. Winding its way through South Carolina’s Charles Towne Landing historic state park, the three-day festival was a lively gathering packed with artisans, craftspeople, musicians, designers, chefs, writers, and a few Atlantans serving up Sweet Annettes and Briny Marys to friends old and new.

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Garden-and-Gun-Jubilee-2015---American-Spirit-Whiskey---Craft-Catalyst---Anna-Apotheca---Richland-Rum---Sweet-Annette-Cocktail--Bottles-Shop-Charleston

Sweet Annette
2.5 parts soft apple cider
3 dashes Anna Apotheca “Spark” cinnamon bitters
Squeeze of lemon

 

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Briny Mary
2 parts Charleston Mix Bloody Mary Mix
1 part American Spirit Whiskey

Garnish with a Blackberry Farm Pickled Okra (and a dash of Okra pot liquor if you feel so inclined)

Learning how to properly polish my booties (shoe-shine snapshots c/o Garden & Gun).

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Outside of the Jubilee’s generous sporting, shopping, spirits and cultural offerings, CPR and I followed the standard prescription for a great weekend in Charleston:

  • Stay: Book a sleepy little Airbnb in West Ashley (or you can go all out in downtown).
  • Go: Throw on comfortable shoes and take a quick Uber ride onto South Battery to see the waterfront and White Point Garden.
  • See: Walk north along East Bay Street, then cut over to King Street by way of Queen Street, soaking up the classic architecture of Charleston’s elegant old homes and buildings along the way.
  • Shop: Stop off side streets to window-shop and peruse gorgeous art and antique galleries. Keep an eye out for secret-alley spots like Curiosity Vintage and The Commons.
  • Drink: Wind your way north along King. Pick up sweets in a little pâtisserie or gelato parlor. Have a beer flight at Closed For Business or bar hop your way through many local favorites.
  • Eat: When you’ve asked G&G’s Editor for dinner recs and his immediate reply was Leon’s Oyster Shop, you’ll keep trekking Upper King all the way ’til you find sweet Southern hospitality and cooking at its best. Anything you order at Leon’s will taste delicious. When you’re done with dinner, kick up your feet by Leon’s fireplace with a Whiskey Buck.
  • Eat Again: In the heart of the city we also loved 167 Raw, a tiny bar that’s big on taste and serves up the freshest oysters and great wine and local beer. Or if you’re willing to make a reservation, you can’t go wrong with FIG, The Ordinary, or Husk.

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Heading back to Atlanta, we avoided the highway and ended up in high cotton for miles and miles. Like the old oaks of Charles Towne Landing, dripping with Spanish moss, we found the cotton fields basking in the sun, swaying near-imperceptibly on a South Carolina breeze.

There’s just something surreal about being surrounded by expansive fields of anything. As a southerner with an affinity for fashion, I have a certain inclination to know cotton, a fiber forever entangled with the South’s history and threading into its future.

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Did you know that cotton makes up 90% natural fiber used in textiles today? Or that, currently, 99% of cotton world-wide is chemically grown? Zady offers an excellent, open-sourced primer on cotton and other popular clothing textiles on The New Standard, a digital guide to sustainable and ethical fashion.

A deeper look at the global relationship of cotton – from rural farms in South Carolina, to factory cities in China, back to the United States – can also be found in Laura Kissel’s recent documentary Cotton Road.

The more you know.

PS:  Ethical cotton and cashmere, a dreamy alpaca coat, and why you might like linen sheets.

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