Cocktail of the Week: The Wise Spaniard from Cannon Green (And a Happy Hour to Die For)

By Featured Food Blogger:? Cookin’ With Booze

I drive by Cannon Green all the time and always thought it was just a fancy restaurant, but I’m happy to report that they have a killer happy hour! On Tuesdays, they have $5 margs and $2 tacos that change each week, so you get a different experience every time. The rest of the week, they have $3 beer, $5 house wine & well liquor, and $8 specialty cocktails.

the happiest hour

In addition to discounted drinks, everyone who attends happy hour gets to play Plinko for a chance to win: a $5 mimosa carafe, free dessert, a $5 burger, or a complimentary cocktail. I got to try several of their happy hour drinks and bites with my fellow #TastemakersCHS and by the end of the night we all had a nice buzz and satisfied appetites!

We started the night by sampling some signature cocktails. I tried the spicy marg (obvi I can’t resist) and the “Wise Spaniard.” The Wise Spaniard is my cocktail of the week because of its complex flavor. It was composed of gin, sage syrup, grapefruit juice, and Cava (a Spanish sparkling wine). The sage complemented the floral notes of the gin and the grapefruit juice and bubbly wine brightened it up. It was garnished with a fresh sprig of sage, which I accidentally almost choked on and said out loud “wow I almost choked on a sage leaf,” which might’ve been the most bougie thing I’ve ever said in my life.

queso, this is all mine, right?

To complement the cocktails, we sampled some of their apps that were great for sharing. We started with queso and guac, and it was tough for me to share the queso with others, but I tried my best not to give any death glares. We were also treated to their fresh ceviche, which was a refreshing switch from the rich queso.

The main dish of the night was the tacos ($2 during happy hour on Taco Tuesday). The tacos were filled with shredded chicken, fresh mango, crunchy radishes, and drizzled with sour cream. They could’ve packed more of a punch in the spice department for me, but overall they were satisfying.

The local shrimp and Brussels sprouts were the other stars of the show. I feel like every restaurant in Charleston has some variation on Brussels sprouts, and for that I am eternally grateful. Cannon Green’s version spices it up with gochujang (red chile paste), sesame seeds, and a garlic aioli. I couldn’t really taste the gochujang, but the garlic aioli added a nice creamy contrast to the crispy sprouts.

The shrimp was seasoned so well on the shrimp toast that a few of us took to eating the heads. It might’ve been the cocktails that made us do this, but I honestly have no regrets. I’ve heard on Food Network for many years that shrimp heads are the most flavorful part and I can’t say I disagree. It was a crunchy delicacy.

i’ll be back!

Photo by @hangry.mess

We finished off the night by playing Plinko and I went home with a voucher for a $5 mimosa carafe! I’m glad the Tastemakers introduced me to this new happy hour spot and it’s certainly #BoozeApproved.

Cotton Fields (Southern Love Story) – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

Every day I think of you
Every night the same dream
A world with you by my side
In your eyes, I see your faith reflect into my soul

Sitting on the swing under the warm Southern sky
Spelling our names in pine cones with cotton fields not far behind

Remember me as I remember you
Never forgetting that Southern love, that first love, that first moment

This beautiful misery of seeing you for the last time
A perfection of God’s creation
Cherish in 8MM in the forefront of my mind

Behind the cotton fields
Under the pale moonlight
I held you close until the end of time
Time shortened faster than I could catch my breath

The slide show in my mind so clean
Lips as smooth as a glass of Southern moonshine
Love as deep as the Lowcountry marshlands
Promises as safe as my heart on a line

A tragic flaw in our perfection
A hurricane to wipe away our beachfront sunrise
A time lost, but not forgotten

Cotton fields
White as the innocence in your eyes
Pure as the affection your shared
Soft as the skin I miss holding so tight
A woman, crisp as the morning air
A mother, protector of the gift of life

I look around now and all I see are reminders of what might be
To walk in those cotton fields again
A dream, a wish, a sacred vow said in silence in the darkened night

You can’t always get as Jagger said
But are you the one I need….

What Not to Do In Charleston

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By Minta Pavliscsak

It seems everywhere you look these days there are blogs popping up about what to do in Charleston. Having information about what to do and where to go is great, but sometimes it is good to know what not to do. Fear not! We have you covered. So enjoy your time in Charleston, but please keep in mind the following things not to do in Charleston, South Carolina:

– Do not stop in the middle of the road to take pictures of the big, beautiful houses. Again, that goes for cars and pedestrians, although we see it happen mostly with cars. Simply pull over and park, get out and walk around. You will get much better photographs and see so much more!

– Do not block the sidewalks. We all have places to go and people to see. While this is the south and time does seem to run a little slower here, we are still in a rush to get to where we need to be. Please be considerate of those behind you when walking down the sidewalk and make sure they have plenty of room to get around you.

– Do not let the door slam on the person walking in behind you. We are taught at a very early age to “hold the door” for others, especially southern gentlemen. When you don’t, it is nothing personal, but we take it as such. And it’s simply rude.

– Do not stop in the middle of the intersection. This goes for cars and pedestrians. The light stays green for only so long, and trust me it’s not very long. If you are unsure of where you are going, just get out of the way and then figure it out.

– Do not eat at Hymans. With so many other amazing options, try not to fall prey to the hype. But you definitely don’t have to take our word for it.

– Do not walk in the bike lane when walking across the Ravenel Bridge. The bikers will warn you that they are coming up behind you, but they will also come pretty dern close to running you over if you are in their lane.

– Do not pay for a taxi when getting around downtown. You have a couple of free options. The city has the DASH, a free downtown shuttle that has different routes that will get you all over the peninsula. There is also Scoop Charleston, a free electric taxi service that will get you anywhere you want to go in downtown Charleston.? The Rickshaw is just a fine Southern tradition and cozy way to get around town.

– Do not get to the bar late if you do not want to pay a cover charge. Going out at night? Try upper King Street or hit up the Market and East Bay area. However, be warned that there will be lines and cover charges.

– Do not bring alcohol on the beach. Folly Beach was the last beach in the area that allowed drinking on the beach. They banned alcohol on their beach in 2012 following a last straw Fourth of July incident. Some say just be smart about it; we say why risk it?

– Do not forget that everyone has their bad days. Sure, Charleston has been named one of the friendliest cities but whether you are a local or a tourist, things like what are listed above can -and will- bug anyone from time to time. Just be patient, smile, and remember the golden rule for in the end we all want our Charleston experience to be a great one.

Garden & Gun’s Eighth Annual Made in the South Awards Call For The Best Of Southern-Made Products

Press Release:? SOURCE Garden & Gun

Awards Celebrate Southern Craftsmanship in Style, Crafts, Drink, Food, Home, and Outdoors

CHARLESTON, S.C., May 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —?Garden & Gun?announced today the kick-off of its eighth annual Made in the South Awards?with the official call for product entries in six categories: Style, Crafts, Drink, Food, Home, and Outdoors. The overall winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize, and, along with all category winners and runners-up, will be prominently featured in the magazine’s December 2017/January 2018 issue.

Garden & Gun created the Made in the South Awards in 2010 to celebrate and encourage Southern craftsmanship, and to recognize the best available Southern-made products.

“One of our favorite times of year is when the Made in the South Awards entries arrive. It’s always an honor to shine a spotlight on the talent and creativity of the South’s artisans, craftsman, chefs, designers, and tastemakers,” said David DiBenedetto, senior vice president and editor in chief of Garden & Gun. “It has been amazing to watch previous winners go on to great success over the last seven years, adding a new level of excitement as we enter the award’s eighth call for entries.”

The 2017 Made in the South Awards judges are:

  • Reese Witherspoon (Nashville, TN), actress, producer, entrepreneur, and founder of Draper James-a lifestyle brand that emphasize her southern roots and personal style (Style)
  • Andrea Hyde (New York, NY), a tenured retail executive and current CEO of Draper James (Style)
  • Paula Wallace (Savannah, GA), president and co-founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design-a private, nonprofit, accredited university for creative careers (Crafts)
  • Derek Brown (Washington, DC), entrepreneur, restauranteur, writer and award-winning mixologist (Drink)
  • Mashama Bailey (Savannah, GA), entrepreneur, chef and co-founder of The Grey-a familiar yet elevated restaurant experience occupying a 1938 art deco Greyhound bus terminal in Historic Downtown Savannah (Food)
  • Bunny Williams (New York, NY), tastemaker, entertainer, celebrated interior designer and founder and CEO of Bunny Williams Home-a collection consisting of reproductions of Bunny’s own treasures as well as original designs (Home)
  • T. Edward Nickens (Raleigh, NC), award-winning author, journalist, on-camera host, scriptwriter and outdoorsman (Outdoors)

All Southern artisans or businesses with a product in one of the six categories (Style, Crafts, Drink, Food, Home, and Outdoors) that will be available for sale through January 2018 may apply. For entry forms, category descriptions, and rules, visit The entry fee for submissions is $75 and entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. ET on July 1, 2017. Winners will be publicly announced in the December 2017/January 2018 issue of Garden & Gun, which will hit newsstands in November 2017.

To follow the Made in the South Awards conversation and judging process, use #madeinthesouthawards on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or visit us at

About Garden & Gun
Garden & Gun is an award-winning national lifestyle magazine that covers the best of the South, including the sporting culture, the food, the music, the art, the literature, the people and their ideas.? Reaching a national audience of more than 1.5 million passionate and engaged readers, the magazine has won numerous awards for its journalism, design, and overall excellence. Visit

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:–guns-eighth-annual-made-in-the-south-awards-call-for-the-best-of-southern-made-products-300458859.html

?2017 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved

Save Charleston

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

In January, 2009, I took over the lower part of a duplex on the corner of Morris and Rutledge.? Without a friend, without a deep understanding of the root core of Southern culture and without a map to guide my transition, I began a personal transformation.? Rejuvenation was a common theme that sparked conversation as residents and students spoke of the changes in the air.? Often, I would go to O’Malley’s, sit with Mike who stayed busy behind the bar, and enjoy a drink and light conversation.? During my time on Upper King, I enjoyed quiet nights strolling the streets in jeans and a tee and a few crazy nights singing Bon Jovi on a table top at AC’s.? That sense of home adopted very quickly.

As I heard folks rehash stories of the danger and crime north of Calhoun Street, I was taken back.? How could a community so saturated with southern warmth, be stricken by crime and racial tension?? It was a different time I was told.? I was absorbed into a first account story of military action on America Street to undercover drug trading and even an undeclared program to ship out the homeless on buses out west.? Some personal stories were shared.? With each story, a feeling of belonging more and more.

In one weekend I fell in love with a town sprinkled with charm, healthy beach life, hospitality, kindness and a kick ass record store on the corner of Calhoun and King.? That record store closed just before I moved down permanently and is now the home of Chipotle, Walgreens and Carolina Ale House.? Times have changed.? Once what stood as a cornerstone of family small town urban delight is now the new Southern Time Square.

Change is good.? We never want to lose sight of an opportunity to rejuvenate.? As we evolve as individuals we become more aware, breaking down the barriers of ignorance and accepting a new perspective.? If we didn’t, periods of our history like segregation and prohibition would still remain in these parts.

I fell in love with Charleston for the radiant sunrises, courtesy of strangers to one another, the structural beauty of the architecture, reflection of history, tender compassion for humanity, love of animals, respect for the farms, local businesses and Americana and the ideal that in times of need, we stand together as one.

Our culture is a day to day reminder of a proclamation our forefathers made to learn, embrace change and respect the foundations of family, home, religion and freedom.

One story will always remain with me.? On one afternoon, when a seemingly quiet day turned into a coastal storm within seconds, I saw my quiet street turn into a river knee deep.? Cars in all directions lay dormant, falling victim to the sudden downpour and flooding.? Without thought, only guided by instinct, myself and dozens of other neighbors came to the street and just helped strangers push their cars to safety one by one until all were out of harm’s way.? It was an act of unselfish behavior that I will not forget.

Yet, something is happening.? We are quick to pass blame, not on ourselves but the winds of change.

Growth is happening at a record pace.? Hospitality growth is skyrocketing like the span of hotels reaching for the stars, local home grown businesses are falling under the shadows of corporate roots, mergers are driving down competition and driving up prices, family businesses falling to corporations securing a powerful stance of influence and the traditions we love are beginning to crumble.

I go to the James Island Sunday Brunch, John’s Island Farmer’s Market, Folly Beach Farmer’s Market and Marion Square Market not only to get fresh air, people watch and enjoy the simple moments of the day, but knowing that I am helping keep local businesses thriving.

We love the name Charleston.? Heck, we never miss an opportunity to praise ourselves.? That extends to our feelings about our neighbors, the people of Charleston: food trucks, bike vendors, family owned restaurants and bars, yoga studios, juices bars, bakeries, educators, rickshaws and so much more.

We want to continue to rejuvenate, but not at the cost of losing our identity.? I love Charleston and the people that make us who we are.? If we let growth cloud us of who we are, everyone loses.? Many think growth is good, yet basic economics dictate that growth doesn’t always translate to profit and economic boost.? It raises operations costs, infrastructure concerns, supply and demand issues and quality.? There are down sides to our growth and we need to be aware and vocal.

The Spectator Hotel, who just was awarded the top hotel in the world according to the 2016 Travel & Leisure survey embodies the marriage of both growth and local community.? Each room, lobby, bar and the hallways are designed by local interior designers.? The art, provided by local artists, food and beverage accessed locally and vendor partnerships all local.? They understand that there is a small town appeal to Charleston that should never be lost.

I want to continue to rejuvenate our community, but I want our culture to remain.

For 340 years, we have fought for family and freedom, been pioneers, been the continuation of generations who have called this home and enjoyed the absolute beauty of our natural surroundings.

Let us not forget who we are.

Little Jacks Tavern – Review and Dining Experience by KitchyLiving

Article and Photos by Sarah Snyder -
Article and Photos by Sarah Snyder –

Nestled on Upper King where the former St. Alban’s used to be is Little Jack’s Tavern. A quaint restaurant full of charm and that “way back when” feel. Upon walking in, I was greated by Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole belting out jazzy tunes instantly transporting me back in time. Their decor is sort of speakeasy meets horse and kennel club with green gingham tablecloths and bright red upholstered chairs. They have pictures of Frank Sinatra and other Crooners scattered about the walls schmoozing with famous starlets. It feels like a restaurant straight out of Guys and Dolls. The old soul inside of me died and went to heaven.

I met up with my friend Charlotte for Sunday lunch there and loved the ambiance. Honestly, there weren’t many people there at all and for the better part of our meal we had the whole restaurant to ourselves. However, I think their menu is more geared toward the dinner crowd. Next time I go, I will probably go back for dinner so I can try one of their delicious sounding cocktails.

For this visit however, I ordered the Vegetable Crudités served with a whipped Avocado Ranch dip and the Tavern Burger (hamburger slider with American cheese and sunchoke relish served on a sesame bun). The Crudités was made up of ?rainbow radishes, green beans, carrots, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, and romaine hearts, sprinkled with salt, and served with a delicious whipped avocado dip. It was a fun way to eat my veggies as opposed to the typical mundane side salad.

The Tavern Burger was technically a slider, but the perfect portion for me. I don’t think I could have eaten the Jack’s Burger (dinner portion) without splitting it with someone. The burger itself was phenomenal. Cooked to perfection, topped with American cheese and sunchoke relish. The relish helped to balance the heaviness of the slider. I had never had sunchokes before, but turns out they are a relative of the artichoke family. After Googling “sunchoke relish” on the internet, I’ve come to find out that it’s a very popular item in Southern pantries. The relish itself had a sweet, mustardy flavor to it that complimented the burger nicely.

Charlotte ordered the Shrimp and Farro Salad which had shrimp, peas, asparagus, pistachios, and mint tossed into it. It boasted a great flavor, but was a tad bit over salted which detracted from the overall flavor. I think if I were to order that next time, I would ask for them to go light on the salt.

Overall, I loved the ambiance, our service was spectacular (Christopher rocks!), and I would highly recommend it to anyone in Charleston. I look forward to visiting again so I can sit at the bar and indulge in one of their cocktails. I think the Brown Derby may be calling my name. Thanks for a great experience, Little Jack’s! Or should I say, old sport…

Read more from KitchyLiving

Vegetable Crudités served with a whipped Avocado Ranch dip
Tavern Burger (hamburger slider with American cheese and sunchoke relish served on a sesame bun
Shrimp and Farro Salad which had shrimp, peas, asparagus, pistachios, and mint


Are you a passionate Southern Blogger? – Join the Blog Society

Are you a Southern blogger with a passion for food, fashion, architecture, history, shopping, entertainment or just love to share your experiences with the rest of the world?? We have a society for you.? One that builds community and provides deeper exposure of your message.

Learn more about The Blog Societies today.


What we look for in our Members
Quality photographs that are either a) original and done with a high quality?camera or b) quality photographs that are properly credited. Please do not send in your application if you are only posting Instagram or iPhone photos, photos taken of you by yourself (aka selfies) or solely photographs of other people’s work. ?Photos must be large (600px or wider), high quality and in focus. ?We also look for a large amount of original photos from our applicants. Photography is our most important guideline for our applicants to meet and to see examples of what we look for, you can view our latest posts on The Blog Societies.

In addition to great photography, it’s imperative that the majority of your content easily falls into one of our categories of EAT, DIY/HOWTO, WEAR or LEARN. ?We also look for bloggers who have had consistent posting (roughly 3 times per week) for several months. We are unable to extend memberships to those who have started a blog and do not have some content history to review (we suggest a minimum of 6 months of content). Please ensure that your ABOUT page has a large (preferably over 500 pixels wide), high quality photograph of you so that we can feature you as a potential MEET. This is typically the page we head to first to get to know our applicants for review, so make sure it’s top notch!


  • Listed on The Blog Societies site for all members and brand resources to view/contact
  • Opportunity to submit content to be featured on the site and promoted across social media
  • Exclusive invitations to events from city/state meet ups to brand events
  • Invitation to apply to the annual Blog Societies conference
  • Exclusive invitation to work with brands on collaborations
  • Access to The Blog Societies Pinterest member board
  • Access to private forum for members to network, learn and connect

Application Link – Register Here

Recap – Third Annual Southern Blog Society Conference – Charleston, South Carolina