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ART / CULTURE / STYLE / UPCOUNTRY SOUTH CAROLINA

Mix & Match

Bittermilk takes the guesswork (and hard work) out of bar culture


By M. Linda Lee
JULY 30, 2014

Like a fine wine, great ideas need time to mature. CIA-trained chefs Joe and MariElena Raya worked in several East Coast restaurants before settling in Charleston and opening the Gin Joint on East Bay Street in 2010. It wasn’t long before customers began requesting the recipes for the bar’s pre-Prohibition cocktails. “We were happy to share the recipes,” says MariElena, “but many of our drinks include crazy ingredients that aren’t readily available.” After all, most of us don’t have things like cinchona bark, gentian root, and elderflowers sitting around. And who wants to be bothered burning sugar or smoking honey in a bourbon barrel?  

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