Guests mingled as they enjoyed Charleston-inspired food and cocktails

We brought the warm hospitality of Charleston to life in New York City for the January 19th debut of our new event series: Evenings AFAR. The NoMad Bar at the NoMad Hotel channeled Charleston’s spirit with live bluegrass music, craft cocktails, and southern-inspired dishes.

Mixologist Craig Nelson, founder of Charleston’s Proof bar, was on hand to make his signature drinks, as were Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall—the husband-and-wife team behind High Wire, the first distillery to operate in downtown Charleston since Prohibition. They chatted with guests and shared samples of High Wire’s small-batch artisanal gin and whiskey.

It was a rollicking party that got guests buzzing about Charleston—and inspired to plan a visit. These Instagrams from the event will show you why.

Reason 1: The Cocktail Scene

As a child, Craig Nelson regularly got off the school bus at his grandmother’s liquor store. He now runs the bar Proof on King Street—and he joined us at Evenings AFAR to mix creations like The Knuckleball, with bourbon whiskey, a Mexican Coke reduction, orange bitters, and boiled peanuts.

That small-batch bourbon whiskey came from High Wire Distilling, and founders Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall helmed a tasting station upstairs at the NoMad Bar. Partygoers also got a taste of Charleston’s craft beer scene, thanks to IPAs and stouts supplied by Holy City Brewing.

Reason 2: The Innovative Food

This spread of a piping hot shrimp boil and plates of skewered sausage with tomato and corn was just the beginning. Evenings AFAR also served up crab bisque, fried chicken with biscuits and chili-lime yogurt, smoked pork belly, gourgères with pimento cheese, pecan pies, and banana pudding tropizienne.

Reason 3: The Live Music

Bluegrass music played by the Handsome Hearts got guests tapping their toes.

Reason 4: Charleston’s Overall Charm

We’d say this Instagram caption summed up Evenings AFAR nicely: “Fried chicken, mini biscuits, sorghum whiskey, live bluegrass = one helluva party. @Afarmedia, your Southern charm has me happier than a tornado in a trailer park.”

Thanks to our partner, Explore Charleston, for a wildly successful evening! Check out this gallery of GIFs from the party as well as more photos in our Facebook album. And follow along with #EveningsAFAR and #ExploreCharleston as we host Evenings AFAR events in Boston and D.C. this spring.

Kate Appleton

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