Written by Emily Glaser | Photos by Anthony Harden
In a 2012 media report, apparently flushed with a beer buzz, a Fox News correspondent chided, “Stick to the beer. Cocktails do not seem to be one of Asheville’s strong suits.”
Things have changed.
Though national headlines about our town are still often of the “Beer City” variety or occasional nods to our growing contingency of James Beard nominees, there’s another story being written in the vinyl booths and barstools of Asheville’s watering holes. Its earliest authors were quiet innovators armed with spotted recipe cards and waxed aprons: Cynthia Turner, who brought the New Orleansian art of the cocktail to Asheville in the early aughts; ‘tenders behind the sister bars of some of our city’s buzzy restaurants like M.G. Road (Chai Pani’s recently retired basement bar) and Imperial Life (which sits atop Table); without a doubt, Mr. Charlie Hodge.
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