For a limited time, BLT Steak is featuring a trio of cocktails created with Charlotte-made Red Clay cider.
Although cider usually drinks like a beer in big pint glasses, its crisp, lightly sweet effervescence makes for a solid cocktail mixer too—kind of like how champagne stands on its own but shows up in fancy specialty drinks every once in a while.
Red Clay is Charlotte’s first cidery, they source their apples from North Carolina and apple season just so happens to be right now. So this is basically the perfect storm for a local seasonal specialty menu item.
Unlike more overpowering martini-style cocktails made for sipping, cider cocktails are dangerously drinkable.
BLT’s bartenders crafted drinks that go down like a soda but pack a grown-up punch with the buzz-inducing combination of cider plus vodka or bourbon.
Here’s what they’re mixing up… The Cide Car is available now and the other two drinks will be rolled out in the coming months.
Cide Car ($15)
Red Clay Queen City Common cider with vodka, celery, simple syrup, lemon juice, celery bitters and a celery salt rim
Plum Affair ($17)
Red Clay Queen City Common cider with Woodford Reserve bourbon, plum simple syrup, lemon juice and plum bitters
Ginger Spice ($15)
Red Clay Queen City Common cider with vodka, lime juice, simple syrup and ginger beer
My favorite? The Cide Car. I’ve never had celery in an alcoholic drink other than a Bloody Mary so I gravitated to the new-to-me option. It’s complex—salty, sweet and bitter all at the same time—kind of like me when I’m hungry and trying to coerce someone into share food with me.
BLT Steak is located at 201 E. Trade Street in the lobby of The Ritz. Red Clay Ciderworks is located at 245 Clanton Road. The cocktails are only available at BLT but you can pick up a growler at Red Clay to try your hand at cider mixology at home.