A short note about a quick trip.
We recently spent a weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina. It turned out to be one of the more pleasurable 48 hours’ worth of civilized drinking we’ve enjoyed in a while. This was mostly, of course, because of our hosts, Steve and Heather (see St. George gins). But our visit to one cocktail bar in particular really impressed us.
Fox Liquor Bar had been open for less than a week when we visited on a Saturday night. Fox is subterranean, but not overtly speakeasyish; candlelit, but not uncomfortably romantic; drinks-focused, but not self-important.
Particularly enjoyable was watching a whole new crowd open up to really good drinks. Steve and Heather have been cocktail-nerding in Raleigh for a decade, but the rest of the city mostly hasn’t. The bar was lively not just with (fairly loud) convivial conversation, but with the joy of discovery.
The cocktail program is run (largely by remote control) by Karin Stanley of Dutch Kills and Little Branch. The list is East Coast classic -- Greenpoint, Turf, Pan American Clipper -- plus some highlights we hadn’t seen before (probably because we don’t get to Dutch Kills nearly enough). One standout was the Late Night Reviver (Beefeater, Fernet, ginger, lime, soda water), which was effective in taming the Fernet.
Next time you’re in Raleigh, don’t miss Fox.
(Incidentally, we also had really outstanding fried chicken at Beasley’s and burgers at Chuck’s -- both, like Fox, owned by Ashley Christensen -- and unreasonably good Mexican/Colombian food at Dos Taquitos. All recommended. None so highly as Bols Barrel Aged Genever juleps on Steve and Heather’s porch, but that’s a rather more exclusive offering.)
- Shopping links
Where you can obtain some of the tools, ingredients and resources we mention.
- The Bibulous Bibliography
An annotated list of cocktails books significant for their early date, influence, or presence on lists of noteworthy works, with download or purchase links where available.