“As a team, the bar was lacking living up to the level of what the kitchen is doing here,” says seasoned Mixologist Greg Voss of Gallery Restaurant at The Ballantyne Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Thus, he developed a unique cocktail program he calls “Liquid Arts,” full of craft cocktails using housemade syrups and sodas, a list he feels better complements the farm-to-table food coming out of the kitchen.
Bartenders are notorious for gleaning inspiration from each other (imbibing can be very inspiring!), and Voss cites the cocktail programs in DC’s Bourbon Steak and NYC’sApotheke as two that opened his eyes. Bourbon Steak has a great mix of modern and classic preparations, and Apotheke, with its rooftop garden and fresh juices, illustrates the attention to ingredients that Voss embraced.
Besides the fresh juices behind the Gallery’s bar, you can find cocktails that have ingredients such as orange blossom tea and black pepper and names such as “Rejuvenate” and “Depth.”
We love a thinking man behind the bar, and Voss is one. And his bar has a inventive cocktails on its menu, despite his more Charlotte outpost location in Ballatyne. Then there’s the fact that we know that the hotel is one of the best places in the region to lay one’s head (see our April issue.) However, he eschews that “outpost” label.
“Ballantyne supports Ballantyne, and the locals supports the bars and restaurants in this area,” he explains. “And I also think that with the population growth [just over the line] in South Carolina, this spot is becoming a destination. I’m not looking to create the busiest bar, but real, crafted cocktails. ”
So bottoms up, Ballantyne. You have a craft cocktail bar in your midst.