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Curated cocktails at Culinology Expo 2013

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A wide, sometimes even bewildering, variety of cocktails and other refreshments were available to sample at the Culinology Expo in Charlotte's convention center.

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However some trends stand out, in particular the use of natural products combined in unique ways. Here's our take on the best of the offerings:

Best Martini: Ginger drop martini from Wild Flavors; runner-up watermelon martini with basil and lemon grass from SupHerb Farms.

Best High-Tech cocktail: Immobilized sangria - little jelly wafers, but still with an alcoholic kick, using gum technology from CPKelco.

Strangest: Wisconsin-style Virgin Mary made with dried beer extract from Butter Buds Food Ingredients.

Longest lasting: The Black Garlic Imperial Russian Stout from the California Garlic Company made a lasting impression on our taste buds.

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Renee Wright is the author of the Explorer’s Guide to Myrtle Beach and South Carolina’s Grand Strand, published in 2012 by Countryman Press.
Contact Renee by email at restaurantexaminer (at)