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Curated cocktails at Culinology Expo 2013

Watermelon martinis with basil and lemongrass
Watermelon martinis with basil and lemongrass
R Wright

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

Immobilzed sangria, sort of a high-tech (and healthy) jello shot
R Wright

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.

For more info on events and attractions in Charlotte and the Carolinas, visit

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)


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