A round of cocktails in Charlotte’s Spring and Summer seasons beg for the invitation to be enjoyed al fresco. You could invite friends to sit out on your back deck or your front porch. Then, mix up a round of your own crafted cocktails with any one of a number of local North Carolina liquors. (You can find more delicious local pours here )
But, what if you want someone else to do the shaking and stirring? And, while we are at it, let’s say we put a little higher spin on things.
Why not start your next spring or summer afternoon or evening with friends with cocktails and a view?
What cocktails are you sippin’ at sunset?
Let’s start at the top.
With so many rooftop bars in uptown Charlotte now, cocktails with a sunset view seem a great way to start nearly any evening (or enjoy before or during brunch). Happily there are lots of choices to enjoy in the Queen City. Below a short list of six of my favorite places with photos of the view and some suggested cocktails.
Two other great options, I didn’t get to capture in a photo, for this post include…
The Imperial Charlotte – A second floor rooftop located at 300 North College Street. Look for crafted cocktails; live jazz every Friday & Saturday with half-priced martinis on Thursdays; and discounted whiskey and half-priced wine bottles on Wednesday. Open Wed. 5-11:30 pm; Thurs. 5pm to Midnight; Fri and Sat 5pm-2am.
Nuvolé Rooftop Twenty Two – This is the rooftop bar at the AC Hotel in uptown Charlotte. Located at 220 E. Trade Street Nuvole offers crafted cocktails and small plates. Hours are 5-10pm on Mon.; 5-11pm, Tues.-Thurs. and 5pm-1am on Saturdays. Want to extend your stay? The penthouse at the AC Hotel by Marriott Charlotte City Center is also available for overnights or extended stays. Visit the hotel website for more info.
In addition to being open to the public, many of the rooftops featured in this post are available for private parties.
Case in point, are the two options listed above, several of the venues listed below, plus two high rise private event venues Rooftop 210 at the Epicenter in Uptown and the rooftop at the Foundation for the Carolinas , the art-filled event space located at 220 N. Tryon Street. ( you can see this rooftop from the view at the Dunhill Hotel penthouse mentioned later in this post.
Heidi’s Talking Cocktails on TV
It was my pleasure to share the cocktails and the video views in this post on television on Thursday May 2, 2019. I appeared as a guest on WCNC’s Charlotte Today. Host Colleen Odegaard was off for the day and so Larry Sprinkle subbed in with co-host Eugene Robinson. As always, the segment was a ton of fun.
In case you missed it, here it is.
I invite you to come back and watch it often, so that you can use this post as a reference guide the next time you are in need of a round of cocktails with a view!
Cocktails Among the Treetops
Whiskey Warehouse is located at 1221 The Plaza, in Plaza Midwood, Charlotte NC. The restaurant entrance is off The Plaza. Parking is streetside and in the small lot adjacent to the restaurant. Steps to the rooftop on the back side of the restaurant. 11-2am, seven days a week.
Featured here are two summery sips, both on the list of $9 Remixed Classics. The first one here, a Blackberry Mojito crafted with Plantation rum, fresh mint, blackberries, lime juice and soda water. The second, dubbed with a moniker that celebrates the growth in the Plaza-Midwood area in a slightly tongue and cheek tone, is called “Yay, More Apartments”. This summer sip starts with Sutlers Gin, a great way to drink local from Winston Salem. To that WW bartenders add Pama pomegranate Liquor, lemon juice and soda.
More Sky High Summer Sippin’
The rooftop bar at Fahrenheit Charlotte located at 222 S. Caldwell Street, has been a favorite sunset photo opp spot since it first opened. To say nothing of the delicious food and drink!
Located in Uptown, Charlotte on the 21st floor of the Hyatt Place Hotel and Skye Condos, the views are spectacular. Doors from the indoor bar open out to the patio in season. Bar and restaurant open at 4 pm Mon-Sat; 11 am on Sunday. On the cocktail list, 9 new summer cocktails and a revolving menu of 4 specially crafted mules.
Fahrenheit mixologist, Jordon Potter, crafted this delicious Gin based sipper with Beefeater gin, a luscious elixir made from maraschino cherries called Luxardo, fresh lemon juice, hibiscus syrup, orange butters and sweet vermouth. served straight up with a mint leaf, its a sip I would order again and again.
Also on the summer list at Fahrenheit is a cocktail that is only going to get better as summer goes on. Made with watermelon juice and a combo of local rums from my friends at Muddy River Rum in Belmont, this tall refreshing glass is called the Sunset Mindset. It’s named for the gorgeous sunsets you won’t want to miss from this high rise patio.
Fireworks and Firewater
Merchant and Trade is the name of the stunning rooftop bar at 303 S. Church Street, Uptown, Charlotte NC, just across from the BBT Ballpark. This rooftop bar is on the 19th floor of the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel. Bar opens at 4:30 Mon-Sat. Closed Sunday.
The stunning cocktail looked almost too pretty to drink, but I did, and it was fabulous. Called the Blushing Belle, it is crafted with North Carolina’s own Durham Distillery Conniption Navy Strength Gin, Liquor 43, lavender, cherry bark vanilla bitters and a rich and creamy egg white foam.
Make plans ( and reservations) to go up on a Friday night, so that you can enjoy a spectacular show of fireworks after the evening’s ballgame as a part of the view that comes with your cocktails. Look for music featuring DJ’s and bands most Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
Support Chef’s Cycle Fundraiser with Velvet Slipper cocktails at Merchant & Trade
Did you attend the annual No Kid Hungry benefit called Taste of Charlotte a month or so ago? If you were there, then you had the opportunity to taste one of Merchant & Trade’s signature cocktails, the Velvet Slipper. Its a wonderful smooth vodka-based sip you are going to love. And, here is what makes it even better. M&T donates $1 for every Velvet Slipper cocktail purchased, to support Chefs Cycle for No Kid Hungry, a fundraising endurance event featuring award-winning chefs and members of the culinary community (including some of our team members!) fighting hunger outside the kitchen. And Tito’s Handmade Vodka is pitching in with matching funds for every dollar donated!
Let your spirits soar
City Lights Rooftop is a well-known rooftop bar at 555 S. McDowell Street in Uptown Charlotte. The bar opens at 4 pm, seven days a week. Head on up to the 18th floor of Le Meridien Charlotte Hotel, to enjoy the view and a host of cocktails. City Lights still features the iconic Sparkle and Pop “cocktail” on the menu.
The combo of a King of Pops popsicle in a glass of prosecco, took the city by storm last summer season and is on everyone’s instagram feed. Its fun, but honestly not really a cocktail. Instead, the City Lights mixologists have so much more in store for you, this summer I encourage you to branch out a bit.
For example, you might want to order this tall, cool and slghtly spicy sip of tequila, cucumber, lime and muddled Fresno chilies called the JP Classic.
Or instead, say cheers with a pour of local North Carolina Social House vodka and muddled blueberries in City Light’s Buzz City Martini.
Look for a complete redo of the rooftop decor at City Lights in mid May and with that comes some delicious new additions to the crafted cocktail list as well.
Sip and Stay the night
Here’s a fun way to treat yourself to a staycation and enjoy cocktails with your own private view! Simply, book the Penthouse at the Dunhill Hotel 237 North Tryon Street in Uptown, Charlotte NC.
Before you head out on the town or down stairs to dinner at the Dunhill’s The Asbury restaurant, you can enjoy your own private round of cocktails with a view for the evening or for several evenings in a row as you enjoy an extended stay.
At the bar, in the glass
The Asbury, mixologist, Brett Leek delights in crafting either of these two seasonal sips – or anything else on the bar menu.
In the coupe glass, The Stephanie, an oh so local cocktail made with Cardinal Barrel Rested Gin in Kings Mountain, NC, mixed with Campari, lemon, Lillet and Sycamore Rose Cider. In the rocks glass the March Shower crafted with Hibiscus infused Milagro tequila, fresh ginger, lime and Creme de Violet.
After cocktails, dinner and your night out, just head upstairs to put your feet up. The next morning, get set to enjoy room service breakfast from The Asbury kitchen – and a Bloody Mary or a Mimosa perhaps – on the same private patios.
There are two gorgeous patios on either side of the top floor of this historic building. The space is based on availability, so start making plans now.
And this just in, plan to include a Wednesday night in your stay and enjoy Tom Billotto performs on guitar and vocals in the lobby of The Dunhill on Wednesday nights from 5-7 pm.
Cocktails with lakeside views for brunch, lunch and dinner, too
The Tiki Bar at Hello Sailor just north of Charlotte at 20210 Henderson Road in Cornelius is the spot for cocktails with lakeside views. The restaurant is the sister restaurant to Kindred’s in Davidson. The bar is at the side of the double decker patio on the Lake Norman side entrance of Hello Sailor.
Two entrances here. If you are enjoying a day on the water and you have a slip at the dock, just pull your boat in and walk up the stairs. If you’re more conventional, like me, drive over, park in the lot and come in through the front door.
There is a beautiful mid century modern dining room and bar inside, but in gorgeous weather it seems everyone wants to be out on the deck.
On the cocktail list indoors or out, three fabulous summer sippers: The first is The Lady Bird in the stemmed cocktail glass with gin, mango, pineapple, lemon and a spritz of Aperol. The second in the tall glass, is the Water|Malone with Vodka, local Barbee Farms watermelon, lime, agave and green chartreuse. The third with the classic pink flamingo stir stick is called the Yacht Club. It’s crafted with Mezcal, St Germain, ruby red grapefruit, jalapeno, agave and lime.
Gotta love the straws at Hello Sailor. While plastic straws are becoming taboo, everyone loves the bendy straws tied in a knot; so my suggestion is instead of tossing them, take them home to use again and again. Alternatively, Hello Sailor also offers sustainable paper straws that go with the Tiki Bar theme. Love them, too!
And just in case the weather is less than perfect, know you can still enjoy the lakeside views from indoors and capture the moment in the fun photo booth at the bar.
Hello Sailer is open from 11 am to 10 pm, Tues- Sat. Closed Monday.