Food and Drink

The cocktails you want to be drinking right now from local mixologists


If you’ve had a cocktail lately, chances are you’ve enjoyed one of the many, many beverages distributed by RNDC (Republic National Distributing Company). They’re the second largest distributor of wine and spirits in the U.S. and operate across the Southeast.

Recently, I got to have lunch with their Corporate Mixologist, Dallas-based Sly Cosmopoulos, at uptown’s Queen City Q. In case I had any remaining doubt that Cosmopoulos has the best job (and the coolest name) in the world, it was immediately dismissed when she ordered tequila neat to accompany her barbecue.

“I joke that if my boss doesn’t smell liquor on my breath, I’m not doing my job,” she says, sharing a story of walking around the office one day sipping rum just to see if anyone would say anything. (They didn’t.)

Cosmopoulos leads a team of mixologists that works around the U.S. building cocktail menus and training bartenders. “We want to train them to be guides, not order takers,” says Cosmopoulos, who focuses on sharing the background of the spirits and cocktails. “The story behind it is what will entice the consumer.”

Ready to be enticed? Heist Brewery’s Stefan Huebner and Soul Gastrolounge’s Kenan Kerr were also at lunch and shared their top picks and ideas for cocktails you’ll want to drink right now.

Sarah Crosland Photo

Sarah Crosland is author of Food Lovers’ Guide to Charlotte and 100 Things to Do In Charlotte Before You Die.