Please excuse any typos or misspellings in this story. I’m writing it after spending my Tuesday lunch hour drinking cocktails at The Punch Room, the Ritz-Carlton’s swanky cocktail bar. Why? For work, of course.

For this week’s CharlotteFive Podcast, we ventured out of the studio and into The Punch Room to talk to arguably Charlotte’s most popular mixologist, Bob Peters.

Mixologist Bob Peters at The Punch Room in the Ritz-Carlton
Mixologist Bob Peters at The Punch Room in the Ritz-Carlton

We wanted to head to The Punch Room this week for a few reasons: (1) To get out of the C5 Podcast Closet, (2) To have a reason to drink during work hours and (3) To learn how to make a couple of easy cocktails that would be a hit at any holiday party.

Peters obliged, and the award-winning mixologist showed us how to make two drinks:

The East to West Cocktail, featuring Krupnikas (a traditional Lithuanian style of liqueur) from Durham, Fair Games Ferris Wine from Pittsboro and High West Double Rye whiskey from Utah.

Sour in Spanish Harlem, featuring Mezcal (“tequila’s smoky cousin”), lemon, lime, simple syrup and Cabernet Sauvignon floated on top. (This seriously might be the prettiest drink I’ve ever seen.)

Those drinks look good, huh? They taste even better. Peters is a master at his craft.

(Fast-forward to about minute 17 in the video below to see Peters make the drinks.)

We also talked to Peters about how Charlotte’s cocktail scene has changed over the years, how he comes up with new drinks, what’s new at The Punch Room and what he likes to drink when he goes out to his favorite bar. (The bar and the drink are definitely not what you’d expect.)

You can follow Peters on Twitter @bobthebartender and Instagram @bob_peters, and you can follow The Punch Room on Twitter and Instagram @thepunchroom.

Now excuse me while I go back to daydreaming about those cocktails …

The CharlotteFive Podcast — presented by The Charlotte Observer and powered by OrthoCarolina — is a weekly podcast that aims to get you Charlotte Smart, Fast with fun, interesting and useful news about the city. It’s hosted by Corey Inscoe and Sarah Crosland.

You can find The CharlotteFive Podcast on SoundcloudiTunesGoogle Play and Stitcher. You can follow us on Twitter @Charlotte_Five, on Instagram @cltfive, and on Facebook, and you can shoot us an email to charlottefive@charlottefive.com.

Photo: Sallie Funderburk; Robert Lahser/Charlotte Observer

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