Rooftop gardening and cocktails with The Punch Room’s Bob Peters


If you live in Charlotte and haven’t heard of Bob Peters, then you’re definitely not drinking enough. The famed mixologist who heads the bar program at The Punch Room has a cult following of cocktail lovers—and for good reason.

His concoctions sound like magical elixirs. A dash of exotic bitters here, a splash of infused syrup there, now carbonate this and smoke that. Watching Peters behind the bar feels like getting a glimpse of a mad scientist in his laboratory.

This week I stopped by The Punch Room, which is on the 15th floor of the Ritz-Carlton, to check out its brand new summer menu (the drink list changes about once every six weeks).  And here’s where things get really cool: Peters offered to take me along on one of his gardening trips—to the Ritz’s rooftop garden.

Almost every day before he gets behind the bar, Peters heads up to the roof which is lined in organic herb gardens. His gardening bucket? A  Laurent-Perrier silver champagne bucket (this is the Ritz, after all).

Alongside gorgeous skyline views, he trims and picks plants like rosemary, mint, and sweet basil, which he uses as garnishes in his drinks. His cocktails also include honey from the rooftop’s two bee-filled hives (I was glad we were not harvesting that).

Want to indulge in one of these fresh and boozy drinks? Pay The Punch Room a visit.

I’d recommend The Queen City Swizzle. It’s the one Peters made for me in this video. A mixture that’s a twist on Bermuda’s traditional Rum Swizzle, this pretty drink features Queen Charlotte Rum and a tasty kick of a Serrano pepper. (Recipe below the video!)

The Queen City Swizzle
– 1 muddled lime wedge
– 1 tiny piece of Serrano pepper, muddled
– 1.5 oz Queen Charlotte Reserve rum
– 0.75 oz Yellow Chartreuse
– 0.25 oz simple syrup

Shake and strain over crushed ice. Top with Angostura bitters (adds the reddish coloring to the top). Garnish with fresh mint.

Photo by Justin Driscoll.

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



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