Sovereign Remedies’ Twist on the Holiday Classic
At the height of the craft cocktail movement, there are a series of American cities renowned for their aperitifs, places where refined palates demand their drinks be made in an artful fashion, cities like New York, Portland, L.A. and San Francisco. With experience slinging and shaking drinks in four of those five domestic meccas, Charlie Hodge was more than prepared to bring that artistry to Asheville—which he did three years ago with local favorite Sovereign Remedies.
Like so many adopted Ashevillians, Hodge fell in love with our mountain town upon his arrival, but the question of whether or not our sleepy enclave was ready for craft cocktails was largely unanswered. “When I got here five or six years ago, there was still a huge question if Asheville was going to feel a shift from just tourists visiting Biltmore to them coming downtown,” Hodge remembers.
“There have always been really great people making great cocktails with a great local following,” Hodge recalls, citing old watering holes like Sazerac and Magnetic Field. Other great cocktail programs were on the rise as peripheral projects of great local restaurants, like Chai Pani’s MG Road and Table’s The Imperial Life. But still, Asheville lacked a true, stand-alone cocktail bar.
And so Sovereign Remedies was born. “I am a bartender, and I opened a place that allowed us to do exactly what I wanted,” says Hodge, eyes alight. “Our first priority was to get the classics dialed and done perfectly. Now that we’ve establish a solid foundation, how do we start playing and having fun?”
That’s a question that’s been answered in multitudes at Sovereign Remedies. First, in the form of an ambitious culinary program headed by Asheville native Executive Chef Graham House, which ties intentionally into the bar with seasonality and exceptional flavor profiles. And then there’s the bar program itself, which has grown recently to encourage collaboration and invention.