Bob Peters is no stranger to the Charlotte craft cocktail scene. The mixologist known for innovating menus found in some of the city’s favorite go-to spots has been found behind the bar at Pieces Sushi and now at the Ritz Carlton’s newest venture, The Punch Room. It’s there where you can order up spins on a classic, like the Boiler Mule, or dive right into a craft punch, serving 2, 4 or 6. As a leader in the industry, Peters is a good place to start when talking about the future. The Charlotte native is excited for the future of craft cocktails in his hometown, and is helping it take shape.
Luckily, he is willing to share what he knows. Pros and wanna-be bartenders alike gather at Earl’s Grocery each month for Mixology Lab classes led by Peters. Attendees learn about the spirits and ingredients that go into classic favorites and how to replicate them at home or impress at the next dinner party.
Classes bring the best of craft cocktail creation to everyday Charlotteans, and based on recent attendance, it is a much welcome lesson. “I focus on simple techniques that anyone can do in their home. I also try to remove the stigma from following recipes to the T”, Peters says.
After an hour in the Mixology Lab, attendees will leave with a newfound, or reaffirmed, respect for the thought and expertise behind each of the hand-crafted drinks, without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. Peters often talks about creating something, whether it’s a new concoction or a tweak to one of his simple recipes, that best fits your personal tastes. After all, “the best recipe is the one that you love”, Peters says.
The hour long classes are typically held on the second Saturday of each month at 2:30 PM. In celebration of National Watermelon Day on August 3, this week’s class will be all about ways to use this summer staple in eat and drinks. Bob will be joined by Earl’s Grocery Chef Mark Jacksina who will share how to use watermelon before the season is over. Stay up-to-date with all upcoming Mixology Lab events on their Facebook page.
Not only does Peters want to share his love of the craft with patrons and bar-goers, he wants to work together towards an even better craft cocktail scene in the city. “The more the bartenders know and are able to do execute, the better of the cocktail scene in Charlotte will be,” he says.
To help further this mission, Peters is joining forces with other industry leaders to form a new local chapter of the United States Bartender’s Guild. The new chapter will focus on education and assisting other bartenders in furthering their careers. For more information, email Bob Peters at Bob@bobpeters.net.