Gin, once the notorious spirit that personified the Roaring Twenties, is set for a trendy resurgence, and Juniper, Greenville’s first and only gin bar, is leading the way. A discreet elevator next to the AC Hotel’s lobby transports patrons to a magical garden-in-the-sky. Walk through an enchanting ivy-and-flower-filled trellis entrance, and Juniper reveals its expansive vistas—astounding views in every direction—the Blue Ridge Mountains, Reedy River Falls, Main Street, and Cleveland Park. 

The 16,000-square-foot, open-air rooftop is at once sprawling but ingeniously designed to flow into four locations, each with its own greenery-inspired vibe: The Secret Garden (for al fresco cocktails on the lawn), The Fire Box (for late-night pizza around fire pits), The Greenhouse (for eclectic small-plate dining), and Jasmine Hall (for sophisticated events). 

 

Gin-forward cocktails are the standouts at Juniper. Master mixologist and beverage director Baileigh Wilson brings her training at the Culinary Institute of America to the innovative bar program featuring dozens of gins along with her house-made syrups, cordials, and shrubs. A gin tower graces the actual bar, and a tiered trolley will enable bartenders to mix custom cocktails tableside, featuring a wide variety of infusions and garnishes. Mixology classes and gin tastings will also be offered, and Wilson’s wine list will have an old-world European focus. Chef Fernando Coppola will bring his international creativity to the food, formed by his impressive global career cooking in some of the finest kitchens in the world.

Juniper’s decorative touches abound, including botanical prints, authentic French bistro chairs, seasonal flowers, and huge planter boxes containing towering trees, which add to its indoor/outdoor year-round appeal. Follow the brick path to the bright green and white striped lounges on the veranda. You’ll find Juniper’s intoxicating garden atmosphere is the perfect entrée to the Twenty Twenties.

Opening in April 2021. Juniper, at the AC Hotel by Marriott Greenville. 315 S Main St, Greenville. (864) 720-2950, junipergvl.com

Not Just Garden Variety

A well-stocked bar cart allows bartenders to go from table to table to mix an array of gin-centric drinks, offering spirits like Barr Hill gin from Vermont, distilled with raw honey, and Nikka Coffey Gin from Japan, which has a limited production of only 12,000 bottles. Try the Empress 75, a new spin on the traditional French 75 made with Empress 1908, an indigo-hued, handcrafted, small-batch Canadian gin exclusive to Juniper and not found anywhere else in South Carolina. Or imbibe a Rich Girl made with The Botantist gin from Scotland, raspberry liqueur, a rich vanilla bean syrup, and fresh lavender.

Photography by Rebecca Lehde, Inspiro 8 Studios.

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