High Cotton — Made in the South

High Cotton is a family owned company out of Raleigh, NC. High Cotton started out offering washable, 100% Cotton Bow Ties and Cummerbunds Hand-Made in North Carolina. By supporting the revival of North Carolina’s textile history by choosing to hand-cut and hand-sew their products locally, they have found it resonates deeply with customers. What separates their company is the commitment to classic southern mainstays such as tattersails, ginghams, and madras plaids. High Cotton’s goal is to present a conscientious, practical alternative to customers who like the timeless element of a cotton bow tie and live its comfortable feel.

High Cotton Spring 2013 Bow Ties

They have expanded upon their original line with an addition of headbands for women and girls made in the same beautiful prints, a line of Bow Ties for boys and t-shirts for adults. Their newest addition is the Made in the South Polo. These polo shirts are 100% North Carolina cotton that is processed and sewn without leaving the state. Imagine a product that only travels 574 miles from raw cotton in the field to to the finished product, at a cost that is comparable to any large name brand you’d buy in a department store.


My husband wasn’t raised in the South and therefore, has just begun to appreciate the art of the Bow Tie. I’m pretty sure after perusing the wares at High Cotton he’s going to have quite a list. Personally, I’m crushing on the headbands and would love one in each fabric, but do believe a madras one is in my future, just in time for summer.


High Cotton will also help you create custom bow ties and cummerbunds to complement your bridesmaids’ dresses for your wedding. These bespoke keepsakes can be made with your own fabric or by sending them your wedding colors and they can make several selections for you to choose from. You can add monogramming to make your gift truly unique.

It is High Cotton’s hope they will be able to “extend itself to our customers as a helping hand to properly reflect their individuality, in good conscience and in good style. Knowing that all of our products represent the revival of a southern tradition, we are more than happy to welcome you as a part of our mission.”

Cardinal Gin — Southern Artisan Spirits

Not too long ago, I was in Asheville, NC, and introduced to Cardinal Gin. I was shocked when the barkeep explained they were from Kings Mountain, North Carolina, — here’s a craft gin in my backyard. My bartender knew I wasn’t a gin fan, but felt this artisan gin from Southern Artisan Spirits would be a good flavor profile for me to test.

I quickly became a fan.

Cardinal Gin by Southern Artisan Spirits

Cardinal Gin - Artisanal Southern Spirit

Dedicated to the revitalization of the lost art of craft distillation, Southern Artisan Spirits hones their craft in an old textile factory in Kings Mountain. Considered a Western-style gin, like Hendricks, award-winning Cardinal Gin has a beautiful botanical (very herbal) bouquet with a stronger mint finish on the end than you’d find in other gins.

Distilled with organic juniper, spearmint, clove, grains of paradise, coriander, orange peel, apricot kernels, cardamum, frankincense  angelica root, and orris root, Cardinal is perfect for prohibition era cocktails, such as the Corpse Reviver. The distillation process takes place with modern tools, using a stainless steel vat and induction heating. This gives the distillers greater control of the product, ensuring the flavor is consistent with each batch.

The bottle housing Cardinal Gin is one that denotes the seriousness of the product you’re about to consume, with the Cardinal, North Carolina’s State Bird, embossed upon it.

Awards for Cardinal Gin

Cardinal Gin Awards

How do I enjoy Cardinal Gin? I’m still developing my palate and haven’t adapted to sipping it straight, but I do like to mix it with tonic or in my favorite cocktail, The Corpse Reviver #2.

Corpse Reviver #2

1 oz. Cardinal gin
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Lillet Blanc
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 drop absinthe (you can substitute pastis)
Ice cubes
Tools: shaker, strainer

Glass: cocktail

Garnish: orange peel or cherry

1. Shake ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker

2. Strain and enjoy responsibly

Cocktail jigger and strainer

[Photo: Jessica Leibowitz]




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