Belle Isle Moonshine

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Behind the Bar: Colin King of Savory Grain

Cocktails, Conversation, RichmondElizabeth Fuqua22 Comments

Known for creative dishes, an awesome happy hour (the Painless1099 guys cited it as a favorite) and tons of draft beer, Savory Grain is fast becoming a Broad Street staple.  This week, bar manager Colin King gave us a behind the scenes look at the cocktail menu and leaves sage advice for new bartenders. 


Behind The Bar: Colin King

How long have you been bartending?

Six or seven years, all in Richmond. I started down the street at The Camel and now Savory. I've been at Savory Grain for two years.


What is your favorite part about working at Savory Grain?

I really like being in this space. It has a really home-y feel, very comfortable and not at all pretentious. Jami Bohdan (Savory's owner) has done a really awesome job with the design. I love the people I work with, the kitchen staff is great. 


What makes the bar at Savory Grain unique?

We’re mainly a craft beer bar, but we also have nice wines and really nice, unique craft cocktails. Having 22 taps along with all the other options is great - there is something for everyone. 

Also, the pencil holder in the bar. That’s probably my favorite thing.


What is one cocktail you hope people ask for?

I really like El Pistolero (Eagle Rare, Vida Mezcal, Gunpowder Tea Cordial, Lemon). I feel like it’s very balanced and you can taste the smokey tea, which brings out the smokeyness of the mezcal.


Favorite cocktail to sip on when no one is looking?

We call it the "Boombarty" - Skol Vodka (not even on a shelf, it's floor vodka), soda water and a splash of orange juice in a tall class. It’s something easy to make after a shift. If you go to Banditos and say, "Take me to Boomtown, they'll know what you mean." It's named after our GM, Art Merritt. Classy.


Who are your favorite bartenders in town?

Ben over at Joe’s Inn, mainly because I’ve been sitting at his bar for forever. T at The Roosevelt is the man, and Pete around the corner at Metzger.


Favorite Savory Grain food + cocktail pairing?

Whatever cocktail you want with the meatloaf. Beer and meatloaf? 


Do you have any advice for new bartenders?

My advice, just do it. Gatorade Cookie Dough Sport. Like my friend, Cumu, once told me: "It's easy, mate!"


Cocktail: The Heist




  • 3/4 oz. Ginger Amaro Infused Belle Isle 100 Proof

  • 1 1/2 oz. Eagle Rare Bourbon

  • 1/2 oz. Luxardo

  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice

  • Couple dashes of housemade orange bitters

  • Dash of simple syrup


Shake over ice, strain into coupe.

Recipe courtesy of Colin King

Photography by Kate Magee