Spirited Inspiration: The Dolphin Head

Inspired by the big city bartenders who created iconic New York-centric cocktails like the classic Manhattan, LOCAL Life Magazine and

Rollers Wine & Spirits have leaped to the challenge of creating and adapting cocktail recipes to celebrate Hilton Head area landmarks, events, and founding fathers.  

The Inspiration:  Dolphin Head    


Tucked inside Hilton Head Plantation - on the island's "Achilles Heel"- is one of the island's greatest natural treasures.  

The geography of Dolphin Head beach (also known as the "Ghost Beach") is dynamic: it's shoreline has retreated as relentless tidal currents in Port Royal Sound have pushed the beach onto at least one hundred yards of once fertile fields at the nearby salt marsh. At high tide this strand of beach is only a few yards wide.

At low tide, vast gray sand flats appear. The landscape is a gallery of things past: bleached live oak logs, clumps of ancient marsh grass, tidal pools that lure shorebirds, and mysterious odd blocks encrusted with oyster shells. These were tabby cement footings on the renowned Myrtle Bank Plantation. Here William Elliot was the first to cultivate the long-staple sea island cotton. What is now beach contained over one thousand acres of fluffy sea island cotton for Myrtle Bank, which brought great wealth to Hilton Head Island planters before the Civil War washed away the plantation economy, and the rising sea level washed away the Elliot's mansion. Elliot himself drowned in the tumultuous current here.  

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In more recent drama, Dolphin Head served as an emergency landing strip when a pilot and passenger, coming back to Hilton Head Island from a trip, were forced to make an emergency landing on the 11th fairway of Dolphin Head Golf Course on April 7, 2016, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff's Office news release. There were no reports of injuries.  


Then, of course, there was Hurricane Matthew.

Dolphin Head and accompanying Pine Island Beach took a major hit. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the plantation's application to place additional sand on Pine Island Beach, and to install a boardwalk from the Dolphin Head Recreation area to the Pine Island Ithmus.  

The dynamic evolution of Dolphin Head deepens its unique, almost mythic, allure.  


 The Cocktail:  

The Dolphin Head      

One of the most beautiful spots in the low country deserves a toast!

  • 1½ oz local botanical gin, such as Bulrush or Hat Trick

  • 1 oz real English sloe gin (like Hayman's or Plymouth)

  • ½ oz crème de cassis

  • ½ oz strained lemon juice

Add all ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir vigorously for 30 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Sprinkle a scant pinch of sea salt on top if desired.


Love or Hate...the Choice is Yours!

Written by Stephanie Skager, Certified Sommelier & Rollers Store Manager

One of wine’s greatest attributes for me is the story behind them, and how they came to be “bottled artwork”. Someone is working meticulously from the time the vines are put into the ground, in hopes of creating their Mona Lisa. When a winery adds original artwork to their labels, it takes the intrigue to an entirely different level.

The fact that we are stimulating all 5 senses in the minuscule action of enjoying a glass of wine, is pretty cool. Unfortunately, in our busy lives we don’t always slow down enough to appreciate the experience. My New Year’s Resolution was to do just that, slow down and appreciate the special little moments that create my life and shape my experiences.

Since we added the Jolie Laide to our shelves, the labels have mystified and inspired me. With Valentine’s Day approaching, my eye is drawn to the Gamay Noir label.


I have always found a kind of “Love is Blind” romance to the picture. I am a newlywed with a happy, healthy, super adorable toddler at home. I look forward to spending the evenings with my family every day. Things are pretty darn good on my end. Had things been different, if I was single or even worse, heartbroken this Valentine’s Day, I might interpret the art differently. I might see jealously and rage, as if the faces had been scratched out by a third party out of hatred, but of course art, like wine, is all about individual perception, and I choose love.

The artwork for the 2017 vintage of the Jolie Laide wines was created by a London Based artist named Alma Haser.


She manipulates her traditional photographs by using mixed media, paper folding techniques, and collage to create inventive pieces that captivate the mind. Moving past the label, the wines of Jolie Laide are created to celebrate their individual vintage; making no 2 bottlings the same. This unique process utilizes high growing elevation, carbonic maceration, and old school foot trodden crushing to create a Gamay that is fresh, adorned with notes of wild strawberry and cranberry, and layered with sweet violet and rose petal. It is perfect as a cocktail wine or to enjoy with pasta, mushrooms, grilled foods, poultry, or chocolate.

No matter your relationship status this Valentine’s day, I wish you the ability to enjoy the small pleasures in your life. May you find beauty and love in your experiences, and most importantly, always find your glass half full. Cheers!

Oysterman Muscadet- Save the Oyster Beds!

It's no secret that Muscadet and oysters is a classic wine-and-food pairing, and that it is a particular favorite of the Rollers wine staff! So it is a true pleasure to offer this terrific new wine developed specifically to support the bi-valves while tickling your tastebuds!

 The story begins in Charleston, where a local entrepreneur named Casey Davidson started Toadfish Outfitters in 2017. Toadfish makes and sells oyster knives, shrimp cleaners and fishing rods, and they are fine products indeed. But what caught the attention of wine importer Frederick Corriher isToadfish's main mission: to use those products to raise money for replenishing the low county oyster reef habitat.

 South Carolina has a critical shortage of oyster shell. To properly manage the state's oyster beds and maintain these important oyster habitats, citizens and businesses must continually recycle the oyster shell that is removed from the state's oyster beds.

 "I started the company around the idea of replanting oyster beds, because I knew how important oysters are to water quality," says Davidson.

 For every product sold, Toadfish can fund the planting of 10 square feet of oyster shells, providing a place for oyster spat to latch onto and grow. Their products are in 500 retail outlets across the country, and have raised $50,000 for oyster replenishment projects.

 Corriher thought Davidson's story was inspiring and hatched an idea to develop a wine that would support the same mission, and his next trip to France was a search for Muscadet wine in the Loire Valley." In France, winemakers Guy and Jean-Luc Ollivier, agreed to work with Corriher to produce a boutique wine called Oysterman, which is made its debut in Charleston last August and is now available at Rollers! 


He is also partnering with Toadfish to donate a portion of the proceeds to programs like the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources oyster recycling program. For each case sold, they say the DNR will replant 10 square feet of oyster beds. 

 So, do something good and feel good doing it: pick up a bottle at Rollers today!

Get your Halloween boo-ze on with The Stoney-Baynard Ruins Cocktail

The Spirits of Hilton Head  

By Terry Cermak

Inspired by the enterprising big city bartenders who created iconic New York-centric cocktails (like the classic Manhattan), LOCAL Life Magazine and Rollers Wine & Spirits have leaped to the challenge of creating and adapting cocktail recipes to celebrate Hilton Head landmarks, events, and founding fathers. This being October, we've concocted a cocktail honoring one of the island's more ghostly vestiges:

The Stoney-Baynard Ruins

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Cotton planter Captain John 'Saucy Jack' Stoney built what was then called Braddock's Point Plantation between 1793 and 1810, and represent the main settlement of a typical sea island cotton plantation. Quietly tucked into what is now Sea Pines, the main house ruins are the only tabby mansion built on Hilton Head Island. Standing architectural ruins associated with the plantation include portions of the main house, a chimney footing for what may be an overseer's house, and a slave house associated with slaves working in the main house. Ruins of a fourth structure include footings for a tent, probably constructed during the Civil War by Union troops known to have been stationed there.  From the National Register of Historic Places registration form, January 7, 1994: 


The estate remained in the Stoney family until around 1837 when it was acquired by planter William E. Baynard. A popular island legend says the Stoney owner lost the property in a poker game to Baynard in 1840. During the Civil War the plantation was raided by the Union forces and made into their Island headquarters. Shortly later, the home burned down.


Over the years, numerous ghost stories and reports of paranormal activity surround this historic site. Some visitors claim to have seen the ghost of William Baynard wandering the site after dark...and some claim to have witnessed his entire funeral procession - including a horse-drawn hearse.


And, courtesy of TripAdvisor, there's this: 

"My daughter & I visited around dusk. Large orb lurked above my head as I walked around the house, per my daughter standing elsewhere. She took photos & orb was in them. Freaked us out a bit, so we walked down the hill to our car. Large orb followed, and then a multitude of various sized orbs started appearing with the accompanying sound of many crunching footsteps in the woods. Both my daughter & I took pix with separate cameras, both of our pix had orbs. When we took pix back to room, put on her computer they looked like electrified circles with different colored lights pulsing. We believe Mr. Baynard hitched a ride home with us." 

Personally, we prefer our spirits in a glass...

The Stoney-Baynard Ruins

Haunted or not, this historic little gem hidden in Sea Pines is worth a visit...and a toast or two. 

  • 1½ oz Holy City Honey Ghost Whiskey

  • 1 oz Black Fang mead

  • ½ oz Maraschino liqueur 

  • ½ oz fresh lemon juice

Add the whiskey, Maraschino liquer and lemon juice into a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds and double strain into a chilled goblet. Add the mead and gently stir to combine. Garnish with a sprig rosemary. Before serving, add a pea-size piece of dry ice if desired.

(CAUTION! Do not touch dry ice with bare skin and remove any remaining dry ice before drinking)




How did we get from the British sailors' "daily tot" of rum to the summery, beachy confection known as the Strawberry Daiquiri?

It is true that the foundations of the daiquiri are to be found in British sailors' daily ration of beer. Yes, beer. Early ocean travelers tended to drink low-alcohol beer during their voyages, as the water was not very pure and would be prone to harbor dangerous molds and bacteria. The sailors were provided a gallon of beer a day through a law passed in the 17th century. Due to the massive amount of beer they had to supply to a military force 4,500 miles away, a pint of rum was considered a fair substitute. It was easier to get but far more potent. On August 21, 1740 Admiral Edward "Old Grog" Vernon issued his infamous Order No. 349 to captains, stating: "[The rum should] be every day mixed with the proportion of a quart of water to a half pint of rum, to be mixed in a scuttled butt kept for that purpose, and to be done upon the deck, and in the presence of the Lieutenant of the Watch who is to take particular care to see that the men are not defrauded in having their full allowance of rum ... and let those that are good husband men receive extra lime juice and sugar that it be made more palatable to them." This is one of the earliest known instances of the combination of lime juice, water, sugar, and rum: the base of what would become the Daiquiri.

 It is thankfully beyond the scope of this little blog to cover the dynamics of the Triangular Trade Route, but if you want to have your hair stand on end go to YouTube and check out John Cullum's breathtaking performance of "Molasses to Rum" in the musical 1776.


Flash-forward to 1898, when The U.S. declared war on Spain and troops landed on a Cuban beach named Daiquiri, just a short distance away from an iron mine in Santiago. This "splendid little war" allowed the United States to occupy Cuba and do what Spain had done for centuries before: profit from the vast resources of the island. One of the people making a healthy profit was Jennings Cox. He was one of the first iron miners on the island and generally credited with creating the original Daiquiri. The story goes that while he was entertaining guests one night, he ran out of the gin everyone was enjoying. He went out and purchased the easiest liquor he could find, which was rum. Adding lemons, sugar, mineral water, and ice to the rum, he turned it into a punch for his guests. They loved it and wanted to know what the name of it was. While it should have been called a rum sour according to the conventions of the day ("One sour, two sweet, three strong, four weak"), Cox did not feel that was good enough for such a fine drink, so he named it for the nearby beach and called it a Daiquiri. Although this recipe calls for lemons, it's unclear what citrus Cox may actually have used. Lemons and limes in Latin America vary quite a bit from their North American counterparts and both can be called "limons" depending on where you are.

Two events occurred during the 1930's that changed the future of the Daiquiri forever. In one event, or perhaps more accurately a force of nature, Ernest Hemmingway stopped into Havana's El Floridita bar, not far from the hotel where he lived during much of the 1930s. On his way out, he noticed the bartender setting up Daiquiris. Never one to walk past a drink, Hemingway took a sip. Not bad, he said, but he preferred them with no sugar and double the rum. The bartender made one as specified, and then named the drink after him.


A bar. A man. A drink. "Those are the facts," writes drink historian Ted Haigh in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, "and from there the story goes straight to hell." The bartender may have called this drink the Papa Doble, which, with some ingredient additions, morphed into the Hemingway Daiquiri (or possibly the Hemingway Special or El Floridita #4). The exact history is a matter of considerable contention among cocktail sleuths, who have been poring over the clues ever since Hemingway walked out of the bathroom.

The second event was perhaps even more earthshaking: the invention of the Waring blender. At first, the blender was utilized in the bars for crushing ice and mixing drinks, but from there, well, we all know what happened...

Now we at Rollers do not judge, and if you want your strawberry-mango slushee rum soda pop and want to call it a daiquiri, by all means be our guest, but when you do, take a brief moment and honor the heritage of one of the greatest drinks in the cocktail cannon.

The Classic Daiquiri

  • 2 1/2 ounces light rum

  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup or superfine sugar

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass with ice or serve up

The Hemingway Daiquiri

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  • 3 oz./90 ml of White Rum

  • 1 oz./30 ml of Lime juice

  • .5 oz/ 15 ml of Grapefruit juice

  • .25 oz/ 8 ml of Maraschino liqueur

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass with ice or serve up