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The annual Taste of Folly food festival kicks off with a cocktail competition

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCBD) – The Taste of Folly is held each year to give people a taste of Folly’s diverse food and drink scene.

Folly Beach kicks off its annual Food Festival with a battle between the island’s best bartenders.

“Tonight,” said Taste of Folly head organizer Kelly Travers, “is our cocktail competition. We have 10 of our local restaurants competing for best mixologist, and the competition is sponsored by Larceny Bourbon, so they’re all bourbon-based cocktails.”

One of the mixologists vying for Folly’s top spot is Christopher Higgins-Johnson of the Jack of Cups Saloon.

“We served Larceny Bourbon with some pineapple,” Higgins-Johnson said, “so it’s like pineapple-infused bourbon. Then we made a pineapple brown sugar orujo. Orujo is essentially like an almond syrup, but we added all of those flavors. Then we have some freshly squeezed lemon juice and then we have cachaca, a Brazilian sugar cane.”

Competitors say it’s just a friendly competition and their main goal is to shake up drinks for everyone to enjoy.

“Honestly,” said Cayman Jarvis of BLU Beach Bar & Grill, “enjoy tonight. That’s what we’re all here for. We’re all not at our regular work tonight, so we might as well have fun with everyone here.”

Devin and Heidi Klittnick came to Friday’s event to see what unique cocktails some of their favorite Folly establishments have created.

“Just look at the different creations,” said Heidi Klittnick. “There are so many bartenders out there and new drinks, so I just wanted to see. Try it.”

“I love how different they are even though they use the same bourbon,” said Devin Klittnick, “they really show their uniqueness.”

Organizers say the two-day festival not only serves drinks on Friday and dishes on Saturday, but also represents a major financial boost for the island.

“It’s important for us to do these events in the off-season to boost the economy and get people into our stores,” Travers said. “So we’re highlighting the eclectic food and cocktail scene. It’s way outside of your normal beach fare, so we’re happy to have a little variety out there.”

To learn more about the Taste of Folly Food Festival, please visit

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