For the inaugural edition of a new feature series In the Spotlight, designed to highlight local destinations that stand out among the crowd, I decided to shine the spotlight on Foundation Bar because of their inventive seasonal cocktails, commitment to North Carolina draft beers, stunning architectural design, and of course, their new Summer drink menu. The history and story behind Foundation has been well-documented by New Raleigh in previous articles so I won’t dwell on those details again here. But I did recently sit down with Foundation’s owners and head bartender, Drew, to sample several drinks from the new menu and can say without hesitation that these are the best cocktails I have ever tasted. There is even a “recession proof” menu featuring a broad selection of $5 cocktails on Sunday nights. Foundation does not publish their drink menu online (or anything else besides basic contact info for that matter) so that each patron may enjoy the “Foundation experience” without any preconceptions. Thankfully they were generous enough to allow me to share some pictures:
This is a classic cocktail, skillfully prepared, and featured on the $5 “recession proof” menu Sunday nights.
Cucumber and Vine
You can really taste the essence of cucumber and mint in this light and effervescent Gin cocktail.
Intense peach flavor without any pulp. Cruzan rum. It wouldn’t be summer without fresh local peaches.
Rum Old Fashioned
Bold twist on another all-time favorite cocktail.
Aromatic, herbal cocktail with Bourbon and lemon. Simply delicious.
A recycled photo that provides the view from the inside stairway leading back up to Fayetteville Street. The exposed pipework and steel beams, raw stone and brick walls, and glossy wooden bar and tables combine to exude a natural yet hip vibe.
If you prefer a more primitive libation, choose your favorite spirit from Foundation’s extensive list and mix one of their homemade colas or tonic water. Even the ice cubes get special attention at Foundation: perfectly cubical and super dense so as to best combat melting. Beer from Highland, Duck Rabbit, and French Broad, among others, round out the all-NC draft list. Wines are preserved from the elements in state of the art wine dispensers. They even have two varieties of moonshine made right here in North Carolina (where else?) The art hanging on the walls is also North Carolina related, heck even the tables and chairs were custom made by the owners, who both are involved in the architecture and design fields. No other bar in Raleigh pays this much attention to every minor detail, and Foundation manages to do so by utilizing local products produced in-state. For all these reasons and more Foundation is worthy of repeated recognition here on New Raleigh.
Know a place you feel is worthy of special attention in future In the Spotlight posts? It need not be located downtown as this series will seek to highlight the best that Raleigh has to offer, wherever that may be. Everything is fair game. I simply want to shine the spotlight on places that make Raleigh great. You can expect a new In the Spotlight every other week or so. You’re comments are welcome, as always.