On the main stretch of Sullivan’s Island in South Carolina, a new restaurant opened its doors in August of 2021: the Longboard, a beachy spot inspired by its sister restaurant of the same name on St. John in the US Virgin Islands. Clint Gaskins, owner of the Sullivan’s Island post, is a Charleston native. He wanted to offer locals and vacationers a chance to experience an exotic getaway during the travel-restricted pandemic with Caribbean-inspired dishes and tropical ingredients. “I have a lot of fond memories of spending time with family and friends on Sullivan’s,” Gaskin says. “We wanted people to feel comfortable in the space whether they’d just come up from off the beach or they were visiting us for a fun night out.”
The Longboard pays its respects to the unique flavors of both the South and the Caribbean, balancing the two cuisines on a plate: peel-and-eat shrimp accompanied by a citrusy yuzu aioli; mussels topped with coconut, ginger, and lemongrass on toast; whitefish fried into crispy croquettes with green curry.
Even one of the South’s favorite native nuts, the black walnut, gets its time in the spotlight in the Tahti Frio cocktail. Black walnut bitters mix with rum, spiced honey, and lemon juice in a glass rimmed with a surprising cinnamon-salt garnish. “It’s our playful take on the traditional hot toddy,” says Billy Rockefeller, the bar manager. “Instead of bourbon, we use a blend of rums to give it that Caribbean flair and spice it up with honey that’s infused with cardamom, star anise, cinnamon, and allspice.”
To stir up this bright cocktail at home, plain honey works just fine. For a dehydrated lemon wheel, Rockefeller suggests slowly baking slices of lemon at your oven’s lowest temperature. Rockefeller preps charred cinnamon sticks with a handheld butane torch, but your regular household lighter will do the trick, too.