What’s Poppington: Charleston’s Own “The Cocktail Bandits”



Taneka Reaves and Johnny Caldwell, better known as the “Cocktail Bandits” at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. Photo by K. Marie Lewis-Fox

When I look at the image above I see two pioneering beautiful black women that has invaded an industry that is predominantly ran by Caucasians, stylishly created their own lane, and has made skeptics into believers. Best of all they are from Charleston SC, the place where I was born and raise, and the place that I call home. I have encountered these two at events on the Charleston scene, but I do not know them personally, and still I am extremely proud of their accomplishments. Taneka Reaves and Johnny Caldwell has been featured on NBCNews/NBCBLK  highlighting what they know (cocktails) and what they do best (mixology).

Taneka Reaves and Johnny Caldwell are shaking up the cocktail and beverage game.

The duo, better known as the Cocktail Bandits, presented to a sold out room during this year’s Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. It was their second time at the four-day celebration of southern cuisine, which took place June 2-5.

The seminar engaged the history of beverages in South Carolina “from moonshine to craft beer to sweet tea.” The self-proclaimed Southern Libationists shared the history of select beverages while attendees had a chance to taste.