Toasting to the Trail: Our Favorite Hikes & Cocktail Pairings

There’s no better feeling than reaching the top of a summit after a long hike. But indulging in a craft-made Southern cocktail comes in at a close second! At Tupelo Honey, that feeling of accomplishment, paired with the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains, inspires us to create reimagined Southern dishes and libations. We’ve gathered some of the best hikes nearest to our Tupelo Honey locations and which cocktail pairings you can enjoy after. You’ve earned it!

Knoxville: Chimney Tops Trail with ‘Violet Beauregarde’ Sparkling Cocktail

Photo of Chimney Tops Trail in Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Chimney Tops Trail

With breathtaking views and lush vegetation, the Chimney Tops Trail has become one of the most popular hikes in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The first half of the trail is a relatively easy and gradual climb, while the second half deceives you and becomes much steeper – similar to our ‘Violet Beauregarde’ Sparkling Cocktail’s flavor profile. Immediately you’ll taste the sweet blueberry puree mixed with fresh mint and lemon, but then a combination of Pickers Blueberry Vodka and St. Germaine appears suddenly. Seemingly innocent at first, be careful when ascending the summit of Chimney Tops (some scrambling is necessary) – just like when drinking the Violet Beauregarde.

Trail Location: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Newfound Gap Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Level of Difficulty: 4 stars (moderate)
Roundtrip Length: 4 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,400 feet
Driving Distance and Time from Tupelo Honey Cafe Knoxville: 45 miles; 1 hour 20 minutes
Cocktail Pairing: ‘Violet Beauregarde’ Sparkling Cocktail

Asheville: Grandfather Mountain Trail with ‘Broadway & Houston’ Signature Manhattan

'Broadway & Houston' Signature Manhattan Cocktail at Tupelo Honey Cafe

‘Broadway & Houston’ Signature Manhattan made with Maker’s Mark®, Vya ‘Sweet’ Vermouth and orange bitters

With a name like Grandfather Mountain, you’d expect such a trail to be easygoing and leisurely, right? On the contrary! Considered one of the most “technical hikes east of the Mississippi,” the Grandfather Mountain Trail is for experienced hikers only – you’ll even see a giant warning sign when you approach the trail. Our ‘Broadway and Houston’ Signature Manhattan pairs great with this hike: The trail itself links up three peaks – MacRae Peak, Attic Window Peak and Calloway Peak – just like our Manhattan links up three key ingredients: Maker’s Mark® whiskey, Vya ‘Sweet’ vermouth and orange bitters. We suggest having this drink “on the Rocks” with all the rocky, craggy climbs you’ll be experiencing on this trail!

Trail Location: Grandfather Mountain State Park 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646
Level of Difficulty: 5 stars (strenuous)
Roundtrip Length: 2.4 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 800 feet
Driving Distance and Time from Tupelo Honey Cafe South Asheville: 70 miles; 1 hour and 30 minutes
Cocktail Pairing: ‘Broadway and Houston’ Signature Manhattan

Greenville: Jones Gap Trail with Carolina Peach Mai Tai

Carolina Peach Mai Tai Cocktail at Tupelo Honey Cafe

Carolina Peach Mai Tai made with Striped Pig rum, triple sec and house-made tropical fruit juice punch

As the namesake hike of Jones Gap State Park, the Jones Gap Trail was originally built in the 1840s by Solomon Jones as a toll road. The trail itself runs along the Saluda River, offering an abundance of trout fishing, picturesque picnic spots for you and the family and is covered in a canopy of trees – our little slice of Southern paradise! With house-made tropical fruit juice punch, our Carolina Peach Mai Tai is paradise in a glass – exactly why this cocktail is the best pairing for this hike. It’s also fitting that Striped Pig Rum is a part of our recipe – legend has it that Jones chose which route to build the toll road on by releasing a pig and following it, knowing it would take the easiest path.

Trail Location: Jones Gap State Park, 303 Jones Gap Road, Marietta, SC 29661
Level of Difficulty: 2-3 stars (easy to moderate)
Roundtrip Length: 5.5 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet
Driving Distance and Time from Tupelo Honey Cafe Greenville: 25 miles; 40 minutes
Cocktail Pairing: Carolina Peach Mai Tai

Franklin: Mossy Ridge Trail with Seasonal Gin & Tonic

Photo of Moss

Mossy Ridge Trail

The Mossy Ridge Trail in Percy Warner Park is a classic Nashville hike and a favorite among locals, so we thought a cocktail as classic as our Seasonal Gin & Tonic would complement this trail nicely. A fairly straightforward 4.5-mile loop with steep (but not super technical) terrain needs to have a no-fuss drink paired with it: Think TOPO Organic ‘Piedmont’ gin, Jack Rudy syrup, soda water and seasonal bitters. While this trail can get crowded with runners and dogwalkers, you can expect to have pockets of peace and quiet throughout the hike. Keep an eye out for animals, a trickling waterfall and lush, grassy meadows.

Trail Location: Percy Warner Park, Mossy Ridge Trail, Nashville, TN 37221
Level of Difficulty: 3-4 stars (moderate)
Roundtrip Length: 4.5 miles
Total Elevation Gain: Minimal
Driving Distance and Time from Tupelo Honey Cafe Franklin: 19 miles; 45 minutes
Cocktail Pairing: Seasonal Gin & Tonic

Arlington: Scott’s Run Nature Preserve Trail with Honeysuckle Lavender Flip

Honeysuckle Lavender Flip Cocktail at Tupelo Honey Cafe

Honeysuckle Lavender Flip made with Cathead Honeysuckle vodka, house-made lavender-sour, fresh lemon and soda water

Scott’s Run Nature Preserve is a diverse wilderness sanctuary located just 25 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Washington D.C. Great for all skill levels, the Scott’s Run Nature Preserve Trail features peaceful hollows alongside rocky cliffs and bluffs, and you can expect to see several rare plants and wildflowers that grow alongside the trail as you traverse. Our Honeysuckle Lavender Flip – made with Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, house-made lavender sour, lemon and soda water – is a crisp and refreshing cocktail that accentuates the serenity of this hike. Scott’s Run, the main creek that runs through the park, eventually turns into a waterfall that cascades into the Potomac River…just like our Flip will cascade you into pure bliss after this short (but sweet!) hike.

Trail Location: Scott’s Run Nature Preserve, 7400 Georgetown Pike in McLean, VA 22102
Level of Difficulty: 2-3 stars (easy to moderate)
Roundtrip Length: 2.2 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 240 feet
Driving Distance and Time from Tupelo Honey Cafe Arlington: 12 miles; 15-20 minutes
Cocktail Pairing: Honeysuckle Lavender Flip

Can’t wait to get on the trail and reward yourself with a drink? All cocktails are served at every Tupelo Honey location, just with a local twist! Visit us to try these cocktails anytime and check out our fantastic Happy Hour specials.