Wild Common's 12 Days of Christmas cocktail menu is available through Dec. 23 | Wild Common Instagram

Spring Street restaurant Wild Common will donate a portion of the proceeds from its new “12 Days of Christmas” cocktail menu to the National MS Society, honoring executive chef Orlando Pagan’s fight with multiple sclerosis. The festive spin-off from the restaurant’s regular cocktail menu will pair with Pagan’s elevated winter tasting menu, which features dishes like seared diver scallops with autumn squash curry and slow-roasted beef tenderloin with foie gras and chestnut pain perdu.

Wild Common’s holiday cocktail menu is available now.

Pagan | File photo

Pagan was diagnosed with MS, which affects the central nervous system, in 2011 while he was working at Spruce in San Francisco. The chef is open about his battle with the disease and stays engaged in the MS community, helping others who have recently been diagnosed. 

“I’m very active on social media, and I have young cooks that just got diagnosed that have reached out,” Pagan said. “You’d be surprised how many young cooks get diagnosed. When you get the news, it’s terrifying, and when I was in those shoes, I wished somebody had been there for me. That’s basically what I do when these people reach out.” 

Wild Common was unable to host its annual charity dinner during MS awareness month in March due to the pandemic, but it was able to hold an auction benefiting the nonprofit in November. Pagan hopes proceeds from the new cocktail menu, created by Wild Common general manager Simon Stilwell, will continue to raise awareness about the disease impacting the lives of so many.  

This is the second year Wild Common has put on the 12 days of Christmas cocktail menu, and this year’s offering is broken into two categories: “naughty” and “nice.” The naughty side features boozy beverages like the “Caroler’s Courage version 2.0,” a whiskey and vermouth drink with marshmallow bitters. The nice list is filled with classic Christmas cocktails like mulled wine, eggnog and a mint chocolate martini. 

Pagan makes little tweaks to his menu each week, and the slow roasted beef tenderloin is the newest addition to Wild Common’s signature four-course dinner. The dedicated chef has also made adjustments to his diet since his 2011 diagnosis, eliminating gluten and dairy to help with the symptoms, which impact him daily. 

“It’s mostly towards the end of the working week that my vision starts getting a little blurry, or I’ll be having a normal conversation and lose track of what I’m talking about,” he said. 

Always humble, Pagan credits his staff for helping him manage the daily rigors of restaurant work. 

“My sous chef Zach has been with me since McCrady’s Tavern, and he will send me home and say, ‘No chef I’ve got this,’” Pagan said. “I’m lucky that I have an amazing team.”

For more information on Wild Common’s 12 Days of Christmas cocktail menu, visit wildcommoncharleston.com.