You could say we drank our way around Miami and not be wrong. We chose only the best spots for this Mixology Miami report.
Hobnob headed south to South Beach in search of sunshine, warmth, and creative cocktails. Miami delivered in all three categories (not to mention the great food!) Here are five places we visited and discovered the art of mixology is alive and well in this city.
For Expert Cocktailing in a Laid-Back Den
Sweet Liberty, open for just 3 months, provides the soulful, laid-back escape from Miami glitz, with luscious, well-made cocktails (as you would expect from John Lermayer).
The space is industrial and sprawling, with touches of vintage games and wallpaper. The night we visited featured drag queen mud wrestling as surprise entertainment. Beat that! We heard the Cauliflower Nachos were the thing to order here. This bar is known for its antique and rare rum collection.
An Intimate Zone with Poolside Sipping and Upstairs Dancing
Spent the wee hours of New Year’s Eve at Broken Shaker and 27, a hot spot with many areas for mingling and cavorting: Pool-side, or upstairs with live digital music and dance floor. Ultra cool. Thanks for the invitation, Ron and Stephanie! Randy Perez supplied the cocktail. This is a very special spot.
Old-School Intelligence, Charm and Grace
Lure is the spot for ultra upscale dining and cocktailing. Robert Ferrara, voted one of America’s Best Bartenders 2015, knows how to mix an elegant drink, and has the “je ne sais quoi” of an old-time bartender. He delivers cocktails with a polite, understated charm, and the attention of a true professional. Make a point to stop in here for a sip and dinner (see Miami Report Food for a look at the food).
Cocktails: The drink with foam is the John Daily made with Mt. Gay Black Barrel, Earl Gray Tea, Fresh Pressed Lemon, and topped with Tea ‘Foam.
The pink drink is The Queens Regulations with Absolut Elyx, VeeV Acai, Hibiscus Tea, Lychee, and topped with Champagne.
The fruity cocktail is called Full Mast and featured Old Forester Bourbon, Oloroso Sherry, Laird’s Applejack Brandy, Benedictine, and Orange Bitters. All the cocktails were extremely well-balanced, with subtle flavors playing together.
An Ode to Rum
Right next-door to Lure lies an outdoor spot with drinks that feature RUM [surprise!]. The Rum Line is a casual spot, with an extensive selection of rums from around the world.
The Hotel Nacional Special has Matusalem Gran Reserva, pineapple, lime, apricot brandy, angostura bitters, and a crispy plantain for snacking.
Pretty Jungle Bird has blackstrap infused Santa Teresa Añejo, Campari, lime, pineapple.
Two Worlds Collide: Super Hot Club Scene with Cocktails of Excellence
Craft Social Club, newest on the Miami cocktail scene, is the space for clubbing and cocktailing simultaneously. Evan Hawkins, from NYC and Atlanta, really knows his stuff, and has developed a perfect concept blending the vibe of a club with perfectly-mixed cocktails on tap, or shaken to order. Reserve a table and you can have a personal bartender aside your seating area to create specialty cocktails.
Featured cocktails: in lime green is the Salute Your Shorts made with Avion Reposado, mango-ginger shrub, and cilantro [smoky and citrusy, nice].
The red cocktail with orange peel is the Nwa, composed of beet-washed gin, Gran Classico bitter, Cocchi Americano Rose [for those who look for depth].
My fave, served in copper vessel is the Swedish Chef a mix of rhubarb-infused Absolut Elyx, Pimms, mint-cucumber syrup, and house ginger beer. Oh yes, the sodas are all house-made. Be sure to arrive at Craft Social Club LATE…and stay until the wee hours.