Posted on August 27, 2108
Words / Amanda Mesa
Once upon a time, the only decent drink you could get at a bar in Miami was a mojito, and even that was a gamble. While overpriced well drinks and saccharine jumbo shots are still the standard at many of the city’s clubs and bars, Miami has come a long way thanks to a burgeoning community of talented bartenders who practice their craft with care and creativity.Whether you’re in the mood for a smoked old-fashioned, the ultimate martini, or a camera-ready concoction that’ll dazzle your tastebuds and your followers on social media, chances are you’ll find it in the 305. But because the options can be overwhelming, we’ve created a guide to help put you on the path to your perfect sip.
FOR AN OLD-FASHIONED: THE COMMODORE COCKTAILCLUB AT THE RITZ-CARLTON COCONUT GROVE
One of the oldest gems in America’s craft cocktail canon, the old-fashioned has become new again — thanks to inventive cocktail experts like the ones slinging drinks at The Commodore. Made with just three ingredients (either whiskey or bourbon, sugar, and Angostura bitters), it’s as easy to make as it is to muck up; if the proportions of the ingredients are off by even a little, the drink will be a flop. That’s never the case at The Commodore, which updates the classic by using grappa-based Amaro Nonino and vanilla simple syrup to showcase Bulleit Rye Whiskey. It’s served on the rocks in a glass that’s been smoked with fragrant wood. The end result is a full-sensory experience that will make you think of winter evenings spent cozied up by the fire.
3300 SW. 27 TH AVE., MIAMI, FL 33133 / 305-644-4680
FOR A GIN AND TONIC: JUVIA
While there’s nothing wrong with preferring a traditional fuss-free gin and tonic, Juvia’s Asian-inspired version is tasty enough to make even the most stubborn purists see the value in tinkering with the classic. While the standard recipe calls for gin, lime juice and tonic water, Juvia’s swaps the lime out for shiso water and umeshu, a Japanese liqueur made by steeping Japanese plum in shochu and sugar.
1111 LINCOLN RD., MIAMI BEACH, FL 33139 / 855-311-6903
FOR SOMETHING THAT’S INSTAGRAMMABLE
AND DELICIOUS: AZABU
Sure, Miami has no shortage of over-the-top fishbowl drinks with elaborate garnishes, but if you want something that actually tastes as good as it looks, head to Azabu at Marriott StantonSouth Beach and order the Haru. Also known as ‘Spring in Tokyo,’ the Haru lives up to its nickname. It’s a light and fragrant concoction of mizu lemongrass shochu, umeshu, yuzu andmatcha tea. A cluster of edible flowers sits atop a frothy layer of egg white, resembling a tiny garden floating on a bed of clouds.
161 OCEAN DR., MIAMI BEACH, FL 33139 / 786-276-0520
FOR A MARTINI: THE BILTMORE BAR
Whether your spirit of choice is vodka, gin, or — like James Bond — a combination of both, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a martini that trumps those crafted by The Biltmore Bar’s head bartender, Octavio. Beyond serving flawless martinis, The Biltmore Bar also offers the perfect setting to enjoy the world’s most sophisticated sip. Warm golden light illuminates frescoed ceilings, marble floors, an ornate wooden bar, and walls supposedly carved by the same company that worked on the interior of the Titanic. On Friday and Saturday nights, you can even unwind with the sound of live jazz.
1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables, 33134 / 305-445-1926
FOR AN APEROL SPRITZ: LA CENTRALE
If you’re still craving a taste of la dolce vita but can’t really get down with the boozy intensity of a negroni, head to La Centrale’s Aperitivo Bar for a classic Italian spritz. Another three-ingredient wonder, this sparkling blend of prosecco, soda and Aperol tastes like summer in a glass. The best part? You can enjoy the iconic refresher for just $6 during La Centrale’s Social
Hour, which runs weekdays from 4-7 p.m.
601 S. Miami Ave., Miami, FL 33131 / 305-720-2401