By: JEN KARETNICK
Escape the South Florida heat with these global concoctions.
It wasn’t so very long ago that a vacation-style cocktail in South Florida meant a piña colada—or, if you wanted to get the party started earlier, a Bloody Mary at brunch. Then along came Elad Zvi and Gabriel “Gabe” Orta. The pair, known collectively as Bar Lab, tapped into a rising global trend and started the craft cocktail movement in Miami when they opened the James Beard finalist and three-time “Top 50 Bars in the World” awardee Broken Shaker.
Since then, every hospitality venture owes Bar Lab’s universal outlook a debt of gratitude. And so do we, for enabling us to indulge locally in, mixologically-speaking, robust profiles.
For instance, at Casa Sensei in Fort Lauderdale, you can head East this summer with the “Lycheetini.” Casa Sensei Head Bartender Svetlana Altarrasy calls it “a perfectly balanced burst of flavors between the lychee and Nigori sake that transports you right to Japan.”
Likewise, at Bondi Sushi in Miami, the “Seafoam” has a sake base, with Cocchi Americano and hints of yuzu. It was created by Beau Bradley, general manager of Bondi’s sister concept Shinji. He notes that he interpreted Shinji’s “life is better by the beach” adage quite literally, with the drink’s blue color coming from blue-green water-based algae and a foam comprising the spirulina, lime juice, and sel gris.
If you prefer to cut and run directly to a party atmosphere, then set your watch—and your palate—for the “Ibiza Before Dark.” Found at The Deck at Island Gardens, this effervescent concoction is crafted with Empress 1908 Gin, strawberry-infused Aperol, grapefruit juice, and Fever-Tree sparkling lemon.
If options are your thing, head to LPM Restaurant & Bar to drink your way through the “Recipes For Our Friends,” an experiential 12-cocktail menu that celebrates artist-writer Jean Cocteau. It took Global Bar Manager, Tibor Krascsenics, and LPM Miami’s Bar Manager, Barna Jeremias, one year to create this experience, best exemplified by the cocktail named Lettre à Coco. Inspired by the aromatics of Chanel No. 5 perfume, it’s made with Ketel One Vodka and Champagne Cordial, misted with jasmine, bergamot, and rose.
Finally, for an armchair tour of the Mediterranean, head to TUR Kitchen’s newly renovated bar for the Yamas Cocktail Experience, a five-course cocktail and culinary pairing. With a base of Square One botanical vodka and highlights of elderflower liqueur, almond syrup, lemon juice, falernum, Meyer lemon vinegar, lavender bitter, almond essence, and mint, “Almondine” allows for an opportunity to discover new flavors in a fun, interactive, and delicious experience all without leaving Miami.