Move over, mojitos. It’s time to make room for a new wave of rum runners hitting the Miami scene. With equal parts rum, sun-kissed fruit and the city’s tropical flare all shaken and stirred, these cocktails are splendor in a glass. As the temperatures rise, we present five excellent rum-based drinks to savor around town this season.
Thai Basil Daiquiri, AQ by Acqualina
The inspiration: “Keeping the theme of AQ in mind as global cuisine with a Mediterranean flair,” says chef Anthony Dominguez. “The basil is not just regular basil but Thai basil, which is more purple in color with a touch more sweetness than regular basil. The daiquiri is also a very coastal Florida traditional cocktail and was the drink of choice of Ernest Hemingway.”
The ingredients: Real McCoy 3-year white rum, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, a pinch of salt, basil leaves shaken and strained on the rocks.
The pairing: Dishes that have a bit of a spicy kick such as the wok-charred salmon.
The scene: Lavish, swank and everything else you’d expect from the ritzy, oceanfront Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Acqualina Resort & Spa located on posh Sunny Isles Beach.
The Staycation, Bourbon Steak, Miami by Michael Mina
The inspiration: “A modern twist on the classic Pina Colada, The Staycation is reminiscent of a summertime-meets-tropical vacation in a glass,” notes mixologist Jennifer Soranno. “Made with local fruit, it’s the perfect cocktail to cool off on a hot summer Miami night.”
The ingredients: Clément premiere canne rum, Clément sirop de canne and a smoked ice cube.
The pairing: The spicy Thai curry Coconut Island mussels, ahi tuna tartare or one of Michael Mina’s famous bar burgers and duck fat fries just because they’re a must.
The scene: Come well-dressed and ready to see and be seen at this glam restaurant in Aventura’s Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Turnberry Isle Miami.
Havana Old Fashioned, MO Bar + Lounge
The inspiration: “The Havana Old Fashioned is a nod to the strong Cuban culture found in Miami,” describes mixologist Steven Minor. “By using ingredients which are often enjoyed in Cuba and Miami — rum and coffee — we are able to provide guests with a sense of place through the flavors of a nostalgic cocktail.”
The ingredients: Aged rum, house coffee bitters and orange essence.
The pairing: The tiramisu for a sweet ending to an enchanting evening.
The scene: Located in the luxe lobby of the Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Miami, this spot lets you sit at the 14-seat formal bar or in the lively 76-seat lounge area to take in the sweeping 30-foot, floor-to-ceiling skyline and bay views. Catch live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Ruffled Feathers, Tom on Collins
The inspiration: “The drink is a deeper twist on a classic daiquiri,” says beverage director Charles Steadman. “It utilizes Brugal Extra Viejo, a Dominican rum, with amazing cocoa notes, a hint of leather and oak and a nice velvety-mouth feel. The basil from our garden adds an herbaceous note to the traditional rum, lime and sugar combination. Add in the all spice-esque goodness of cardamom, fresh citrus and the purple ruffles basil, which has a natural sweetness to it, and bam… Delicious!”
The ingredients: Brugal Extra Viejo rum, cardamom syrup, purple ruffles basil and sugar.
The pairing: Flatbread or any of the scrumptiously shareable small plates on the farm-to-bar concept menu by celebrity chef Tom Colicchio.
The scene: The eight-seat bar and deep, plush sofas are just the spot to sink into. Beyond people watching, come to the newly opened hot spot at 1 Hotel South Beach for live jazz on Friday nights.
1944 Mai Tai, The Bar at Deck Sixteen
The inspiration: “The cocktail menu was inspired by Spanish and Latin flavors and provides a nice balance of modern and classic,” says Ricardo Mendes, Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami general manager. “The rum cocktails, such as the Mai Tai, represent tropical and Caribbean influences that are found in Miami.”
The ingredients: Myer’s dark rum, Rhum Barbancourt, Marie Brizard Curaçao Orange, orgeat syrup, simple syrup and fresh lime juice.
The pairing: Mixed seafood salad, cured mixed olives and fried Marcona almonds.
The scene: It’s a quintessential South Beach scene at the aptly named Deck Sixteen, which sits at the corner of Collins Avenue and 16th Street. The open indoor-outdoor space welcomes you to linger day and night poolside with the sparkling Atlantic as your backdrop.