Just in time for summer, Miami’s restaurants and bars are elevating the cocktail scene with inventive libations inspired by the season. These five places will lure, charm and refresh you with their carefully crafted creations.
A Miami Beach icon, The Forge has attracted elite socialites, A-list stars and high-rolling travelers for decades. The swank digs are adorned with custom-made furniture, including tables made of trees from Indonesia and Murano glass chandeliers from Italy. Resident mixologist Andres Aleman only adds to the ambience with a deep list of unique cocktails such as the Kiucumber made with vodka, St. Germain, kiwi, basil, cucumber and lime juice, and the Lycheespumante, which is topped with a dollop of lychee foam. They have an expansive standout selection of wines and beers, too, and a stellar dinner menu if you decide to eat there, which we strongly suggest you do.
What to drink now: Blueberry Bliss. Striking a balance between sweet and tart, the Blueberry Bliss blends blueberry jam, mint, fresh blueberries, Belvedere vodka and fresh lime juice, topped with ginger beer, and garnished with blueberries and mint sprig.
This lavish new eatery, opened by Roberto Cavalli in South Beach, is what you would expect from the famed Italian designer — extravagant, plush and luxuriant. And the cocktails are just as enticing. Wrapped in a zebra-striped cover with gold leaf, the drink list contains an array of elaborate concoctions made with fresh organic ingredients, herbs, teas, roots and essences. Among the most popular are Purple Glamour (Crème de Violette, orzata and lemon juice) and Tre Eccellenze (ginger, sage, chili, ginger ale and lemon juice), all made with Cavalli’s own vodka. You’ll also find exclusive wine produced at the Cavalli family’s Tuscan winery.
What to drink now: Endless Summer. Apropos for a city where the weather always pleasant, this sunset-hued drink features Cavalli vodka infused in-house with rosemary, Aperol, fresh lime, grapefruit juice and orange bitters.
There’s no better place to sip a cocktail than at a spot overlooking the water. Inside South Beach’s Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Lure Fishbar has a prime beachfront vantage point and ocean-themed décor to match. Cocktail guru Robert Ferrara heads up a beverage program anchored in fresh ingredients and spirits with maritime-inspired names and combinations to suit every mood and palate such as The Queens Regulations (Absolut Elyx, açaí, hibiscus tea, lychee and champagne), Midshipmen (Bacardi 8-year, Batavia arrack, spiced banana, mole bitters and burnt orange zest) and Full Mast (Buffalo Trace bourbon, Benedictine, Oloroso Sherry, Laird’s Applejack and orange bitters).
What to drink now: Articles of War. If you’re a beer drinker, this interesting combo of liquor and other lively tastes (Beefeater 24, Mandarine Napoléon, chamomile tea, apple cider and fennel bitters) that’s topped with Native Lager in a pilsner glass, and garnished with an apple fan dusted with nutmeg should hit the spot.
The old is new again at this speakeasy-like establishment featuring Sidecars, mint juleps and other classic cocktails. Located at the Gale South Beach & Regent Hotel in Miami, head mixologist Julio Cabrera shakes things up with a daily changing cast of drinks full of character. Antiqued furniture, dim lights and champagne glasses create a sophisticated yet low-key vibe, and the streetside patio is perfect for people watching. Grab a bite at The Gale’s Dolce Italian restaurant — the spot is known for amazing wood-fired pizza — and settle in for the night at The Regent. On Thursday evenings, you can also catch live jazz.
What to drink now: The Regent Punch. Inspired by the tropical flavors of Florida’s fresh citrus fruit and the golden sun, this signature libation is a total knockout with a delicious mix of arrack, cognac, Jamaican rum, curaçao, orange simple syrup, green tea and fresh lemon juice, and topped with champagne and a garnish of orange and lemon slices.
For a non-alcoholic quencher, the newly opened Miami Beach outpost of this local favorite has a roster of good-tasting, creatively sippable concoctions that includes organic cold-pressed juices, smoothies and shakes. Menu highlights are the Piña Libre (apple, pineapple, kale, lime and ginger) and the Ashram (grapefruit, lemon, H2O, ginger, turmeric, cayenne and raw honey).
What to drink now: Bee Pampered Luvshake. This dessert-like smoothie, a perfect stand-in for a piña colada, is whipped up with coconut luv (a vegan frozen treat) and Jugofresh’s pampered ginger juice that consists of pineapple, apple, mint, ginger and maca extract.
Photo Courtesy of The Forge, Michael Pisarri and The Regent