By: Kara Franker
Where to go for cool cocktails in Miami.
When you’re in the mood for a handcrafted cocktail, there’s no better place to be than the Magic City. From Wynwood and Coconut Grove, to Brickell and vibrant South Beach, Miami is sprawling with bars and cocktail lounges helmed by some of the world’s best bartenders and mixologists. For creative margaritas, mind-blowing mojitos, or even a new take on an Old Fashioned, sip your way through these rave-worthy cocktail bars.
One of South Beach’s most popular lounges, The Regent Cocktail Club, can be found inside the Gale Hotel. Led by talented bartender Julio Cabrera, this 1940’s-inspired throwback serves up carefully-crafted classics, like Negronis and Manhattans, lesser-known rums and inventive libations served in unique barware – like the Ford Cocktail, a mix of Old Tom gin, dry vermouth, Benedictine and orange bitters.
Just a little farther north, The Drawing Room, in the lobby of the Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach, is owner Albert Trummer’s person apothecary. Serving “Stress Relievers, Pain Killers, and Aphrodisiacs” instead of drinks, this spot has a menu of cocktails designed to relieve stress, kill pain, and work up the libido with their house-made botanicals, essences, herbs, and florals.
A third option, The Rum Line, is a breezy outdoor bungalow in the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Head there for Havana nights-inspired drinks by award-winning mixologist Rob Ferrara, like the El Presidente No. 2, a mix of facundo neo, dolin blanc, dry curaço and grenandine.
Miami Beach & Mid-Beach
Mid-Beach’s most popular bar and hangout, Broken Shaker, is actually the backyard and patio of a hostel, Freehand Miami. It has a weekly changing menu of creative craft cocktails made with local ingredients from its on-site herb garden, and inventive concoctions like its own ginger beer: a unique combination of swirling cucumbers, fennel and gin.
In the Circa 39 Hotel, poolside Wunderbar invites guests to grab a drink from its global-inspired drink menu, like a rum-infused Brazilian Lemonade, or even a flight of fine sipping rums from its carefully curated rum wall.
Head a little further up Collins Avenue to TALDE, Top Chef alum Dale Talde’s Asian-American gastro pub in the Thompson Miami Beach, and order a Green Lighting. Purposely made with a kick, it has house-infused green tea vodka, green tea, cucumber and lime.
Downtown & Brickell
Sitting inside the EPIC Hotel, the circular bar at LILT Lounge has Miami River views, live jazz music, and a carefully curated menu of indulgent drinks: like a Last Thought, a mix of Hidalgo la gitana sherry, Cointreau, lemon juice, angostura bitters and Fever Tree bitter lemon tonic.
At Brickell’s first pop-up bar-turned-staple, Better Days, guests can get a signature craft cocktail – like “Paloma,” a mix of tequila, grapefruit juice, lime and club soda – in an American kitsch spot.
Another popular Brickell hotspot is American Social. Its trendy vibes, waterfront Miami River location and beautiful people-watching make it the perfect place to sip on a handcrafted, fresh fruit cocktail, like the Watermelon Flame, which combines Casamigos Blanco, jalapeño syrup, and fresh watermelon and lemon juices.
Design District, Wynwood & Midtown
Wynwood’s best taco shop, Coyo Taco, also houses one of the city’s best speakeasies and tequila bars. Head there for a Paletarita, a mash-up between a popsicle and a margarita, as well as other creative cocktails inspired by tequila and mezcal.
Led by Ben Potts, Beaker & Gray boasts 300-400 spirits behind the bar, as well as shaken cocktails, stirred cocktails and aperitifs that take a modern spin on old classics.
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, chef and restaurateur Michael Schwartz’ mainstay in the Design District, promises an extensive menu of house cocktails and spirits, all mixed with the locale’s own homemade sodas.
Coconut Grove & Coral Gables
Lulu, in Coconut Grove, is a neighborhood eatery with a popular menu of signature and brunch-specific cocktails like mimosas and Bloody Marys.
Miracle Mile’s own Spanish gastro pub, Bulla Gastrobar, is a hip, casual spot with a freestanding, center marble bar. Pull up a chair and order a marmalade or fruit tonic-infused cocktail, like the Bullfighter, which combines Bulleit bourbon, Aperol, Dow’s port, lemon juice and cranberry.
At Biltmore Bar, which sits inside the Biltmore Hotel Miami, guests can enjoy a nice cigar and live music on a baby grand piano, while sipping on a libation from its premium cocktail list.
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