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By: Angela Caraway-Carlton

People come to Wynwood for the art and murals but they stay for the food and drinks. Wynwood is shaking up the cocktail scene. Some of Miami’s best mixologists are serving up creative concoctions here, with unique ingredients and stellar presentations. From a sky-high rooftop bar to sleek restaurants and laidback joints packed with entertainment, these are the best places to go for cocktails in Wynwood.

Astra

Drinks always taste better on a rooftop, right? Wynwood’s bar scene was elevated when this rooftop restaurant and lounge recently opened. Catch the sunset with a side of epic views from Astra’s “sky garden” while you listen to DJs and sip specialty cocktails tinged with such classic Greek liqueurs as Mastika and Ouzo. Let the Summer in Mykonos cocktail transport you to Greece, or sip the unique Astra to the Moon crafted with vodka, St. Germain, and lychee and butterfly pea syrup. Another crowd favorite meant for warm days is Astra’s signature Mediterranean Rose Sangria. Enjoy a daily happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. at the bar and deck.

Balagan

Balagan offers Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine and an inventive cocktail list that you won’t find anywhere else in the area. The 3,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor restaurant presents a sleek and chic setting that’s conducive to sipping sake-based drinks. Highlights include the Rose Cloud 75 concocted with Rose Clouds sparkling sake, hibiscus, and yuzu; the Ginza Vesper with sochu, sake, kombu-infused sake-based vermouth and lemon oil; and the Shiso Exotic with sake, aloe vera, cucumber, shiso and yuzu.

Beaker Lounge
Enjoy local favorite Beaker & Gray

Beaker & Gray

You’ll always find legit cocktails at Beaker & Gray. The cocktail menu at this longtime haunt for locals makes it easy to choose a beverage, depending on your mood and what you want to drink. For an easy-going night out, go for one of the drinks under the Light & Easy list such as the Rosé Colored Glasses or the Goosey Fruit. Peruse the Hard & Heavy list for creative drinks such as the hyped-up Caife Ponte made with Irish whiskey, cold brew and cardamom hand-whipped cream. Beaker & Gray has a great happy hour that runs from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, and a Sunday brunch with bottomless mimosas.

Freehold Miami

You can’t check in at Freehold Miami, even though it is styled like a hotel – right down to the lobby’s vibrant flamingo mural and the expansive courtyard that mimics a hotel pool – but you can check out their cocktails. Regulars love their Espresso Martini topped with coffee beans and the Classic Martini made dirty or with a twist. Enjoy their award-winning Flight to Freehold cocktail made with Havana Club and Bacardi Añejo Cuatro rum, fresh grapefruit, cinnamon and orange blossom water. Grab all your friends and fuel the late-night dance party with one of Freehold’s massive punch bowls.

Gramps

Gramps is one of Wynwood’s oldest bars, a mainstay that draws a chill crowd who sip great cocktails while they enjoy programming that can range from DJs and bands to comedy and drag shows. Kick back on the patio with a pizza and one of the bartenders’ favorite cocktails including the potent Mezcal Penicillin made with scotch, ginger, honey and lemon; the refreshing tequila drink Cucumber in Paradise; or the fragrant gin-based Rosemary’s Baby (they torch the rosemary for a topper). New concoctions include the Pear Pressure crafted with gin, pear syrup and candied pears.

Kyu bar
Don't miss the weekly cocktail creations by Kyu's bar team

KYU

KYU is known for delicious Asian wood-fired barbeque dishes and buzzy vibes, but the fresh ingredients and combinations of its killer cocktail program will wow you. The bar team creates a new cocktail each week. Try The Wynwood Mule, crafted with house-smoked pineapple, vodka and ginger beer; and the Not a Lychee Martini, KYU's distinctive version of a lychee drink. Favorites include the Mez-Cal-On-It made with shishito pepper-infused mezcal, and the Cruel Summer Spritz, which is basically summer in a glass. The cocktails menu also includes Yuz-Oolong Way From Home (yuzu, jojo oolong tea and thyme) and other sober choices.

Spanglish Miami

This small Wynwood bar is big on mixology and over-the-top presentations. Spanglish Miami is the kind of place to watch in awe as bartenders skillfully flip bottles and toss around shakers while you sip cocktails served in creative vessels. Imbibe in such favorites as the Cafetera Old Fashioned made with cold-brew coffee reduction, cigar bitters and Dominican aged rum. It’s poured out of a cafetera (espresso maker) into a glass and nestled in a cigar box. Or knock back the Paparazzi, a dill-infused tequila cocktail with passion fruit that’s served in a camera lens. The Caipirinha Frizá is another beautiful drink made with Leblon Cachaca, muddled fresh lime and sugar cane, and topped with a gorgeous flower.

Wynwood is the perfect place to sip a cocktail or two, but be sure to drink responsibly. Plenty of ride shares are available to get everyone home safely.

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