Where You Should Be Drinking: Bazaar in South Beach
June. It feels like years ago now, as opposed to just two months ago. I spent most of June in Miami. I know, on first pass, this sounds fabulous. Two weeks frolicking around South Beach? Sign me up.
I learned to quickly clarify with my friends. I’m 30 miles south of Miami. In the middle of June. Read: 97 degrees and 90 percent humidity.
But let’s not complain. I was there for work, and there are worse places to go. Cocktails took a back seat but I couldn’t leave Florida without stopping by Jose Andres’ South Beach lounge Bazaar.
South Beach takes cocktail drinking to a whole new level: the hotels are beyond posh, the service is impeccable and the price tag reflects both of those. But how can you turn down delicious drinks on plush patio furniture which overlooks a pool, which overlooks the ocean? You can’t.
Bazaar doesn’t beat Barmini, but per the usual it was a solid Andres performance.
What I ordered
Kentucky Mule: bourbon, yellow chartreuse, ginger syrup, fresh lemon, aromatic bitters
What else I wanted to order
(Had I not been alone after a 12 hour work day on an empty stomach)
Passion Fruit Up: dark rum, passion fruit, ginger-laurel syrup, passion fruit espuma
What I thought
The Passion Fruit Up was hard to turn down. Fresh passion fruit and rum sounded like what you should order on the beaches of Miami. And a passion fruit foam?! But it was nearing the end of a very long two weeks, and I wanted something that both looked strong and tasted strong. I’m also a sucker for absolutely anything with chartreuse in it; so the Kentucky Mule won out.
The Kentucky Mule was a fabulous summer whiskey drink, and I’ve already bookmarked it for next year’s Kentucky Derby. The ginger syrup and lemon lightened and brightened the drink while still creating enough space for some solidly whiskey flavor. Sadly the chartreuse got a little drowned out in the mix, though you could still decipher a bit of its herbally licorice notes on the very tail end of the drink. While I didn’t leave thinking, “I must remake this drink, right now!” I did leave thinking, “Why have not paired chartreuse and whiskey together more often?”
What I loved the most about this drink was it’s dual inspiration; ginger and a citrus from the classic Moscow Mule, and the bourbon and sprig of mint from Mint Julep.