South Florida always has its share of cocktail bars claiming a new gimmick that separates them from the flock, but it appears the region’s recent openings have all snagged the same hook. Four of the five bars on this list harken back to prohibition and speakeasy-style libations, giving the herb-infused and chemistry-concocted cocktail craze a run for its money. Competition between these bars is sure to be huge but with each bar getting off to a running start, it’s impossible to choose just one. So check out the list and find out if smoke-infused drinks or beaker bourbons suit your fancy.
28 N.E. 14th St.
Miami, FL 33132
Grandpa’s drinks are back in style. At Railroad Blues, hipsters can skip the Pabst Blue Ribbon and opt for drinks mixed with orange bitters, tamarind syrup and raspberry tincture. These period drinks even have colorful names like the Paperboy and Hooch Ol’ Fashioned. Just don’t give grandpa any ideas. It will totally take away the cool factor.
The Eighteenth Lounge at Prohibition Restaurant & Speakeasy
3403 N. Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33127
The concept behind The Eighteenth Lounge is just cool. It’s located upstairs at Prohibition Restaurant & Speakeasy and is named for the 18th amendment, which enacted prohibition much to the dismay of 1920s America and caused the rise of the speakeasy and bootleggers. Now that you have your history lesson, you are free to sample the collection of drinks featuring ingredients like dry vermouth and superfine sugar. While sipping your whiskey, muse and mingle with the crowd, which is sure to include urban hipsters and nostalgic newbies as you chat the night away.
The Drawing Room
10910 S.W. 17th St.
Miami, FL 33199
Tucked inside the Shelbourne in South Beach is a cocktail bar where the bartender prefers to be called an apothéker – as in apothecary, a person who mixes medicines and drugs. If you’re looking for a healing tonic, you might get more than you bargained for. Here, the menu is separated into painkillers, aphrodisiacs and stimulants, just to name a few. The drinks are mixed using a combination of chemistry and herbology and the result is an unlikely explosion flavor that sets The Drawing Room apart from the pack. Step up to the bar or wait for the drink cart to offer you tableside service; either way, you get a drink that defies expectations.
208B S.W. 2nd St.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
The owners couldn’t have picked a name more common than Whiskey Bar, but this is an establishment that’s anything but ordinary. It’s a speakeasy that specializes in smoked-infused cocktails and chemistry concoctions. Drinks are shaken to perfection and then poured in a chemistry beaker and served. No wonder why people call the bartender The Mad Scientist.
Related: Top Cocktail Bars In South Florida
Niema Hulin was born in Newark, NJ but raised in Lexington, South Carolina for the bulk of her formative years. In 2002, she moved to Miami after graduating from the University of Florida. Since then, Niema has worked in film, television and commercials as a Production Assistant and Production Coordinator. Some of her films have included Bad Boys II and I Am Number IV. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.