Miami provides the perfect backdrop for enjoying summer cocktails, from Little Havana to Coconut Grove. And while the neighborhood is up to you, these cocktails do require certain key elements (aside from alcohol): They have to be refreshing, light, and fruity. In Miami it’s practically always summer, but the hottest season is the best time to chill out with the city’s best libations. Here are five great summer cocktails and where to find them.
Why not begin with a classic: the daiquiri. At the historic Ball & Chain lounge in Little Havana, they manage to improve on the original by combining banana-flavored liqueur with rum, lime juice, and coffee beans. Everything is blended together to create a thick, frozen treat that’s speckled with coffee bean fragments. One sip and you’ll feel your motor revving, even as the liquid is cooling you down. And if you like Little Havana’s cocktails, just wait ’til you try the food.
Should you still be on a smoothie kick, The Rum Line at Loews Hotel Miami serves beautiful cocktails that are tiki-fied with edible flowers, paper umbrellas, and plastic flamingos. The Green-Eyed Bandit includes kale, cucumber, lime, jalapeño, sea salt, and cachaça, which is a sugarcane spirit powerful enough to negate all the good you did by drinking your vegetables.
Coffee beans aren’t the only way to perk up a drink. At neighborhood joint Blackbird Ordinary, they make a spicy concoction called the Woodpecker that includes homemade ginger syrup, bourbon, bitters, lime juice, and soda. It’s served in a big Mason jar, providing that piece of hipster panache. If you want to go full Miami, order the Pink Flamingo. The slight nuttiness you’ll taste comes from gin infused with raw pistachios. The vibrant coral color comes from fresh raspberries and house-made raspberry syrup.
The funky new Bodega Taqueria y Tequila is a combination taco truck and speakeasy that’s dishing out authentic Mexican eats. To accompany your mahi ceviche, order the Don Diablo cocktail, which is a tongue-tingling mix of Latin summertime flavors: mezcal, passion fruit, lime, habanero bitters, and hibiscus soda.
Radio Bar began life as a pop-up, but the winning recipes have made this cocktail lounge a mainstay. Sneak in the back door (you’ll find it by the actual radio tower), and order the Ze Pequeno, a mix of four bright ingredients: acai spirit, lemon, mint, and Champagne. Raise your glass to summer, and even more Miami adventures to come!