Best Neighborhood Bar, Miami Beach - 2011
The Martini Bar
Readers' Choice: The Abbey Brewing Company
"Please allow your barkeep a minute or two to craft your cocktail with the finest spirits and freshest ingredients," reads the cocktail menu at the Martini Bar at the Raleigh. It's a notice that your patience will be rewarded with a carefully created libation. In fact, you shouldn't mind if the bartender takes 20 minutes to pour such tasty concoctions. Our favorite, the Lola, combines Dos Maderas rum, passion fruit purée, basil leaves, jalapeño, lime juice, and homemade syrup into a sweet-and-spicy beverage that allows the smoky flavor of the rum to come through. This is just one of the well-priced $14 speciality cocktails. Drinks aside, when you enter the retro-refined space from the lobby, it's easy to see why Details magazine in 2010 called it one of the "10 Best Hotel Bars in the World" and a "monument to forties Florida cool." And don't let the location fool you. You won't find Jersey Shore knockoffs here. Locals love it because it's still a slice of authentic South Beach glamour.