Across a wooden bar, against a wall of spirits, Matias Aubi looks like any other bartender ready to listen to your woes and make you a drink. But the former advertising exec won't be serving your favorite cocktail in a glass, but rather in a scoop, with one of his and partner Rafa Ramsa's boozy ice-cream concoctions.
Aubi & Ramsa is a 21-and-over shop nestled amid the neon lights and bustle of the Design District. Its modern appearance offers a mature aesthetic wildly different from the bubblegum appeal of most ice-cream parlors. The space is sexy, and the ice cream is even sexier with flavors such as the Highland Truffle, an ice cream crafted with Belgian chocolate and Macallan 12-year single-malt Scotch.
Aubi and Ramsa forged a partnership after growing tired of the advertising world. They craved a business that, Aubi says, "combined both our passions," and because Ramsa comes from a long line of ice-cream makers, the frozen treat seemed to be a natural course. After experimenting with recipes that were served at several well-known eateries in Los Angeles, the partners set their sights on Miami, where their shop opened only weeks ago. The concept has been such a success the two already have plans for expansion, with 30 new flavors and a rumored New York location.
The brick-and-mortar demonstrates the duo's expertise in branding, evident in their Prohibition-era packaging and vintage logo. Aubi, the mastermind behind the flavors, uses only the best ingredients, including top-shelf brands, European imports, and local produce when available. Patrons can also expect collaborations with local vendors in the near future.
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The menu, organized by spirit, caters to all drinkers. So whether your vice is whiskey or beer, there's a flavor to suit your taste. Each creation contains 4.9 percent ABV per 3.7 ounces and what Ramsa insists are "the good calories."
Sit at the bar and grab a Mimosa Sorbet or a Mezcal Chocolate Azteca, which is Mexican chocolate ice cream infused with two shots of Del Maguey Vida mezcal and cinnamon.
Other flavors include Kentucky Crème Brûlée — an organic vanilla-pudding ice cream made with two shots of Four Roses single-barrel bourbon and caramelized sugar sprinkles — and Chocolate Mint Martini, made with Veuve Clicquot and Tanqueray No. Ten gin. The ice creams cost $6 to $9 per single serving and are also sold by the pint ($18 to $26, depending upon the spirit), making them a unique party gift. Delivery is also available.
Aubi & Ramsa. 172 NE 41st St., Miami; 305-946-9072; aubiramsa.com. Monday through Thursday noon to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon to 11 p.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m.