Cocktail culture at Mondrian's Sunset Lounge for serious happy-hour drinkers

Sunset Lounge at Mondrian

1100 West Ave., Miami Beach



Sunset Lounge

The hours: Thursday and Friday 6 to 9 p.m.

The deals: "Innovated Classics" cocktail list is $8 (at least half, if not more, what typical cocktails cost). Limited menu from restaurant is also $8, as is valet parking, which is typically $25.

The scene: If you're looking to pound drinks with more concern for alcohol content and price than taste, avoid Mondrian's Sunset Lounge happy hour. If, however, you believe in the concept of "cocktail culture," sit down and let the bartenders wax alcoholic about what goes into their specially developed cocktail list.

They take their cocktails seriously at the Sunset Lounge. How seriously? How about a $2,500 bar expense on fresh fruit per week (with invoice to prove it). Speaking of which, the cocktails developed especially for the Thursday and Friday happy hour are as exclusive as the hotel guests. Try the pisco dusk sour, which features fresh crushed blackberries and cardamom pods along with egg whites for a frothy treat.

;Even with the reasonable prices and eclectic cocktail list, the real star of the show is the hotel itself — and at sunset, it has few equals. You can enjoy the Crazy 8's at the Sunset Lounge next to designer Marcel Wanders's signature floating staircase or out by the pool.

Conclusion: If happy hour with style is your thing, you won't want to miss Mondrian and its Sunset Lounge. Crazy 8's makes one of the most exclusive hotels on the Beach accessible to locals.


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