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The Broken Shaker Opens

Elad Zvi, Gabriel Orta, and Sydell Group's Roy Alpert preparing for opening.
Elad Zvi, Gabriel Orta, and Sydell Group's Roy Alpert preparing for opening.
All photos by Laine Doss

The Miami cocktail scene has just gotten a little more interesting with the opening of the permanent edition of the Broken Shaker.

Read also:
- Best Pop-Up Bar: Broken Shaker
- Best Bartender: Gabriel Orta

Bar Lab's Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi opened Miami's first pop-up cocktail lounge last January. It quickly became the place to go to get sophisticated cocktails at reasonable prices, and the little lounge inside the slightly-faded Indian Creek Hotel soon became the go-to place for locals, tourists, and industry insiders. Then, a short six months later, the pop-up closed, as intended.


Now, after much anticipation, the Broken Shaker is back inside the same property, though it's been renovated and renamed. The Indian Creek has been turned

into Freehand Miami, an upscale hostel by the Sydell Group and the Broken

Shaker has refreshed their lounge and expanded the outdoor area.

The small herb garden has become a major focal point of the patio. Young fruit trees have

been planted around the property. Orta pointed out the starfruit that

was already starting to appear, destined for some cocktail glass in the

near future.

Broken Shaker's agave fairy.
Broken Shaker's agave fairy.

Unlike most establishments that renovate a space and

pass the costs on to the consumer, the price of a signature cocktail has

been lowered to $8. Many of these libations reflect the experiences

Orta and Zvi had this past year while traveling both as guest

mixologists and on exploration trips to New Orleans, New York, and Oaxaca. One such trip, a visit to Sean

Brock's Husk in Charleston, proved especially enlightening. Orta told

Short Order, "Here's this guy and he's making his own vinegars and he

pickles everything. He's got one room just filled with animal parts.

He's the real deal." That trip is the inspiration for the Agave Fairy,

made with homemade pineapple vinegar and tequila, dressed with a pickled radish.

The garden negroni.
The garden negroni.

Other offerings include a garden negroni, a classic that gets added

depth from fresh herbs from the Broken Shaker's garden; and a holy

grail, and old-fashioned made with pumpkin reduction, toasted pecan

bitters, and bourbon. A rye cider is made with thyme honey and lemon plucked from their own trees.

 

House-made bitters.
House-made bitters.

Living up to their Bar Lab moniker, Orta

and Zvi were working on some house-made bitters when we arrived. Don't

be surprised if your cocktail has the earthiness of a mushroom or the

smokiness of well...smoked fish. We asked what on earth Orta planned to

do with his fish/juniper bitters. "Well, the juniper would compliment a

gin and the smokiness of the fish would work well with certain

tequilas." In all honesty, we tried the bitters and they were quite

wonderful, if a bit unusual.

In addition to cocktails, the lounge offers a small hand-picked selection of beers including Miller

High Life ($3); Cigar City IPA ($6), Session Lager ($5); Negro Especial

($5); Angry Orchard cider ($6); Michael's Genuine Home Brew ($12); and

Ommegang Brewery Abbey Ale ($12). Wines by the glass ($11) are also

available.

The Broken Shaker will bring back their punches, and a

bowl, which serves 4-8 people, is $150. Choose your spirit, fruit, and

botanical and your bartender will create a custom punch to share with

friends.

Plans in the works include barrel-aged cocktails, custom blended with a choice of spirits and flavor profiles. Barrels can be consumed at one time,

for a party or gathering, or patrons will have the option of having

their custom barrel stored at the lounge. A weekly barbecue is planned. The restaurant, which will be

in an adjacent 1930s house, is targeted for a spring 2013 opening.

The Broken Shaker Opens

In

the meantime, the lounge is open daily with small bites for munching, games, and hand crafted cocktails. We're looking forward to playing Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots with a negroni in our hands. It's sort of a childhood dream, come to life.

The Broken Shaker Opens

The backyard has plenty of different seating choices and environments. Grab a cocktail and sit by the pool, find a corner, or enjoy the fresh scent of the herb garden. Though the Broken Shaker has been given some polish and permanent status, what hasn't been lost is its unpretentious vibe where people can enjoy a solid drink at a good price.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.


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