As the Brickell sector of downtown starts to become a hub for a whole new crop of restaurants aiming at shaking up the Miami dining scene, great food and quality service alone won’t be enough to set these new spaces apart. With a $2,000 yearly membership fee, the member’s lounge at the recently christened Coya isn’t going to be accessible to everyone. However, with exclusive art collections, live music, and a new series of classes about the cuisine of South America that kicked off this Tuesday, even the price tag won’t be enough to stop those who are capable from joining one of the most exclusive clubs in the city.
To kick off a series of classes that will elucidate some of the foundational elements that make up Coya’s menu, Diego Loret de Mola, owner of Barsol Pisco, came to Miami on Tuesday to give a lesson on the Pisco Sour, one of the most iconic cocktails below the equator. De Mola came prepared with three different types of Pisco to taste. The goal was to give each guest at the inaugural pisco sour masterclass some insight into the spirit that has only recently become de rigeur on local menus.
“Would you believe that pisco could be one of the oldest, if not the oldest spirit distilled in the Americas?” De Mola began his lesson, delving into the more than 500 years of history surrounding the grape brandy. He bounced from the Spaniards’ arrival in the New World to the creation of the first pisco cocktail, pisco punch, during the gold rush in San Francisco in the 19th century. He discussed the dictatorship in Peru during the '70s, and how the expropriation of land nearly brought the drink to extinction.
“We fast forward to the 20th century and now we have pisco sours being served in Coya. So, I tried to summarize 480 years of Peruvian pisco in about five minutes, but it’s just to give you a little feel of what we’re going into,” De Mola said, as tasting began.
Guests received samples of Quebranta, Mosto Verde, and Acholado versions of pisco, as De Mola discussed their respective properties. Afterwards, the class culminated with an interactive lesson detailing the process of making a pisco sour, paired with bites of ceviche, anticuchos and tri-corn salad from the kitchen. The class made for an intriguing happy hour, and a good start to the evening.
Beyond cooking classes and history lessons, the member’s lounge at Coya offers a variety of other benefits. For the world traveler, membership is good at the London and Dubai locations. Members also receive priority booking for dinner reservations in the main dining room, though the complete menu is served in the lounge during lunch and dinner.
Perhaps most intriguing is the rotating art collection, currently featuring prints from Coya CEO Arjun Waney’s personal collection. Not even the PAMM can say as much.
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Barsol owner Diego Loret De Mola said he hopes to return quarterly, when not at his distillery in Peru, to teach more classes. Other cooking classes, including a ceviche masterclass, are also in the works.
For the socialite looking for supreme exclusivity, or the food fanatic wanting more out of their local restaurant, the member’s lounge at Coya is sure to fulfill a variety of wishes. If the price tag is too steep, just buddy up with another member. A plus one is just another benefit.