Tiki drinks are Esotico's specialty.
Photo courtesy of Esotico Miami
Tiki drinks are Esotico's specialty.

Esotico partner Daniele Dalla Pola loves tiki, from the movement's storied past to its bevy of beverages infused with exotic juices and served in their very own style of glassware. And what other cocktail canon blends multiple rums in a single libation? Dalla Pola has traveled the world in search of tiki inspiration, and his Miami bar and restaurant — decorated in glowing pink neon and plenty of greenery and bamboo — delivers Polynesian pop in spades. Traditional tiki recipes are painstakingly re-created, prepared with fresh-squeezed juices, specialty rums, and house-made mixes, and served in custom glasses designed by Dalla Pola himself. Sure, you could order Esotico's twists on the mai tai or piña colada, but you'd be missing out on the real stars of the show, like the Missionary's Downfall, a wildly herbaceous drink that blends brandy and rum with fresh mint, or Dan's Special, a daiquiri from Don the Beachcomber that combines passion fruit, lime, and the house-blend spiced rum. A line of limited-edition mugs lets you take the tiki to go: Try the Elvis-themed chalice with Esotico's King Ta Moko, a blend of gin, passion fruit, ginger orgeat, and fresh citrus.

At Bacon Bitch, the word "bitch" isn't just part of the name. It's also scattered throughout the menu — an ode to all the badass women out there who use the word as a source of empowerment. But whether you're a bad bitch or just a hungry and thirsty one, there's a B-word menu item for you. The Main Bitches are massive breakfast sandwiches served on fresh-baked croissants topped with eggs and bacon from Niman Ranch, while Naked Bitches comprise plates like chicken and waffles or steak and eggs. Amid a number of aptly named signature drinks, the 24-ounce Hangover Bitch stands out: At $30, the massive Bloody Mary is a meal in itself, a combination of vodka and the house Bloody Bitch mix that balances a fried egg-topped cheddar cheese-stuffed hash brown with Niman Ranch bacon, olives, and a lemon wedge. If that doesn't permanently remove your hangover — and resting bitch face — nothing will.

Bakan
Photo by Laine Doss

Into adventurous eating? Head to Wynwood eatery Bakan, where taco toppings and proteins come in the form of crispy grasshoppers, pan-fried agave worms, and butter-sautéed ant eggs. For some, the caviar of edible insects is a delicacy, but the more squeamish among us will demand a top-notch margarita to wash it all down with. From its cacti-lined outdoor patio and bar to the open kitchen where you can watch tortillas being hand-pressed, Bakan has a way of spiriting you to Mexico. And with a selection of 500-plus mezcals and tequilas on the menu, the margaritas can be equally transportive. Keep it basic with the Clasica, your choice of mezcal or tequila shaken with a simple combination of orange liqueur and fresh lime juice, or choose a fruitier option, like the Sera Melon, Sera Sandia, a mezcal margarita with fresh lime juice, sweetened with nothing but watermelon and served in a goblet-sized glass. But if you're feeling fancy, splurge on the signature La Ambiciosa, a combination of tequila, Grand Marnier, and lime juice spiked with a homemade lemon verbena simple syrup.

It takes a lot of confidence for a bar stationed on Little Havana's historic Calle Ocho to proclaim itself "La Casa del Mojito." At Old's Havana Cuban Bar and Cocina, that chutzpah is justified. The quintessential Cuban highball would be nothing without its freshly muddled mint and high-quality rum, and that's what Old's Havana is more than prepared to offer its patrons each day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (midnight on weekends). If you're in the mood for the authentic old-school flavor, consider asking that your mojito be prepared with an aged rum. Old's Havana stocks 29 options of aged rum at the bar. Or if you're the sort who likes to go rogue, you can try your luck with one of six flavored mojitos, which range from raspberry to coconut to passionfruit.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®