It's official. Miami is one of the best places to imbibe.
The annual list "the World's 50 Best Bars" has been released for the sixth year, and a Miami bar has finally been deemed worthy of a spot.
The final list is compiled by votes from an academy of more than 330 of the most renowned names in the drinks industry, such as Tony Conigliaro (69 Colebrooke Row), James Beard nominee David Wondrich, Salvatore Calabrese (creator of one of the most expensive cocktails), and Jim Meeham (author of the PDT Cocktail Book), and includes some heavy-hitters in the cocktail industry like New York's Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog, London's Artesian, and Chicago's Aviary. Joining this prestigious list is Miami Beach's own Broken Shaker.
The Shaker makes the grade at number 22, beating out New York's Clover Club (number 35), San Francisco's Trick Dog (number 43), and New Orleans' Cure (number 43) in the overall rankings.
Even though the Broken Shaker was the only bar to represent Miami, other cities that are decades ahead of the Magic City in bar and drink history barely touched the list, with Chicago (two), New Orleans (one), San Francisco (two), and Boston (one) making the list. Only New York City, with an impressive seven bars named, made an impression on the judges.
Broken Shaker partner Gabe Orta, who is out of the country, texted this note: "It's an honor to be voted by our colleagues and fans, and it's also a testament to our great staff for all their hard work and dedication. It's also good for Miami."
What this nod means for the Miami bar scene is that it has pierced the veil. It has now caught the eyes of the world's most influential mixologists and savvy cocktailers. The bar (pun intended) has now been set for excellence, and there's no going back to frozen blender drinks served with corn-syrup-laden mixers. And the scene is growing.
With the recent opening of innovative lounges such as Ball & Chain in Little Havana and the announcement of the upcoming debut of Sweet Liberty Drink and Supply Company -- a partnership among mixologist John Lermayer, the team behind Blackbird Ordinary, and David Martinez of Michy's -- and the passion of bartenders like Julio Cabrera, who has taken on the mission of training and mentoring up-and-coming young bartenders, Miami is fast becoming the most spirited city in the United States.
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Congratulations to the Broken Shaker for being named number 22. Next year, I predict a Miami bar in the top ten. We've got the talent and the heart for it.