Cocktails & Spirits

Jet Pilot, a Weekend Tiki Bar, Crash-Lands in South Beach

The Jet Pilot, a cocktail with a backstory.
Kimpton Angler's Hotel
The Jet Pilot, a cocktail with a backstory.
Once upon a time, there was a jet pilot named Sam. One day, while Sam was exploring the Pacific Islands to the tunes of Harry Belafonte wafting through the speakers, he flew into a thick cloud of smoke. Sam was too busy chair-dancing to "Jump in the Line" to notice he had crashed into an erupting volcano. He survived and salvaged a bottle of rum from the wreckage. Sam became a legend on that island, and his story lives on in the tiki cocktail Jet Pilot.

That tale is the genesis of Jet Pilot, a new late-night pop-up tiki bar at the Kimpton Angler's Hotel. Every Friday evening beginning August 16, tiki torches on the Sixth Street side of the South Beach hotel will light the way to a world of exotic food and drinks. The outdoor space will be transformed into a tiki paradise with bamboo umbrellas, torches, flamingos, and more.

Jet Pilot will be open through Thanksgiving, when the Christmas-meets-tiki pop-up Sippin' Santa takes its place.

Minnow Bar's Chris Resnick and his team have created this luau-themed cocktail experience, including the story of the pilot who somehow survived a volcano. “We wanted to pay homage to the classic Jet Pilot cocktail and the tiki movement while creating a fun and unique experience," Resnick says.
click to enlarge
Cocktails at the Jet Pilot pop-up.
Kimpton Angler's Hotel
The Jet Pilot cocktail, which dates to 1950s California, will be featured. Made with dark rums, grapefruit juice, lime, cinnamon, absinthe, and bitters, it's the classic tiki blend of rum, juice, and spices. Another drink to try is the Lost at Sea, made with gin, guava, orgeat, lime, and pineapple. When the clock strikes 12, look for a midnight shot hour. Drinks will be priced between $13 and $15.

Executive chef Julian Garriga of the upcoming Seawell Fish 'n' Oyster will offer a themed small-bites menu that includes Spam loco moco, served with fried rice, foie gras, brisket, egg, and XO sauce; a suckling pig sandwich with smoked pineapple relish on a Hawaiian bun; and Hawaiian fried chicken. Bites will be priced between $11 and $16. Seawell, also at the Angler's, is slated to open this fall.

The introduction of Jet Pilot comes on the heels of the announcement of Esotico, a tiki-themed bar in Miami's Arts & Entertainment District. Looks like the Magic City has finally embraced tiki culture.

Jet Pilot at Kimpton Angler's Hotel. 660 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-534-9600; Friday 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.