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Toki highballEXPAND
Toki highball
Courtesy of Azabu

Azabu in South Beach Offers Japanese Whiskey-Fueled Happy Hour

Since its opening in January 2018, the Miami Beach outpost of the Michelin-starred Azabu has made a name for itself by offering fresh seafood and Japanese cuisine.

The restaurant recently debuted happy hour, available only at the bar Sunday through Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. There, you'll find exotic cocktails made with Japanese spirits and sakes paired with small bites.

While you peruse the happy-hour menu, take a minute to admire the bar's extensive Japanese whiskey collection. Azabu's parent company, Japan-based Plan Do See, takes advantage of its relationship with the country's major whiskey makers by purchasing rare bottles not easily found elsewhere.

But the bottles aren't just for show. Bartenders are knowledgeable when it comes to the restaurant's spirits, finding unique ways to implement them into cocktails. Azabu even blends its own whiskey in-house for some of its drinks too.

Lobster tempura bubu arare with spicy mayoEXPAND
Lobster tempura bubu arare with spicy mayo
Courtesy of Azabu

Happy-hour highlights include the Toki highball ($9) — Suntory Tori whiskey mixed with soda poured over a single rock — and the Koi ($9), made with Soto sake, vodka, rosemary sherry, strawberry, lime, yuzu, and agave. The Bubu San ($9) combines house-infused Japanese liqueur with fresh fruits and comes topped with prosecco and a garnish of chili strings. Azabu also offers draft beers for $5 and wines by the glass for $7.

If you're hungry, smaller portions of the restaurant's most popular dishes are offered at affordable prices. Signature dishes include lobster tempura bubuarare ($8), containing morsels of lobster tempura with spicy mayo and crisp bubu crackers, and the karikari bacon potato salad ($5), house-made potato salad topped with bacon bits. The happy-hour food menu is short, but the quality is high.

Azabu. At the Stanton Hotel, 161 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 786-276-0520; azabuglobal.com. Happy hour Sunday through Thursday 6 to 8 p.m.

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