This past Saturday, Miami Drink Hostel, a cocktail event that invited guests to drink around the world, returned to the Freehand Miami. Each guest was photographed upon arrival and given a custom "passport." The goal was to get all 30 pages "stamped" by the spirits brands plying their wares.
Imbibing under the sun isn't exactly new to Miamians, but Drink Hostel is unique in that it seeks to educate people by giving a bit of history and explanation to the libations they're enjoying. Think of it as edutainment as the area's best bartenders and brand managers shook cocktails, told stories, and held tastings.
Of course, as with anything, patterns begin to emerge. Like fashion, what we drink changes with the seasons, and Miami's summer calls for light and bright cocktails filled with fruit and fun ingredients. Here are some of the drinks you're bound to see at your favorite bar in the coming months.
Experimentation With Classic Bar Staples
Generally, when the Jägermeister comes out, it's probably already time to go home. But this bar staple, usually served chilled as a shot, is full of herbal notes that beg to be paired with sweet fruits. The Leaving the Quarter cocktail adds strawberries and mint to Jägermeister, creating a sippable, well-balanced libation.
Much of Miami's social scene revolves around bars. However, that doesn't mean you should pound bourbon all day. A refreshing spritz won't leave your brain feeling muddled. An Aperol spritz — made with the namesake sweet/bitter Italian apéritif and topped with prosecco and soda water for a bubbly, fizzy beverage — is the perfect alternative to a glass (or three) of rosé. The St-Germain cocktail substitutes Aperol for St-Germain, a fragrant elderflower liqueur from France.
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For years, kombucha has been making its way into grocery shelves as a delicious way to get healthful probiotics in your diet. Though kombucha is made from slightly fermented tea, Kombrewcha ups the ante to give you a "social drink with health benefits." Around 1.5 percent ABV, it's a great porch-pounder for days when you want to have more than one beverage.
Shandies and Beer Cocktails
Miami's beer scene grows daily, so it's no surprise beer cocktails are trending. Though we're bound to see more beermosas and micheladas, watch out for the summer shandy — or better yet, make one at home. Traditionally, beer is paired with lemonade for a sweet, tart, and refreshing drink. An Italian shandy mixes four parts Peroni with four parts Limonata Italian soda. A dash or two of your favorite bitters brings your glass to life.