Drink Miami Hostel's fourth-annual celebration of spirits offered seemingly endless options. This year, the event took up all three floors of the Freehand Miami and spilled out onto the grounds, pool area, and 27 Restaurant as more than 50 brands poured cocktails in unique settings.
The afternoon began, as always, with ticketholders procuring passports (complete with photos) before venturing on a journey that would take them to Italy, Colombia, France, and other countries — all while never setting foot outside Miami Beach.
If there was a trend at the event, it would be that Miami's bartenders are breaking down the barriers in the spirits world. Whether it be a tiki drink made with Irish whiskey or a caipirinha with a touch of floral liqueur from France, this year's Drink Miami Hostel proved there's a world of spirits to experiment with and explore.
Irish Whiskey Tiki. Tiki cocktails are traditionally known to contain copious amounts of rum, bitters, and tropical fruit juices — but who says you can't use a little whiskey? Lambay Irish whiskey broke the mold with its Puffin Punch for a smooth-drinking libation perfect for Miami summers.
France and Brazil Meet-Cute. What happens when two countries meet in a glass? You get a Paris-inspired caipirinha! This cocktail takes Brazil's national cocktail, traditionally made with cachaça, sugar, and lime, and adds a touch of St-Germain elderflower liqueur for floral notes. Top it off with some bubbles and you've got your next brunch cocktail.
Aguardiente Mango Daiquiri. Living in Miami, you probably know aguardiente as the bottle your friends and family break out during Christmas and New Year's. Colombia's national liquor, this sweet licorice-flavored drink is usually served neat (and sometimes just the bottle is passed). Adding it to a daiquiri is genius: The spicy notes are the perfect foil for the tartness of a mango.
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Boozy Pops at Coconut Cartel. Summer is approaching, and when the humidity breaks 90 percent, you're gonna need more than just a cold beverage. That's where Coconut Cartel's boozy rum dip comes in handy. A ice pop, made with coconut milk and pineapple, is served in a cup with a shot of Coconut Cartel rum. Make this at home for your next pool party.
Frosé All Day. Frosé is here to stay, and the Cocktail Cartel crew went all out in a show of support for this pink refresher. Three Olives' new rose vodka adds a hint of floral notes to this favorite of day drinkers everywhere.