Cocktails & Spirits

Drink Miami Hostel's Five Cocktail Trends to Look Out for at Local Bars

This past Saturday, the Freehand Miami turned into Miami Drink Hostel, a sold-out event with a goal of getting a custom passport filled with 24 stamps, each representing a spirits brand or cocktail.

As with the 1970s Eagles classic "Hotel California," you could check out anytime you wanted, but you could not leave without gaining some insight into what's to come in Miami's burgeoning cocktail culture.
5. Beer cocktails
Peroni was the beer sponsor at Drink Miami Hostel, and properly in theme with its Italian origins, the company poured an Italian shandy mixing the Euro pale lager with San Pellegrino's Limonata, a carbonated lemonade for the occasion. Considering the importance of the growing craft beer culture in Miami, we are sure to see many beer cocktails and shandies on summer menus all over town. If you don't come across it, ask for a citrusy soft drink, ginger beer, or juice to brighten your hoppy brew of choice and make your own.

4. Coffee and rum paired
There aren't many duos in Miami culture that go together as well as coffee and rum. The mixing of these two rich flavors was prevalent this past weekend with two major rum names, Bacardi and Diplomático, serving coffee-infused cocktails. Call them the optimal, refreshing 305 cafecito break with a kick.

3. The proper ice
Ice, ice, baby.: Never a stanza exclaimed so well, ice is one of the most underrated ingredients of a cocktail. From tiki libations to stirred cocktails, all drinks require ice in some form. Considering Miami's hellish summer temperatures, there's much to consider about this popular cooling agent. The guys from Mixologyice can give you some insight into things to come from their crystal-clear ice cuts in all shapes that yield "the lowest melting rate and the minimum dilution Miami heat can afford." Say goodbye to watered-down drinks.
2. Italian liqueurs and aperitifs
There's nothing new about Disaronno. After all, this spirit from Saronno, Italy, has been around since 1525. Made from bitter almonds, bourbon vanilla, and cocoa, this original amaretto is making its way back to cocktail menus with a vengeance. Italians seem to be having a moment, because Disaronno goes hand in hand with the reintroduction of Zucca, a veteran Italian amaro cherished for its reputably balanced bitterness and drinking easiness. Want to be the cool kid in your craft cocktail bar of choice? Order a shot for the bartender, and ask him to use it in a drink. 
1. Fresh nopal juice
It's a well-known fact that an integral part of any craft cocktail begins with freshly squeezed juices to mix with top-of-the-line spirits. We've seen all kinds of juiced fruits and vegetables make their way into our cocktails, but the standout is cactus juice from freshly squeezed nopales. It adds the perfect amount of herbal, earthy, and tangy elements to libations. We look forward to seeing more of it on upcoming cocktail menus around town.

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Paula Echevarria is a gregarious locavore always in search of a good cocktail and a great story. She was chosen by Tom Colicchio as one of his secret diners for Bravo's Best New Restaurant and is an Emmy Award-winning live-kitchen television producer.