10 Best Cocktail Bars in Miami | Miami New Times

Cocktails & Spirits

The 10 Best Cocktail Bars in Miami

Here are the best drinking establishments to belly up to the bar in the Magic City.
Cocktails at the Champagne Bar at the Four Seasons Surfside
Cocktails at the Champagne Bar at the Four Seasons Surfside Champagne Bar photo
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There have been times when Miami was better known for its crime scene than its cocktail scene, but, oh, how things have changed.

Thanks to an ever-growing number of talented Magic City bartenders and the growth of cocktail culture, the Magic City has made a name for itself with a growing mixology game offering plenty of places to whet your whistle.

From Champagne spots and homegrown success stories to tiki bars and Latin-themed concepts that serve an old-fashioned and a cafecito, here are ten cocktail bars — listed in alphabetical order — to get your drink on in Miami:
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The Broken Shaker
Photo courtesy of Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami

Broken Shaker

2727 Indian Creek Dr., Miami Beach
What began in 2012 as a pop-up bar has since flourished and matured into one of Miami's — and now New York City's and Los Angeles' — most popular and renowned cocktail bars. The creation of Bar Lab's Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi, Broken Shaker has racked up several coveted honors over the years, including Best American Hotel Bar at Tales of the Cocktail's Spirited Awards. And it's all set on the site of a Miami Beach hotel, where the property's courtyard oasis doubles as the home to a largely outdoor space where twinkling lights set the tone by the pool deck where travelers, tourists, and locals gather on mismatched patio furniture to sip some pretty sublime cocktails. The menu presents several ways to curb your hunger and quench your thirst. The roster of cocktails changes according to the season and available fresh ingredients. There's even a "mocktail" menu for the designated drivers. Curb your hunger with bites like street tacos, Haitian-style griot and pikliz, shawarma fries, and a falafel burger.
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Julio Cabrera
Photo by Anthony Nader / 52 Chefs

Café La Trova

971 SW Eighth St., Miami
You can't visit Calle Ocho without stopping at one of the World's 50 Best Bars. It's all thanks to the magic made by chef/owner Michelle Bernstein's comfort food fare and Cuban cantinero and owner Julio Cabrera, whose expert drink-making is set against a backdrop of guayabera-clad musicians inside the weathered façade of an Old Havana edifice. You can't go wrong with the award-winning "Buenavista" prepared with gin, elderflower liqueur, mint, cucumber, and lime juice, but there's something uniquely Miami about ordering a mojito or daiquiri here. The drink is "thrown" — a show that involves tossing the liquid from shaker to shaker to create an airborne arch — before the bartender spontaneously bursts into a choreographed dance number. It's more than a cocktail — it's an experience.
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Cocktails with class at the Champagne Bar
Photo courtesy of the Champagne Bar

Champagne Bar

9011 Collins Ave., Surfside
Some bars are good for partying. Others for relaxing. And then there are the bars worth splurging on, like the Champagne Bar at the Four Seasons Surf Club. Home to the largest collection of Champagne in Miami, this chic palm-fringed, emerald-green bar offers up a bevy of stunning seasonal libations and many riffs on classic cocktails inspired by global cities. If none of them whet your whistle, a custom-crafted cocktail cart available starting at 6 p.m., priced at $85 per person, will get you the experience of your choosing. Or there's always the long list of Champagne and sparkling wines by the glass or bottle.
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Esotico's tiki cocktails
Photo by Nicole Danna

Esotico Miami (and Koana Room)

1600 NE First Ave., Miami
Esotico partner Daniele Dalla Pola loves tiki, from the movement's storied past to its bevy of beverages infused with exotic juices and served in its very own style of glassware. To create the perfect Miami oasis, Dalla Pola has traveled the world in search of tiki inspiration for his Miami bar and restaurant. Decorated in glowing pink neon and plenty of greenery and bamboo, it delivers Polynesian pop in spades. And what of the cocktails? Traditional tiki recipes are painstakingly recreated here, prepared with fresh-squeezed juices, specialty rums, and housemade mixes, and served in custom glasses designed by Dalla Pola himself. Sure, you could order Esotico's twists on the mai tai or piña colada, but you'd be missing out on the real stars of the show, like the "Missionary's Downfall," a wildly herbaceous drink that blends brandy and rum with fresh mint. The establishment's "speaky-tiki" hidden bar, dubbed Koana Room, provides an intimate Polynesian getaway experience.
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Cocktails at Jaguar Sun
Jaguar Sun photo

Jaguar Sun

230 NE Fourth St., Miami
When Jaguar Sun closed its doors for a brief pandemic-related hiatus in 2021 to offer a temporary pop-up with Sunny's Steakhouse, Miami mourned the loss of one of its most quirky and cozy cocktail bars. Lucky for us, the establishment has since returned, a refreshed reboot of its original outpost in the lobby of the X Miami building, offering a menu that marries original staples with a few favorites from its days as Sunny's. Drinks by bartender Will Thompson include a selection of aperitifs, martinis, and exotic-inspired cocktails. A "Freak of the Week" means there's always something new to order up, and the happy hour offers a "Tiny Tini" with a choice of gin or vodka for $8, classics like a Tom Collins, Manhattan, or margarita for $10 a pop. Hungry? Chef/owner Carey Hynes also ups the bar-chow game and Jaguar's signature Parker House rolls served with honey-whisked butter or a perfect bowl of pasta to pair with your drink.
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Lost Boy cocktails
Photo courtesy of Lost Boy Dry Goods

Lost Boy

157 E. Flagler St., Miami
Some days, you want to sip nitrogen cocktails with durian espuma amid pulsating beats and colored lights, and some days, you simply want a good drink in a low-key, easy-going joint. That's where Lost Boy comes in. They return sanity to drinking with a cool, no-nonsense vibe and a menu of equally approachable drinks. Here, all your favorite classics are tweaked with tiny twists — think a "Penicillin" with orange-blossom honey or an espresso martini mellowed with a dash of CBD oil. Can't make up your mind? Order the "My Idea," and the bartender will craft a bespoke cocktail just for you. Pinching pennies? Your wallet will enjoy a trip to Lost Boy during its daily happy hour when drinks are half price from 4 to 7 p.m.
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Old world charm at the Monterrey Bar
Photo courtesy of Monterrey Bar

Monterrey Bar

40 Island Ave., Miami Beach
If you're looking for a classy cocktail, head to Monterrey Bar, a venue that pays homage to the Standard Spa, Miami Beach's namesake roots, and the Monterrey Motel, which opened at 40 Island Avenue in 1953. There's a cool speakeasy vibe at the intimate lounge and six-seat, T-shaped bar, which presents guests with its take on classic cocktails paired with elevated light bites. The menu offers a selection of "Light and Bright" or "Slow Slipper" cocktails that are easy-drinking or rich and smooth. You can't go wrong with the "Gold Standard," a blend of Aberfeldy 12-year scotch, passion fruit liqueur, sherry, amaro, English tea, and a 24-karat-specked ice cube. Pair it with a bar food menu that offers small plates like truffled tater tots; roasted bone marrow served with crispy shiitake mushroom and toast points; and chicken liver pate with pickled pearl onions, fig jam, and Melba toast.
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The Roystone offers creative cocktails in a unique setting.
The Roystone photo

The Roystone

100 NE First Ave., Fourth Floor, Miami
Miami-based King Goose Hospitality has opened a new cocktail bar in downtown Miami, steps from the group's multi-level entertainment and culinary venue, Julia & Henry's. Located on the fourth floor in the attic of the old Post Office building, this cocktail bar isn't just an evening cocktail lounge experience. It also hosts some of the world's most talented mixologists (think takeovers from the world's top 100 bars via a signature monthly series), served up alongside a variety of activities like vinyl DJs, jazz band performances, disco-themed nights, and cocktail-making classes.
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Jesus Perez pours expertly made drinks at Swizzle Rum Bar & Drinkery.
Photo courtesy of Luis Antonio

Swizzle Rum Bar & Drinkery

1120 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Danilo Božovic came to town to open the Miami Beach outpost of Employees Only after serving as the principal bartender at the flagship in New York, and although the beloved bar has since closed, Božovic's legacy lives on. Today, the bartender is known for his ability to make a consistently poured drink without the use of jiggers or other measuring tools, the likes of which you can find at Swizzle Rum Bar, where a rum-heavy menu presents some of the best libations the Magic City has to offer. Then you ask: What if tiki was born in Mexico City? And what if the "Zombie" was created in Oaxaca? Božovic answers these questions at the Miami Beach Delirio Tiki Pool Bar at the Viajero Hostels in Miami Beach — one door down from Swizzle at the Stiles Hotel — where a collaboration between Bozovic and the Swizzle team offers guests a Miami- and Latin American-themed tiki experience that features fresh and innovative libations matched with savory bar bites.
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Thorn's "Socks & Slides" cocktail made with Johnnie Walker rye and whipped pineapple juice
Fire Pit Hospitality photo


6976 Bird Rd., Miami
Miami-born Fire Pit Hospitality is no one-trick pony when it comes to creating new food and beverage-slinging establishments. Creator John Falco —the man behind Lincoln's Beard Brewing Co., Strange Beast, Maxwell Bros, and Cry Baby Creamery — shows he can also provide the city with an excellent cocktail bar. Thorn is Falco's latest libation-focused establishment, an industrial-chic space that provides West Miami patrons a chance to pair creative American bar fare with a rotating selection of seasonally themed and signature cocktails. The place aims to deliver one of the best happy hours in the city, offered Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. with $10 specialty drinks, $8 well cocktails, buy-one-get-one draft beers and glasses of wine, a $6 shot-and-beer pairing, $10 happy-hour bites, and $1 oysters.
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