Opened almost a year and a half ago by Philippe "Flip" Falca, the South Beach watering hole has quickly become a favorite among locals and visitors looking for a laid-back vibe. True to its name, it's a small spot that invites conversation in the courtyard, a chat with the bartenders, or a nightcap.
Bar director David Cedeno, who was part of the Anderson's opening team in 2016, has crafted a menu of cocktails named for other Miami bars or restaurants. Comprising ten drinks, the menu is a unique way to shout out to Cedeno's favorite spots and also create a dialogue among patrons offering suggestions of places to go.
"It's not about me, really. It's about what we do as a city and working together," Cedeno says. "Each drink incorporates flavors that resonate with the vibe of each place and reflects its style. We want to build community within the bars and the city." He approached each location with the idea and got each onboard to be featured as a cocktail.
The Broken Shaker ($12) conveys the tropical hipster feel of the iconic bar by using New Amsterdam gin, homemade hibiscus syrup, St-Germain elderflower liquor, sparkling water, and fresh-pressed lemon juice. Inspired by the snickerdoodle cookies served at Jeremy Ford's South of Fifth restaurant, the Stubborn Seed cocktail ($13) is stirred with Mezcal Vago, rye whiskey, Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, chocolate bitters, saline, and sugar to achieve a balance of salty and sweet. As Cedeno recalls fond memories of the Anderson ($13) — "the place where I became a legitimate bartender" — he gives a nod to its retro '80s cocktails via Johnny Walker Black, D'usse cognac, apple cider absinthe, Angostura bitters, Peychaud's bitters, and house-made allspice syrup. Other namesake drinks are Drunken Dragon, Baby Jane, and Ted's Hideaway, which is a shot-and-beer combo.
The bar's two original favorites — South Beach Z Pack ($13) and Pucker Up ($13) — have remained on the menu and are joined by two others, all served in Minibar's signature tiny liquor bottles like the ones found in hotel minibars. With a mini Absolut lime vodka tipped upside down into a Dole pineapple juice can, the Meridian Hotel ($11) also contains muddled strawberry and lime juice. Those who sipped from mint-green cans of Arizona Iced Tea in the '90s will enjoy the Mini Green Tea ($13): a mini Jameson bottle poured into the iconic can with peach liquor, cranberry juice, citrus blend, and sage.
Minibar has also launched Industry Mondays — an all-day happy hour offering an additional 10 percent industry discount with proof of employment — and a late-night happy hour Friday and Saturday from 1 to 3 a.m. Cedeno even hosts mixology classes Wednesday evenings; you must sign up in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minibar. 418 Meridian Ave., Miami Beach; 305-763-8934; minibarmiami.com.