Cocktails & Spirits

Sweet Liberty Soft-Opens This Week

Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply won't have an official opening until October, but for those who can't wait, the bar, located at 237-B 20th St. in Miami Beach, soft-opens tomorrow, September 24, at 4 p.m. 

Though billed as a neighborhood cocktail bar, Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply is much more than your typical Cheers establishment where you're lucky to get a pint and a shot. For one thing, there's a powerhouse team behind the concept. Restaurateur David Martinez, Blackbird Ordinary's Dan Binkiewicz, and world-class bartender John Lermayer have combined forces, lending credence to the endeavor before patrons take the first sip of their drinks.

Though much of Sweet Liberty remains a dark secret, we know the bar/restaurant will have a speakeasy-meets-Miami vibe and will serve food alongside the drinks. In addition, Sweet Liberty will sell tools and bitters from Cocktail Kingdom, a company that features high-end professional barware, so home-bar enthusiasts will be able to up their cocktail game.

John Lermayer, who was named New Times' Best Bartender in 2015 and was a finalist at this year's Tales of the Cocktails Spirited Awards, made a name for himself in Miami at the Delano's Florida Room. He went on to create the cocktail program at Blackbird Ordinary and, most recently, was at the Regent Cocktail Club. The bartender has also traveled the globe with spirits companies and is looking forward to bringing his experiences to Sweet Liberty. "I've been pretty fortunate to experience some of the greatest bars around the world. I really feel it's the neighborhood spot that South Beach deserves. It's about accessible luxury; it's about community. We aim to be a bar that the people of Miami can be proud to call their own."

Drinks are divided into house cocktails and classics. Although the bar menu has not been released, a sample menu of offerings during this past weekend's friends-and-family trials included the "Vodka Drink," made with vodka, passionfruit, sugar, pineapple, crème de menthe, and black salt ($12); the "Gin Drink," made with gin, crème de peche, lemon juice, orange blossom, egg white, and matcha ($12); the "Rum Drink," made with rum, lime, sugar, and Campari ($12); and the "Whiskey Drink," with bourbon, spiced rum, coffee, and allspice. Classic libations include a Moscow mule, an Americano, an old-fashioned, a Tommy margarita, and an air mail. Sweet Liberty will also serve interpretations of classic American bar food, such as Maine lobster rolls.  

Sweet Liberty will be open daily from 4 p.m. to 5 a.m.
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss