When the Regent Cocktail Club opened at the Gale Hotel in February 2013, the intimate space quickly became one of the most talked-about spaces in South Beach.
The small, elegant lounge offered a speakeasy vibe, sultry singers, and an ever-changing roster of cocktails listed on a chalkboard.
What made the Regent truly special was its dream team of bartenders. A group of professionals that included John Lermayer, Julio Cabrera, and Richie Petronzi perfectly executed the drinks.
The bar won national recognition and was nominated for several Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, including American Bartender of the Year (John Lermayer), Best American Bar Team, and Best American Hotel Bar in 2014. A year earlier, Julio Cabrera, representing the Regent Cocktail Club, was a finalist at the U.S. Bartender of the Year competition, held annually by the U.S. Bartenders Guild.
The Regent quietly closed late this past summer to move into the Gale's larger space that held the former bar Rec Room.
Last Saturday, the Regent reopened at its new location. The space expands capacity at the swank bar from 30 to about 75 people seated lounge-style, 12 barstools, and up to 200 people standing.
In keeping with the Regent's tradition of serving well-made cocktails, Bar Lab was tasked with creating the drink menu.
Cocktails include the Plátano old-fashioned, made with Santa Teresa 1796 rum, a maduro reduction, and tiki bitters; the Coco Chi-Chi daiquiri, with coconut-washed Facundo Neo rum, lychee, lime juice, and orange bitters; a guava paloma, with Patrón Reposado tequila, pink guava, habanero shrub, lime juice, and grapefruit soda; the Regent Club, with London dry gin, Aperol, pomegranate grenadine, lemon juice, raspberries, egg white, and cranberry bitters; and the Pecanhattan, a blend of pecan-infused Aberfeldy 12-year Scotch, Cocchi di Torino vermouth, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, and black walnut bitters.
To help patrons stave off hunger, the Regent offers bar bites such as cheese croquettes with fig jam, potato croquettes with truffle aioli, chicken empanadas, beef empanadas, chips and guacamole, and a meat and cheese plate.
Though the new space offers a redesign, the spirit of the Regent remains in the ambiance and the cocktails. Listen closely, and you might just hear the faint echo of bartenders past who shaped the original Regent into one of the best-loved places to get an impeccably made drink in Miami Beach.
The Regent Cocktail Club. 1690 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-975-2550; regentcocktailclub.com. Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.
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