Best of Miami

The Ten Best Summer Cocktails in Miami

The Ten Best Summer Cocktails in Miami
Courtesy of Sugarcane

During the dog days of summer, the dangerous combination of extreme heat and high humidity sends most Miamians running for an air conditioner or a cold drink. If it’s the latter you’re looking for, the Magic City is also known as a boozy city, with a wealth of sophisticated cocktail programs turning out updated menus that reflect the season.

From refreshing fruit-filled libations to bone-chilling slushes, prepare to be whisked away to a tropical paradise getaway in the form of a nice cool glass. Imbibe on ten of the best summer cocktails right this moment in the 305. After all, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!
click to enlarge COURTESY OF THE LOCAL CRAFT FOOD & DRINK
Courtesy of The Local Craft Food & Drink
1. Not Your Average Zombie at the Local Craft Food & Drink
Skip that watered-down, artificially flavored cocktail, and head to Coral Gables hot spot the Local Craft Food and Drink for the perfect pick-me-up on a hot summer day or in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Not Your Average Zombie ($13) features a tall glass of Brugal Especial, Appleton Signature, Afrohead 15-Year Rum, Pama, guanabana, lime, and pineapple ice to keep the drink cold and strong — which is exactly what you need to survive.
click to enlarge COURTESY OF SUGARCANE
Courtesy of Sugarcane
2. Guayaba Dream at Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill
Miami denizens love their guava, especially stuffed inside flaky pastelitos and iconic ice cream flavors. But what better way to enjoy the beloved deep pink-colored fruit than by adding it to booze? Leave it to Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill to do just that in its dream-come-true cocktail, the Guayaba Dream Slush ($13). Sweetened with guava purée, the organic Ketel One vodka slushie from Kelvin Slush also uses orange bitters and a Disaronno floater that pairs well with Sugarcane’s selection of oysters and fresh crudos.
click to enlarge COURTESY OF BLACKBIRD ORDINARY
Courtesy of Blackbird Ordinary
3. The Wall at Blackbird Ordinary
Let’s take a moment to commemorate two summer essentials: an outdoor patio and watermelon, both of which can be found at Blackbird Ordinary. Quench your thirst with the Wall, priced at $13 and made with Vida mezcal, serrano chili syrup, cucumber, soda water, lime, and watermelon. It’s best savored out back as you dance, lounge, or simply waste the night away with friends.
click to enlarge COURTESY OF ZUMA
Courtesy of Zuma
4. Zuma Mai Tai at Zuma
The classic Polynesian cocktail gets a contemporary Japanese twist at the izakaya-style Zuma Miami, located at the swank Epic in downtown. For $14, order the Zuma mai tai, with plum sake, house-made rum grog, fresh pineapple juice, blood orange, a squeeze of lime, and almond essence, for an update to the celebrated summertime sipper.
click to enlarge COURTESY OF SEASPICE
Courtesy of Seaspice
5. Pretty Girl at Seaspice
As a long-established Magic City favorite and the unofficial drink of South Florida, the mojito gets a major summer makeover at Seaspice, downtown's superchic seafood brasserie and lounge. The Pretty Girl ($14) maintains its refreshing charm, while mixing in fresh watermelon juice, lime, agave, and Barceló Gran Platinum for a lighter, less-guilty version of the sweet and indulgent original.
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Maureen Aimee Mariano is a freelance food writer for Miami New Times. She earned a bachelor of science in journalism from the University of Florida before making her way back to the 305, the city that first fueled her insatiable appetite.