Best of Miami

Top Five Places to Drink With a View: Tequila, Fine Champagne, and a Sunset

We are dedicated to saving Scotty's

Landing, one of the city's best venues with a view, so even though we named the best places for brew with a view last month -- Scotty's was number four -- we are bringing you more.

Short Order

scoured the rooftops and beachfronts of Miami -- a tough task for anyone to

manage sober -- and bathed in drink after glorious drink. We kept it top-shelf and took advantage of happy-hour rates. The Perry,

formerly the Gansevoort, talked to us a little about the effects of its name

change from the one made famous in many a rap song. Down in Coconut Grove at Panorama, the new management

told us of its dedication to optimize service and focus on presentation and

quality. We liked the Rusty Pelican so much we went there again. Management sought our help in reconnecting with the Key Biscayne and Brickell community that might have forgotten the Pelican's wonders during its closing for renovation the latter half of 2011.

5. Copa Verde at Area 31
No, Area 31 is not on the 31st floor; it's on the 16th of the magnificent Epic Hotel downtown at the mouth of the Miami River. Area 31 refers to Fishing Area 31, which encompasses the marine waters of the southeast Atlantic coast, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and South America's northeast coast. We don't set foot in Area 31 without a proper flotation device -- in this case the Copa Verde ($12) specialty cocktail. A base of herradura tequila blends nicely with Cointreau, fresh lime juice, and a flavorful avocado purée with a chili salt rim. Three of these and you might need to be kept away from the railing.

4. Glass of Sangria at Panorama
Panorama is situated on the corner of an ideal bend of land facing the expansive waters of the Atlantic Ocean -- and the new management wants to make sure the space doesn't go to waste. "We know what it takes to make our guests smile -- excellent service and excellent food," food and beverage supervisor Cesar Cadalso says. "Here, we are dedicated to providing both every time we open those doors." Those doors open to a beautiful view that pairs wonderfully with a glass of sangria ($7) and any item from the Peruvian-inspired menu. Executive chef and Johnson & Wales grad Christopher Cramer runs an extremely innovative kitchen with perhaps the best lomo saltado within Miami's borders.

3. Glass of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin at Club 50
Since its opening on the summit of the Viceroy and Icon -- perhaps Brickell's most luxurious set of buildings -- Club 50 has quickly become a favorite for tourists and locals alike. The list of world-class DJs coupled with the magnificent view from 500 feet in the sky down to the Miami River is hard to top. The dress code is strict, and the environment oozes class, which goes perfectly with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Yellow Label ($26). Light fare of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine blends with the grained marbles and Japanese-woodblock-inspired prints.

2. Grey Goose Martini at the Rusty Pelican
Since it opened on the inviting shores of Virginia Key in 1973, the Rusty Pelican has been known for its stunning vistas. "People used to come here for the view," manager Javier Nolla says. "Now, since our renovation, we want them to come for the food and service, and the view to be an afterthought." Centered around a spectacular $120,000 wine cellar, the Rusty Pelican unveiled its new digs in December 2011 after six months of being closed. Now the Pelican is attempting to reconnect with the community on a new level. "This place is now up to par with the rest of the modern restaurants around Miami," Nolla says. The small-plate-driven menu allows diners to choose a variety of dishes while taking in a Grey Goose martini ($15) and enjoying a view that encompasses nearly every skyscraper in Miami.

1. Shot of 1800 Tequila at the Perry
After several years with its famous rooftop in the financial limbo known as foreclosure, Perry manager Chad Love doesn't much miss the name "Gansevoort."

"It's just nice to have the stability that comes along with having an actual owner," Love says. "You'll start to see things like an updated sound system and higher-quality equipment."

Bought by Starwood Hotels, which also owns the adjacent W Hotel, the Perry took its new name in late February. The Rx Pool Party on Saturday, however, never lost steam and continues to be the premier weekly rooftop event in Miami Beach. Despite their $2,000 minimum, tables for the weekly affair are usually sold out by Thursday. The party goes from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. the following day, and a light menu of tapas-style dishes is offered to go with your 1800 Tequila shot ($12).

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Kareem Shaker
Contact: Kareem Shaker