Cocktails & Spirits

Worldly Cocktails and Magic at WunderBar on Thursdays

Thirsty Thursdays have been shaken and stirred with a bit of magic at WunderBar inside the mid-Beach Circa 39 Hotel. A couple of weeks ago, the hotel bar launched something called Cocktail Conjuring Thursdays with the new corporate mixologist, Leo Holtzman, overseeing cocktail programs at Circa 39 and sister hotel the Palms

They invited us in for a taste and a sip of what they have brewing, and it's pretty exciting. One of the joys of a hotel bar in Miami Beach is you never know who will pull up a stool beside you or where in the world they will be from. Holtzman knows this and finds a fun way for you to interact with your neighbors — as well as drink cocktails with worldly ingredients. As a world champion of close-up magic, he turns a typical bar experience into anything but the expected between 5 to 10 p.m. on Thursdays when cocktails are $8 and tapas are $5.

Expect to be amazed as he magically blows your mind by pulling out your card from the deck. Seeing that nine of hearts again after you thought it was lost in the mix will make your heart flutter. But maybe, it is just the residual effect of amazement from the cocktails.

Take for example the Smashed Sangria ($14), which uses  blackberries, lemon and orange smashed and then shaken with white rum and sweet vermouth. It's all then strained over a glass of frozen grapes (instead of ice) and topped with cool ginger beer.

If you are looking to turn up the heat and the sweet, try the Agave Garden ($14) with a salt and sugar rim accenting a combination of cucumber, red bell pepper, serrano pepper, lime, orange liqueur, tequila, and mezcal.

For more of a flavor explosion that you can sink your teeth into, pair your cocktails with curry-fried chickpeas ($6) with rosemary and red chili sea salt or the house giardiniera ($4) with acidic pickled carrots, cauliflowers, green beans, and peppers.

The Carne Con Queso egg rolls ($9) with braised beef, pepper jack cheese, and a cilantro slaw fuses flavors in a fun fried shell.

Miami's most famed mojito gets a makeover and a taste of the orient in the Oriental Crush ($14) with mint, white rum, Japanese yuzu juice, elderflower, and prosecco.

A favorite cocktail from the menu was the Vanilla Sky ($14) with serrano peppers and Hawaiian ginger puree shaken with spiced rum, amaro, and orange liqueur served with a vanilla infused ice stick.

In order to enjoy these cocktails and select bites at a discount, head to WunderBar for WunderHour between 4 to 7 p.m. every day. And if you pair that with a Thursday, you can get some magic in the mix!

Follow Carina on Twitter.
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.
Carina Ost