Basel Tov!

By Paula Echevarria | October 01, 2015
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COOL: “God of the Sun” at Drinkhouse Fire & Ice

THERE’S STILL A GOOD MONTH BEFORE INBOXES GET FLOODED WITH INVITATIONS AND SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS GET SATURATED WITH EVENT FLYERS. BUT WHEN THE TIME COMES, YOU’LL BE GLAD WE PUT THESE SPOTS ON YOUR RADAR FOR ART BASEL, DEC. 3-6.

The most sought-out openings this season are strategically located in the heart of the festival: Wynwood, Design District and South Beach. We recommend the following plans to cover all your bases.

MIDTOWN/WYNWOOD

When you find the claustrophobia of the Midtown tent maze kicking in, take a breather in the spacey, cabana-esque vibes of Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill, where you’ll find the young neighborhood’s more mature craft cocktail program. Sit in the breezy outdoor patio bar and choose from their eight rum cocktails or nine signature libations. During their happy hour between 4 and 7pm, selected cocktails are $7 and the bar also offers snacks at $3, small plates $5 and sushi rolls for $6.

There’s much excitement about the timely opening of Beaker & Gray, the brainchild of Brian Nasajon (formerly of Sushisamba) and best friend and drink slinger extraordinaire Ben Potts – whose technical precision comes from the high-volume Blackbird Ordinary and culinary standpoint from The Broken Shaker. The menu bids farewell to the run-of-the-mill regionally focused cuisine and instead uses global ingredients served in sharable portions. Its sister cocktail menu follows suit by laying an approachable foundation for the craft experience without sacrificing ingenuity. The menu begins with easy, light, fruity and refreshing palate-teasing apéritifs and ends with the more robust digestifs. The core of the menu is divided between “shaken,” “stirred” and “strange,” and we recommend the latter, where Potts will experiment with different techniques. The extensive cocktail menu includes three descriptive adjectives. “That’s a very common process for people when it comes to ordering drinks,” Potts explains. “If you see a cocktail that’s nutty, complex and boozy, if you like those profiles you’re going to think ‘That’s awesome! Maybe I don’t know what kirschwasser is, but I’m going to order it because it’s nutty and boozy and I like those things.’”

Down the street, Wynwood has added Wynwood Diner on NW 2nd Ave. and 26th St., smack in the middle of most of the neighborhood’s action. Their cocktail menu is curated by none other than bar manager Vanessa Hulsey, formerly of Broken Shaker and 27. On the eight-drink menu you can find gems like a Peach Pie Old Fashioned and the Tiki-inspired spicy and fruity pisco drink, West Side Swizzle to get you swaying to the beat of the drum circles that form during the inspired festivities.

MIAMI BEACH/SOUTH BEACH

If you’re one of the few people who actually buys tickets to Art Basel at the Miami Beach Convention Center, we salute you. But hold back from the concessions inside the venue. That will deplete your funds ( it’s $10 for a watered-down well) and pocket the cash for proper libations at neighboring watering holes. You’re at the craft-cocktail strip of the island, where favorites like Broken Shaker, The Rum Line and Repour shake things up, and the new openings keep raising the bar.

Two blocks east on 20th St. on the corner of Liberty Ave. you’ll find John Lemeyer’s new project, Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply. Unlike its glitzier nearby sister, renowned speakeasy The Regent Cocktail Club, this one’s a good ole neighborhood bar. The cocktail list is divided into house cocktails and classics, where you’ll find the Tommy’s Margarita mixed with organic agave nectar to sweeten up the popular tart drink. As you’ll read on the pink neon sign hanging on atop the kitschy tropical papered wall, the goal in this joint is to “pursue happiness.”

If your idea of Art Basel-ing includes opulent parties with experiential walk-in art installations, or if you crave anything resembling winter in South Beach, then dust off your UGGs and moonwalk four blocks on Collins to 17th, where the latest tourist attraction is stirring up elaborate concoctions. Drinkhouse Fire & Ice is a bar lounge (fire) and an ice-bar. Bar manager Chandelle Yarmey has worked to make the drinks as unique as the space itself, using molecular techniques and exotic ingredients like Szechuan buttons, which make your mouth tingle and enhance your sense of taste. These drinks are works of art themselves, like the Curaçao-tinted Glacier Water, where ice shaped like the Titanic and a glacier. “I want guests on the other side of the bar to see a cocktail come over the bartop and wonder ‘Ooooh, what is that, I need one!’” she says.

FORT LAUDERDALE

If you’d rather run and hide away from all the hoopla, seek shelter in Fort Lauderdale’s new watering oasis, Rhythm and Vine. The craft cocktail movement has just begun in Broward, which is why Eddie Fuentes, former bar manager of FINKA Table and Tap and 27, is on a mission of “reinventing hospitality with locally sourced smiles.” They’ve embraced the 954’s laid-back attitude about drinking at this backyard #justchill spot where you’ll find patrons in flip-flops and sundresses sitting on chic couches having the “best cocktails you’ll ever drink out of Solo cups.” This includes the spicy Chapo’s Tunnel, made with Altos Tequila, passionfruit, hibiscus syrup with sweet bell and serrano peppers with orange flower water, and a dash of lime. “We’re planning on building an edible garden, as well as hosting open-mic night for local talent, and live art pieces being done on property,” says Fuentes. You can enjoy the beautiful weather and get your dose of artistry after all.


{ Crystal Diva }

This easy and fun recipe by Chandelle Yarmey of Drinkhouse Fire and Ice will wow guests at the upcoming seasonal soirees. “A new unique liqueur on the market is called Viniq,” she says. “It has a shimmery glitter inside that is made up of the same stuff they put in jelly beans to make them shine. The juice inside the bottle is sparkly and beautiful! It tastes like peach and is also very sweet, so paired with brut bubbles it makes a whole new experience for a Bellini. We recommend 1.5 oz. Viniq (we use the purple colored, but there is a new red one on the market, too), topped with 4 oz. Chandon Brut. Garnish with a lemon twist, if desired.”

Article from Edible South Florida at http://ediblesouthflorida.ediblecommunities.com/drink/art-basel-spots-on-radar
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