Nine Hot Summer Cocktails from Trendy South Florida



With summer upon us, South Florida, home to a lovely nightlife scene, endless beach parties and luscious tropical fruits, is center stage when it comes to the creation of cool and innovative cocktails.

This year, hot, really hot, is in, like chiles mixed with raspberries as in the chile raspberry martini at Absinthe in Boca Raton and jalapeno-infused vodka blended with mango vodka and hot peppers at Doraku, Miami Beach. To cool down, many South Floridians savor the watermelon mojito at Johnny V, and corporate types unwind with the Black martini at Noir Bar at the Conrad Miami.


Absinthe in Boca Raton

Absinthe restaurant is named after a potent liqueur popular in nineteenth century France where it was believed to increase creativity. Although absinthe, which is illegal in the states, isn’t offered at the bar, guests can choose from an array of drinks concocted with house-made mixes and fruit purees, such as the raspberry martini laced with chile.

Chile Raspberry Martini
1½ oz. raspberry vodka
¼ oz. Cointreau
1½ oz.  fresh lime sour
1 oz. cranberry juice
1 thin slice Serrano chile pepper, gently flattened
Shake all liquid ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with the slice of chile and a cherry.


Doraku in South Beach

Doraku, the boutique sushi restaurant and lounge has a new drink menu, developed by general manager/saké sommelier Adrian Najara, consisting of fifteen Asian-inspired creations, featuring infused sakes and vodkas.

Fire Breathing Dragon
2 oz. mango infused vodka (recipe below)
½ oz. jalapeño infused vodka (recipe below)
3½ oz. mango nectar
Garnish: dried red pepper, edible orchid
Add all ingredients in a shaker full of ice, shake thoroughly and strain.
 Garnish with dried red pepper and orchid.

Mango infused vodka
1 bottle premium vodka (can use mango-flavored vodka for added taste),
¼ lb. dried mango
Mix ingredients and let sit in the refrigerator for two weeks

Jalapeño infused vodka
1 bottle premium vodka,
8 fresh jalapeños, sliced
Mix ingredients and let sit in the refrigerator for two weeks


Johnny V in Fort Lauderdale

Johnny V, the sleek, 200-seat restaurant and lounge is turning up the heat this summer with chef/owner Johnny Vinczencz’s new watermelon mojito and martinis such as Ketel Citron Lemon Drop.

Watermelon Mojito
1½ oz. Bacardi Grand Melon Rum
12 leaves fresh mint
1 dash simple syrup (water and sugar mixture)
¼ lime
Splash of soda
Muddle mint, lime and simple syrup. Add Bacardi Grand Melon Rum.
Then shake with ice and add soda.
Strain into ice cold martini glass and garnish with mint leave and a wedge of lime.


Wish in Miami Beach

Wish, the Mobil 4 star restaurant at The Hotel on Miami Beach has been offering patrons the latest cocktail craze, glowing neon drinks.  As the first South Beach restaurant to debut the electronic cocktails, there are more than eight different concoctions such as the Sobe Tini (Grey Goose vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry and pineapple juice), the Passion Tini (Ketel One vodka, Alize passionfruit liqueur, cranberry and lime) and the Electronic Mojito-tini (white rum, lime juice and fresh mint leaves).  These delicious libations, which come with molded plastic ice cubes equipped with a micro-battery that lights the cube red, white, blue, green, yellow or amber when it’s tapped against a hard surface, are still the hottest thing at the bar scene.

Electronic Mojito-tini
In a blender add:
A small handful of fresh mint leaves
3 Tbsp. Sugar
3 oz. white rum
1½ oz. lime juice
1 cup ice
Blend until a slushy consistency.
Serve in a chilled martini glass with a green electronic cube.


Ginger Grove in Coconut Grove

Ginger Grove, the new restaurant and bar located at the Mayfair Hotel & Spa, specializes in Pan-Asian cuisine and cool, exotic cocktails. Ginger Grove’s signature drinks include a perfectly pungent Ginger Kiss with ginger infused Ketel One vodka, Cointreau and cranberry juice and the Hummingbird, a mixture of spiced rum, Moet and Chandon Rose champagne, completed with a brown sugared rim.  The bar also offers house infused spirits, such as the tangerine and lemongrass infused vodka, ginger infused sake and fruit infused gin.

Ginger Kiss
1½ oz. Ginger infused Ketel One vodka
½ oz. Cointreau
2 oz. cranberry juice
Shake all liquid ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass. 


Noir Bar in Downtown Miami

For those seeking a sophisticated alternative to South Beach, Noir, the Conrad

Miami’s intimate bar adjacent to the hotel’s restaurant, Atrio, has spectacular views of downtown Miami

The Black Martini
1oz. Blavod Black Vodka
½ oz. Blue Curacao
½ oz. Peach Schnapps
Splash of Sweet & Sour mix
Definitely shaken, not stirred and poured into a chilled martini glass.


Chispa in Coral Gables

Chispa Restaurant & Bar in Coral Gables, Spanish for “spark,” is igniting praise for its contemporary Latin cuisine. With a second Chispa under construction in Doral, Florida, the restaurant is positioned to become a Miami institution.

Latin Passion Martini
2 oz. Absolut Vodka
2 oz. Alize Passion Red Liquor
1 oz. Island Oasis Mango Puree
1 oz. Fresh Sour mix
3 lemons
1 mango slice
Combine first four ingredients in a shaker.
Strain into martini glass. Squeeze 3 lemons.  Garnish with mango slice.


Tarpon Bend Raw Bar & Grill in Coral Gables

No visit to Tarpon Bend is complete without one of the restaurant’s “Big Fish” signature drinks including the Mamasita Martini, Mango Colada and the Pom-Tini.

Mamasita Martini
5 fresh strawberries, stems removed
½ oz. simple syrup
2 oz. sour apple pucker
1½ oz. Grey Goose vodka
1 oz. sweet and sour Mix
1 cup ice
Muddle the strawberries and simply syrup
then combine with other ingredients in a martini shaker.
Shake and lightly strain into a chilled, sugar-lined martini glass. Garnish with a strawberry.


Two Chefs in South Miami

Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, Two Chefs features an extensive spirits menu, with close to a 1,000 bottles of vodka, whiskey, gin, rum and tequila. Among the signature concoctions are the Darkside of the Cosmo (Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 Year Stock, Limonce, cranberry juice and lime juice), Spiked Mimosa (Magellen Gin, Dekuyper Cherry Brandy and orange juice topped with a cherry and champagne) as well as the Southern Punch with bourbon and coconut rum.

Southern Punch – Serves 1
1 oz. Basin Hayven Bourbon
½ oz. coconut rum
Dash grenadine
Dash bitters
3 oz. orange juice
Combine all ingredients, shake and serve in a highball glass with ice.
Garnish with cherry.


Edited By Patricia D. Sherman


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