Stroll through the lobby of Miami Beach’s restored art deco hostel, Freehand Miami, and you’ll discover the Broken Shaker Miami, a courtyard oasis that is one of America’s hippest cocktail spots. Chosen as one of the world’s “Top 50 places in which to imbibe”, this bar’s libations aren’t just handcrafted. Recipes are thoughtfully homegrown by master mixologists Elad Zvi and Gabriel Orta, known for cocktail fusions created with “hyper-local” exotic ingredients including garden herbs and fresh-pressed produce harvested from the romantic bar’s backyard garden. If it’s local South Florida flavor you’re thirsty for, the progressive concoctions featuring fresh lime, spiced grapefruit, or kumquat infusions are an absolute must-try.
The Broken Shaker’s courtyard palms, draped with glowing strings of party lanterns, illuminate a lush brick-paved patio filled with an eclectic mix of rattan furniture, lazy Adirondacks, and colorful patio umbrellas providing balmy shade under which to nurse your reimagined cocktail. These spirited creations include a Kale and Pineapple Caipirinha, artfully described as “health club-meets-nightclub mix of kale with a tropical topper of pineapple juice”. If your idea of vacation starts with a Margarita, you’ll enjoy a twist on the old standard with the El Vato Swizzle, a muddle of watermelon, cilantro and golden agave syrup. Traditionalists will likely enjoy the taste of the happy marriage of frozen Pina Colada and strawberry Daiquiri called the Miami Vice. This concoction, blended with real strawberries, fresh coconut cream and a mixture of both light and dark rums, is a Florida vice you won’t mind acquiring.
The bohemian cool vibe that is this award-winning bar continues throughout the courtyard where the scent of lemongrass, lavender, chocolate mint, rosemary, and thyme waft from hand-built gardens growing edible plants used in both food and drinks alike. This feast for the senses continues in pastel-colored walls decorated with vintage signage and old Florida artifacts, adding to the hipster style of the artfully mismatched furniture and wrought iron tea-lit tables.
Besides sipping on tiki drinks or a selection from the menu of homemade punch, there’s lots to do at The Broken Shaker. Take a dip or hang out poolside, then rest up on the cozy hammock before a game of old-fashioned Bocce ball or Ping Pong. Relax with a game of Jenga while taking in the meditative rippling of the tile-lined fountain.
When the Miami weather brings tropical rains, move inside to the well-stocked bohemian cubbyhole of rich polished wood and vintage-with-a-touch-of kitsch tropical décor. Hipster bartenders craft cocktails with a smile, serving them up from a lovingly restored bar area with a look and feel straight from the art deco era.Hungry? Try seasonal specialties like the Spicy Cauliflower with house made cashew butter, or the must-have Cuban sandwich with mojo pork, sweet ham, mayo and house pickles. The menu is not only seasonal but changes daily so you’re sure to enjoy the freshest creations. Other choices in fare range from Ceviche made with local fish, red pepper, pearl onion and popcorn, to 1/3 lb black angus burgers with house-cured bacon-jalapeno jam and cheddar cheese on a brioche bun.
The Broken Shaker Miami is a gem that won’t stay hidden for long so while the charm of its casual vibe lasts, be sure to make it a stop on your next visit to Miami. This James Beard Award semifinalist is located at the corner of 28th Street and Indian Creek Drive, just blocks from the Miami Beach Convention Center, Ocean Drive, Lincoln Road Mall and South Beach.