I haven’t been back in Atlanta more than 24 hours yet and already I’m eager to share the details of my recent trip to Miami. Miami (South Beach in particular) is a pretty popular tourist spot. So, I’m sure many of you are familiar with the hoity-toity mega-clubs and sidewalk cafes that charge you well over 30 bucks for a margarita with two gallons of ice plopped into it. Although I do have to admit that I did indulge in one over-priced, sidewalk margarita. What can I say? I just can’t avoid the allure of numerous, neon-hued straws.
Anywho, while taking the South Beach Food Tour (also “the move”) our tour guide pointed out a well-known, Miami Beach dive bar called Mac’s Club Deuce. She revealed that it was a favorite of Anthony Bourdain, and at that point I knew it was a place I had to check out before the end of my trip. Unfortunately, I waited until my last night on Miami Beach to check out this divey jewel, and here’s a few reasons why my visit to Mac’s Club Deuce was pretty damn amazing.
Cheap, Strong Drinks – You’re more likely to come across a three-legged unicorn than you are a cheap drink on South Beach. Thankfully though, the drinks at Mac’s Club Deuce are both affordable and potent. I switched between a Manhattan and Guinness the night I was there. The Manhattan was made using Maker’s Mark and was only $9 and the bottle of Guinness was $6.
Shenanigans – No good dive bar is complete without a surplus of shenanigans. So, here are just a few randomly hilarious and/or interesting moments I witnessed.
- A man riding his bike around the pool table.
- Two, Atlanta chicks hovering over the jukebox, singing loudly to Incubus and Outkast. And yes, I was one of them.
Over the past few years, cultural fusions have become quite prominent when it concerns the food and drink world. Some fusions work amazingly well together. Take Atlanta restaurant Poor Calvin’s for example, which boasts a food and drink menu that combines Southern flair with far East sophistication. And when it comes to food and drink fusions, I’m sure the city of Miami reigns supreme. Among the Miami establishments serving up a unique mixture of two varying cultures, and in liquid form on top of that, is the Lord Balfour hotel.
Located on vibrant Miami Beach, Lord Balfour has just introduced a tea-infused signature cocktail list that pairs British staples with a little Latin flair. See, I told you they were serving up some very unique and of course Lushworthy combinations.
In the mood for a rum infused with green tea? Then their “Piccadilly Circus,” which combines green tea-infused rum with lime juice, mint, and ginger beer, should make for a welcoming addition to tea time. And if you prefer your cocktails sans the Brit’s beverage of choice then the Lord Balfour’s new menu offers a handful of cocktails that don’t include tea, but are still heavy on the Latin-British fusion.
Let me preface this blog post by stating that here in HOT-lanta we’re expecting between one and two inches of snow (and unfortunately there’s some ice thrown in the mix). While this does give me a great reason to sip on a spiked hot chocolate or hot toddy as I watch plump snowflakes fall from the comfort of my own home, I have to say that I’d much rather be sipping on a tropics-inspired beverage somewhere in the Caribbean (preferably Jamaica…just saying).
If you’re like me and a trip to an island boasting turquoise waters and white sand beaches isn’t quite in the near future then you can always whip yourself up a cocktail that happens to be served at a Caribbean resort. The three cocktails I’ve listed below are served at bars located at resorts in Aruba, St. Kitts, and Anguilla. Enjoy!
Sam’s Pyrat Rum Punch – Azure Beach Bar At CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa
½ oz Apricot Brandy ½ oz Galliano 1 oz Pyrat Pistol Rum 1 Dash Grenadine 1 oz Lemon Juice
4 oz Pineapple Juice
Shake all ingredients except Galliano in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a Collins glass. Add Galliano on top and garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.
For me, good food and even better cocktails go together like peas and carrots, Jay Z and Beyonce, Siri and iPhones. Well, you get the picture…So, anytime I come across an establishment that has great food and cocktails I’m always willing to spread the word. During a recent trip to Jacksonville, Florida, I was invited to have dinner at Atlantic Beach restaurant Ocean 60 and it was quite the enjoyable experience.
Described as a “fine dining restaurant,” Ocean 60 features an ever-changing array of seafood dishes and a drink menu filled with martinis, classic cocktails, specialty mojitos, and other Lushworthy delights. I’m sure you foodies out there are eager to hear about the kind of meals Ocean 60 is dishing out, but first, we talk cocktails.
If you’ve ever found yourself sipping cocktails beachside, whether you’re on one of numerous beaches here in the states or somewhere exotic, there’s a good chance your cocktail was a fruity, frozen concoction that happened to be served in a plastic cup with a plethora of fruity garnishes. Don’t get me wrong, I love a “beachy” cocktail, but they’re a little on the predictable side sometimes.
If you love the beach atmosphere, but are in the market for a more sophisticated cocktail then you may want to head over to the Casa Marina Hotel in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The historic hotel, which first opened its doors in 1925, premiered its Penthouse Lounge a little over a decade ago and they’ve been serving up cocktails to the “Jax Beach” community ever since.
“Flirtini” and “Raspberry Lemonade Martini” at the Casa Marina Hotel’s Penthouse Lounge.
Thanks to its location, the Penthouse Lounge offers amazing ocean views since it sits right above the beach. They also boast a full martini menu and for those of you hoping to get your snack on as well, there’s also a tapas and lunch menu. While at the lounge I had the opportunity to sample a handful of cocktails and I have to say that my favorite was the “Key Lime Martini.” A combination of Stoli Vanil Vodka, Licor 43, fresh lime juice and cream, the “Key Lime Martini” is a decadent cocktail that comes with a surprisingly tart finish.
The cocktail pictured above is just one of a handful of carefully-crafted drinks that can be found in a limited edition cocktail book, available at all Marriott Autograph Collection hotels. A partnership between Marriott and Jim Beam, the book serves as a cocktail guide to the various Autograph Collection hotels and their unique locales. In it you’ll find a dozen cocktails that take their inspiration from vibrant New York City and the famed Algonquin Hotel Times Square, the laid-back Southern charm of Savannah and the Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront, and much more. Other hotels featured in the book include The Glenn Hotel in Atlanta, The Saint Hotel in New Orleans, and more.
Below you can find a handful of drink recipes from the Marriott Autograph Collection’s limited edition cocktail book.
Bourbon Mule – Turnberry Isle Miami (Pictured Above)
2 oz. Makers Mark® Bourbon 1 oz. Peach Liqueur 1 oz. Honey-Basil Syrup 1 oz. Lemon Juice 0.5 oz. Ginger Beer
Basil Leaf to Garnish
Add ingredients, except the ginger beer, in a tin shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a Collins glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with basil leaf.