Drinking is easy. Finding the right bar, not so easy. We’re here to help. As a public service to all of you thirsty explorers, every week we highlight the best bars in America and tell you what makes them so damn great. This week we’ve got a bar that throws a booze-fueled pool party every day of the year.
NAME: The Broken Shaker
ON THE JUKEBOX: Bob Marley, Etta James, The Rolling Stones
WHAT TO ORDER (NEWBIES): Cocoa Puff Old Fashioned: Old Forester bourbon infused with Cocoa Puffs cereal, mole, Angostura bitters
WHAT TO ORDER (REGULARS): Michelada and a shot of mezcal
WHY WE LOVE IT: “B#!CH DON’T KILL MY VIBE,” reads the cocktail menu at Miami Beach’s Broken Shaker. It’s the name of one of the bar’s signature drinks—made with Aperol, vodka, tropical juices and a lemongrass reduction—but for co-owner Gabe Orta, it’s also a bar tenet. “Our laid-back vibe has evolved into a way of life for many of the people who love to spend their nights here,” he says.
The Broken Shaker’s magnetism is palpable, so much so that it was named best American hotel bar at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, even though it technically isn’t located within a hotel; it’s outside of a hostel. “Being in the Freehand Miami only enhances our vibe,” Orta, who co-owns the Broken Shaker with Elad Zvi, says. “We get travelers from all around the globe mingling with locals who frequent the bar while enjoying all of the different cocktails we make.“ (The Freehand hostel and its house bar have become so popular that the team was able to open a second outpost in Chicago in May and has plans to open a third in Los Angeles next year.)
It’s true: On any given evening at the Broken Shaker Miami, you’ll spot bikini-clad European backpackers lounging poolside next to South Florida moms, who are all slurping down craft swizzles and Caipirinhas. Orta and Zvi say they take inspiration for their avant-garde menu from all of the cultures that call Miami home, and make unusual syrups and fusions with herbs grown in their on-site garden. Consider for instance the Indian-themed Chai-Rum Manhattan, which is made with chai masala-infused vermouth, rum and tiki bitters. That’s the kind of inventive swill that makes people want to book flights to Miami solely to drink at this bar, and, of course, soak in its vibe. "And the fact that we’re located half a block from the beach doesn’t hurt either,” Orta says.
Alyson Sheppard is the resident hangover specialist at Playboy.com. Please don’t kill her vibe. Follow her on Twitter: @amshep