Broken Shaker: Miami’s Best Cocktails

delicious-drinkfresh-cocktail tequilaHibiscus Cocktail

If I lived on South Beach I would most likely be at the Broken Shaker sipping on their hand-crafted cocktails every day. This place feels like a little slice of Europe in Miami Beach, and quite homey. The Broken Shaker is a James Beard Award-nominated cocktail hotspot in Miami Beach housed in the Indian Creek Hotel or Freehand Miami Hostel right off of Collins Avenue and 27th- slightly in the cut. The hostel itself reminds me of the multitude of hostels I’ve stayed while traveling throughout Europe.

BS bar Broken Shaker Patio

 The hotel lobby leads you to the entrance of the Broken Shaker where it spills out into a lush tropical garden patio with various seating nooks, a garden bar, and a pool open to hotel and bar guests. Bar coffee tables are topped with board games like Jenga, backgammon, and Life. There is an open pool table and a lobby piano, but outside and by the bar they are playing an eclectic mix of songs from the Beatles, vintage jazz tunes, and classic rock.

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The small inside of the bar makes you feel like you’re in a Wes Anderson movie, or caught in a perfect moment of time like in Midnight in Paris, one of my favorite movies. The ‘found’ vintage vibe and the warm bar lighting with bartenders debating over perfect concoctions all work to create Miami’s not-so-hidden gem. The old-fashioned cocktails here are truly the best I’ve ever had. Each cocktail is handcrafted with fresh herbs and homemade ingredients. The pours are strong and the bartenders are passionate and knowledgeable. I’ve ordered their beers, the various featured old-fashioneds, the Southern Sling, Smells like Teen Spirit, fresh cucumber-tequila mixes with a Mexican Tajin-spiced rim, and others.

cuba-print old-fashioned jenga-at-broken-shaker

The Broken Shaker cocktail bar provides that same lovely vintage vibe of the hostel. The bar is cluttered with found objects, a myriad of bottles all different shapes and sizes with obscure labels, and glasses blooming with freshly cut herbs for their libations. My friend, Stazi, recommended this place to my boyfriend as a great date spot. It is definitely romantic with the amber lighting and aromatic herbs saturating the air, but on busier nights this place can get packed, with long lines for cocktails at the small bars, and an overflowing patio area. During the daytime it’s nice to come to the bar and enjoy cheap Miller High Lifes while laying out by the pool and reading a random book from their hostel library.  I always recommend this place to tourists and friends. It is perfect for dates or big groups, and lazy sunny South Florida days.

The Broken Shaker

2727 Indian Creek Drive • Miami Beach, FL • 33140 • (305) 531-2727

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The Harpoon Brewery

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The Harpoon Brewery in Boston was awesome, and would have been even better if their tours hadn’t been sold out. Regardless, after the 1.5 mile walk to get here, we sat upstairs in the brewery at their sunny bar with long, wide windows overlooking the harbor. The space was huge- the central focus of the room was the long wooden bar with taps of Harpoon and UFO fresh beer flowing freely. From the ceiling hung large wrought iron ‘candelabras’ adding to the ‘Bier Haus’ feel. Songs from Beck and the Beastie Boys were playing as we ordered from the friendly bartenders. As I received our beers, a trainee was learning how to pour the flight- all four taps at once into the small 4 ounce glasses- timing each pour as to not spill. It reminded me of my days working at a bar in Germany. Ah those Germans, they love lots of foam on their beers.

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There was plenty of seating at the German Bier Hall-style tables and a private party room on the far end near an open bakery serving up fresh hot salted pretzels with delectable dipping sauces. Disclosure: I LOVE pretzels…especially the giant hot soft ones, not really the hard Snyder’s kind. We ordered these huge pretzels to come with the IPA Cheese sauce and the Ale Mustard. I could not get enough of the IPA Cheese sauce. I almost wish I got double the sauce instead of the Ale Mustard, righteously delicious in its own right, but this cheese sauce was on another level.They were hot and salty and fabulous. While eating my pretzel I was looking through the windows against the wall that gave guests the opportunity to peer into the brewery. I have to admit I got a little buzz from their strong delicious beers, but the ridiculously good pretzels helped curb the alcohol.  If the Harpoon Brewery were in my neighborhood I would come back again for a beer and of course, a pretzel.

What we drank:

UFO Flight featuring:

  • UFO White                                          4.8% ABV
  • UFO Pale Ale                                      5.3% ABV
  • UFO: The Big Squeeze                      4.5% ABV
  • UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen             4.8% ABV
  • Harpoon German White
  • Harpoon Purple Heart

Amber-Harpoon-Beer

 The Harpoon Brewery

306 Northern Ave • Boston, MA • 02210 • (617) 456-2322

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