The Spirited Traveler: Mojitos reign over Miami's cocktail scene
By Kara Newman
MIAMI (Reuters) - Miami has long suffered from multiple personality disorder - is this a city for work or play, for early-bird retirees or late-night party animals?
The same goes for the city's cocktail scene, where classic libations go head-to-head with cutting-edge trends: homemade bitters, "salt air" foam-topped Margaritas, specialty ice.
However, the iconic beverage remains the classic mojito, a sunshine-appropriate rum drink which also reflects the influence of the city's robust Latin American population.
"Even with the resurgent cocktail movement, the mojito reigns king," says Jennifer Massolo, former executive director of the Miami International Wine Fair. "You'll find them made at almost every bar in Miami."
But not just any old mojito will do.
Whiskey and specialty rums are edging out vodka in Miami, Massolo reports, adding that there is a growing sense of pride behind the bar regarding the spirit lists and the creativity behind the proprietary cocktails.
To ease into Miami's drinks scene, Massolo recommends starting with an "Aviation" at Cecconi's (here), on the ground-floor courtyard of the members-only Soho Beach House, which she describes as "a beautiful bar full of beautiful people."
Although Cecconi's is open to all, "if you can find a member to take you, the second floor club bar of SBH is not to be missed," Massolo adds, for excellent cocktails made by barman Jack Colombo. Continued...