Bar Tripping: Broken Shaker | Miami Beach, FL

In a new photography column, Daniel Krieger travels the world to capture its most photogenic bars and cocktails. Up first is Miami Beach's lush oasis, The Broken Shaker at The Freehand Hotel.

Right this way. The outdoor bar area at The Broken Shaker is all lush tropical plants, bric-a-brac and, on some evenings, a satellite tiki bar serving a punch of the day.

The Freehand Hotel (which is owned by the Sydell Group, also behind The Line in LA and The NoMad in NYC) is housed in a classic 1930s art deco building in Miami's South Beach. On the left, the hotel lobby, which was designed (along with the rooms) by Roman and Williams. On the right, one of the many tiny design details that have a transporting '30s- and '40s-era tropical vibe that's part Miami, part Hawaii, part Havana.

The Kale and Pineapple Caipirinha—cachaca, pineapple, lime, simple and kale juice—and a festive bunch of bananas. [Recipe]

The Orchard Caipirinha, a mix of cachaça, spiced apple syrup and lime. [Recipe]

The only way to travel in South Beach.

The Broken Shaker's remix of the Miami Vice—half Piña Colada, half Strawberry Daiquiri, complete with flamingo garnish. On the right, a design detail from inside the small indoor bar at The Broken Shaker. [Recipe]

The Walk This Way—a mix of cream sherry, passionfruit, hibiscus and lemon—served upstairs at 27, the new restaurant and bar inside the Freehand Hotel. The bar program is run by the same team behind The Broken Shaker: Roy Alpert of Sydell Group and Gabe Orta and Elad Zvi of Bar Lab. [Recipe]

The El Vato Swizzle—a mix of tequila, watermelon juice, lime and chili-infused agave—amidst a classic array of Broken Shaker bric-a-brac. [Recipe]

Look up. Dusk in The Broken Shaker's outdoor bar area.

27's Up in Smoke, an unlikely mix of rye whiskey, amaro, smoked strawberry syrup and lemon. [Recipe]

The El Duque—rum, sherry, cold brew coffee syrup, chocolate bitters—throwing a late-afternoon shadow at 27. [Recipe]

Miami Beach isn’t known for hideaway watering holes or avant-garde cocktails. Instead, it’s a land of pitcher Mojitos, mid-afternoon dance parties and velvet-roped club queues. But away from the tight t-shirts and bandage dresses of Collins Avenue and along the skinny divider of Indian Creek, is a bar hidden within an art deco-era hotel reimagined as a bohemian hostel by the design firm Roman and Williams.

Through the Freehand Hotel’s lobby—a bright community hall full of rattan furniture, Mexican blankets and twentysomethings renting bicycles—and into a lush, shaded backyard is The Broken Shaker, the Beach’s equivalent of an alternative drinking scene. Amidst the palms and string lights is a walk-up stand adorned with ripening bananas and daily chalkboard specials. Beyond it is a jewel box of a bar, whose doors swing open to reveal a Santeria-like altar to cocktails.

It’s here that Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi have created a candlelit shrine to tropical drinking. The majority of the year, Miami swelters at above 80 degrees and swells with crowds of European and Midwestern tourists. And the majority of the year, the Broken Shaker is an oasis for locals and tourists alike, looking for a little respite from the crush. Around a tiled fountain and a basic pool, these seekers quench themselves on Caipirinha variations, Miami Vices and other drinks that most serious drinkers have long since dismissed as vacation mistakes, all reimagined for the modern palate.

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  • alissajean

    How recently were you here? I heard it was shut down for a bit…?