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South Florida Bartenders Reveal Their Go-To Cocktail Bars

Where bartenders go to drink

Sweet Liberty

For Cocktail Week 2015, we surveyed area bartenders and liquor pros on aspects of the bar world and will reveal these responses to you all week long. As we are closing out the week we ask — what's your go-to cocktail bar when you’re off the clock?

Will Rivas (Bazi and Macchialina) — I really like the bar at Lure Fishbar, Rob always makes great drinks or the recently opened Sweet Liberty cause I can get a proper cocktail or just a good beer and shot.

Ervin Machado (Louie Bossi’s Ristorante, Bar and Pizzeria) — Vagabond, Broken Shaker, Big City Tavern

Alexander Aportela (Finka Table & Tap) Repour has been a great addition to the beach that I enjoy. But as long as they can make a proper sazerac and a traditional negroni I am happy!

Carlos Cruz (Seaspice) — My favorite bar, besides Seaspice's three bars, it's my owned in my apartment. It is my playground, where I improvise and sometimes somethings good come out of, like our Yellow Tail, Le Botanist, Mujeriego cocktails etc.

Mike Calcara (Better Days) — I'll use this opportunity to show love to a few places that are staffed with some of my favorite Miami people! Blackbird Ordinary, Taurus in the Grove, Lilt, Area 31, and Repour are a few of my favorite haunts. Shout out to Raphael Vazquez from Strip Steak in the Fountainbleau, we unfortunately lost him to greener pastures....he left us for San Fransisco where they definitely need be on the lookout for that guy's skills!

Daniel Najarro (Bagatelle Miami Beach) — Free Spirits for shots and beers and Sweet Liberty for more elaborated cocktails and food.

Jose Gill (American Social Brickell) — Regent Cocktail Club or Geronimos

Jamal Giles (SUGARCANE raw bar grill) — It seems like I mostly just work a lot and don't get to go to my favorite bars, but when I do go out, I enjoy Blackbird Ordinary and the Broken Shaker;  when I need to hear music I am at the Electric Pickle.

Steve Minor (MO Bar + Lounge) — Batch and Blackbird Ordinary.

Joel Mesa (Bulla Gastrobar) — I like to visit The Local in Coral Gables after work because of the proximity, selection, and know-how of the bartenders there. I don’t usually order anything crazy, I mainly just want to have a few after-work beers and maybe once in a while, an interesting scotch on the rocks.

George Strom (SUSHISAMBA Miami Beach) — Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Co.

Jessica Kirk (Wood Tavern) — Definitely depending on what mood I’m in.  The Regnant, Repour, Rum Line, Broken Shaker or Bodega in Miami.

Ben Potts (Beaker & Gray) — Broken Shaker

Alex Alfonso (Premier Beverage) — Gramps has a special place in my heart, because they love programming. From Bald and bearded bartender takeovers, to a Dad Bod Contest, its just a fun bar.

Gabe Urrutia (Beam Suntory) —Seeing Julio at the Regent for a daiquiri, Gabe & Elad at the Broken Shaker for a taste of the eclectic menu, Repour for some of Isaac's creations and John Lermayer at Sweet Liberty for a perfectly made Tommy's Margarita and lastly Rob Ferrara for some seafood and a martini.  Sorry, I can't pick one.

Jeremiah Goll (Sunset Lounge Bar) — Bodega. Great cocktails, beautiful venue.

Martin Garcia (The Pool & Beach at Thompson Miami Beach) — If I didn't work at Thompson, I would definitely hang at our freestanding 1930s House backyard cocktail bungalow. But, since I need to get off-property, my go-to cocktail bar outside of work is Free Spirits on 21st street and Collins. It's a big industry spot, a perfect low-key joint, ironically located next to one of the fanciest hotels on the beach.

Peter Lopez (Kuro at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino) — I’d have to say The Broken Shaker at the Freehand Hotel in Miami Beach. The mellow and relaxing vibe from the outdoor patio sets the tone for the evening, and the drink menu is ever-changing and never disappoints. The classic Old Fashioned is my favorite; it sets aside any pretentiousness and leaves room for you and your friends to just hang out and enjoy a perfect evening.

Rob Ferrara (Lure Fishbar and The Rum Line) —If you know me, then you know that I actually don't drink cocktails that much! I'm a beer and a shot kind of guy. But with that being said, I love both Repour and Sweet Liberty. They both offer something that Miami has been needing, they're both on the walk back to my car after work which is also convenient and they're both owned by bartenders.

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