Sake has come a long way since it was only known as an acerbic beverage to be sipped hot while munching on California rolls. Today, it is the darling of many bars, and rightfully so— the Japanese rice wine can take on many notes, from floral to fruity to spicy, making it an easy playmate for creative cocktails. Here are some top spots getting in on the fun.Read More
Where to Sip the Top Sake Cocktails in South Florida
Time to get to drinking
1. Kuro (in Seminole Hard Rock)
Casino enthusiasts and non-gamblers alike flock to Kuro, a contemporary Japanese restaurant tucked away inside the mammoth Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. A meal here is a winning culinary experience regardless of how the slots behaved, and it gets even better with a drink involved. While the cocktail selection is vast, regulars know the evening should begin with Jyu Go cocktail, made with matcha-infused shochu, falernum, and passion fruit.
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Chef and restaurateur Michael Schulson’s Japanese restaurant in the Diplomat Beach Resort offers a unique twist on the classic pina colada. The Monki’s Fist is made with sake, coconut, lime, and pineapple. Pair it with edamame dumplings or dive into the Chef’s Tasting Menu for a full experience.
3. ETARU Hallandale
Sipping a cocktail oceanside is always a good idea, and this modern Japanese restaurant on pristine Hallandale Beach fits the bill. The Tokyo Lowrider, made with mezcal, plum sake, sweet vermouth, and Campari, is Etaru’s go-to sake cocktail.
4. Il Mulino New York - Miami
Head to the AQ Bar and ask for a Tomi Gooseberry, made with muddled gooseberries, sake, vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice, and gooseberry bitters. Tom is the word for “wealth” in Japanese, and taking in the bar’s upscale ambiance and hard-to-beat ocean view certainly ties in with the theme.
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Bal Harbour’s elegant Japanese has been drawing fans for its fresh sushi and binchotan charcoal robota grill for years. There’s an extensive sake selection to choose from as well as numerous cocktails, including a sake-themed nod to the martini, the Sake-tini, featuring Manabito Sake, yuzu, and cucumber.
6. Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market
The delicate Sake Blossom cocktail, made with nigori sake, peach liqueur, cranberry, and mint, seems fitting amid the trendy, modern Japanese setting in bustling Downtown Doral. The space is perfect for enjoying the many small plates (here’s looking at you, crispy pig ears) or perusing the extensive menu with a cocktail in hand.
7. Jaya at The Setai
Easily one of the most seductive spots in Miami, beginning with the walk through the lobby of the Setai Hotel, Jaya draws on Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, and Chinese influences. Get things started with the cucumber martini, made with Dassai 50 sake, vodka, lemon juice, and cucumber.
8. Pubbelly Sushi
Miami Beach, FL 33139
This self-proclaimed sushi tavern serves several inventive sake-based drinks, beginning with the Teasy Bear (lime, ginger juice, honey syrup, salty lime foam, ginger beer, and sake) and the Lucky Kat (lime, Thai basil, simple syrup, watermelon puree, salty lime foam, and sake, topped with pomegranate bubba). For those seeking some heat, opt for the Fu Manchu, which includes jalapeno syrup, lime, pineapple puree, yuzu, lime and salt foam, cilantro, compressed diced pineapple, and sake.
There’s a lot to enjoy at this energetic, fast-paced Sunset Harbor Thai street food spot, where guests can take in the action happening in the open-air kitchen or head over to the cozy bar for a Mekong Mule, made with vodka, sparkling sake, ginger-lemongrass syrup, lime, and ginger beer.
10. Sushi Garage
As the name alludes, this Sunset Harbor restaurant used to house an auto-body shop. In its place diners can now find contemporary fare with an eye toward delivering simple, traditional Japanese dishes. Yuzu, the citrus fruit that is the current darling in Asian dining, makes a star-studded appearance in the restaurant’s sake cocktail, Love Yuzu, which includes gin, yuzu sake, grapefruit juice, and honey.
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11. Chotto Matte Miami
There’s a retractable roof and a pivoting wall that serves as the entrance, so rest assured that this Japanese-Peruvian import will dazzle with its cocktails as well. Its menu features three sake-based drinks, so there’s one for every mood and palate. The Holy Water features sunflower sake, pisco, and citrus extract; the Moshi Moshi is made with Nigori cloudy sake, gin, St. Germain elderflower, sesame and yuzu, or, for a more tropical vibe, try the Flor de Manzana, with Kiku-Masamune Kimoto Junmai sake, mango vodka, St. Germain elderflower, passion fruit, and apple.
12. Azabu Miami Beach
The Miami of this Michelin-starred eatery happens to include a beautiful bar filled with sakes and more than 40 imported whiskies, as well as a sake-based cocktail called Koi made with Soto sake, Elyx vodka, rosemary sherry, strawberry, lime, yuzu, and agave. The cocktail is topped with rosemary as well, giving it a woody fragrant herb scent perfect for fall.
Brickell’s swanky hotspot with a cool club vibe is the place to be on the weekend and pretty much any given night (check out the lounge on the third floor). But make sure to start the evening off with a pretty and oh-so-Miami cocktail called the Hidden Dragon, made with vodka, sake, lychee, peach, pomegranate, and yuzu.