Club + Bars

Wunderbar at Circa 39 charms with global cocktails and flavors in Mid-Beach

photography by Craig Denis

For jet-setting drinkers, Circa 39 Hotel’s Wunderbar is poised to be a top destination in the tropics. The 97-room boutique hotel’s globetrotting décor sets the scene for well-crafted spirits, fine rums, and bright flavors from around the world in Miami Beach’s booming Mid-Beach neighborhood. 

The hotel is located on a stretch of Collins Avenue that the hotel has coined as the “Wundermile.” The new indoor/outdoor bar is designed to reflect the local community’s cultural diversity and give off a relaxing and cozy vibe, especially on the tranquil pool deck or within the hidden garden.  

Miami-based mixologist Cricket Nelson and craft spirits consultant Jennifer Massolo of The Liquid Projects teamed up to develop a creative menu featuring rum and twists on classic cocktails in exotic presentations. 

“Rum in the Raw” is a section on the menu offering fresh fruit cocktails in natural vessels. The rum is thoughtfully served on the side— as a sipper for guests to savor on its own or to add to the cocktail at their own pace. 

The “Lime in the Coconut” includes a chilled, fresh young coconut (with a hole for a straw), lime wedges, and Bacardi 8 served on the side. In the “Guarapo,” a Caribbean favorite, freshly pressed sugarcane juice is poured over crushed ice in a bamboo cup with two ounces of the elegant Rhum J.M. Agricole Blanc served on the side. 

Rhum agricole, a spirit controlled by the French government in the West Indies, is made from freshly pressed sugarcane juice that has fermented from locally sourced canes. The result: sweet, grassy notes differing from the vanilla profile of rums made from molasses.

Some say rhum agricole is the purest expression of rum and it’s one of nearly 100 spirits brands available at WunderBar, where bar manager Juanita Butler is ready to educate guests on the fun of exploring new flavors.

Sister hotel and Mid-Beach neighbor, The Palms Hotel & Spa, enlisted the culinary prowess of executive chef Julie Frans for “Jules Kitchen” at Circa 39, a cafe specializing in global comfort food. Frans also whipped up Wunderbar’s casual bar bites menu to complement its fresh cocktail menu.     

Circa 39, 3900 Collins Ave., Miami, reopened in December 2014 after a two-year multi-million dollar renovation project. 

WunderBar is open daily from 4 – 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Daily happy hour from 5 – 7 p.m. features a special menu including $7 craft cocktails, $6 wine and bubbly specials, $4 craft beers, and $6 bites from Jules Kitchen.