When the temperature rises in Miami, the drinking scene heats up along with it. Since we’re right in the thick of summer, we’ve rounded up some of the best bars and restaurants to cool off this season, whether you’re looking for refreshing off-the-menu creations, special seasonal sips, or summertime discounts and happy hours.
If you stop by Finka, ask for the Guayaba Mojito. You won’t find it on the menu, but the bar team can whip up a mean one with guayaba juice, Bacardi rum, mint leaves, angostura bitters, lemon and a dash of salt.
Where: 14690 SW 26th St., Miami; www.finkarestaurant.com
If you’re in Sunny Isles, hit up the AQ Bar at Acqualina Resort & Spa. The standout sip on their summer cocktail list is the sweet and spicy Whaam, which packs in tequila, Cointreau, simple syrup, lime juice, muddled jalapenos, basil leaves and passion fruit puree.
Where: 1785 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach; www.acqualinaresort.com
OLA at The Gates Hotel South Beach
Recently relocated to The Gates Hotel, OLA serves a variety of refreshing sips to suit every palate. This season, though, we’re loving its classic OLA Margarita, crafted with Chinaco Blanco Tequila, Cointreau, lime, grapefruit juice, and agave nectar.
Where: 2360 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; www.gatessouthbeach.com
Want to cool off this summer with something sweet? It’s not listed as an official cocktail, but Coral Gables hot spot Copper 29 makes a great passion fruit martini. Ask the bartender to make you one and see if you can’t resist going back for seconds.
Where: 206 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; www.copper29bar.com
The Mondrian Hotel South Beach
Hit the Mondrian Caffe during happy hour (between 5 and 7 p.m. on weekdays) and order up their craft creation, It’s A Love/Hate Thing — a blend of Avion tequila, passion fruit, honey, apricot liqueur and fresh lime juice. It comes served with a side of stunning views of downtown and the bay.
Where: 1100 West Ave., Miami Beach; www.morganshotelgroup.com
Tucked away inside The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, this intimate speakeasy-style drinking den has just unveiled an updated menu for the summer season. Single malt lovers will fall for the Scotsman, made with Glenlivet Code, Balvenie 14 Year Old, and Oban 14. Tequila connoisseurs can sip their way across the Tequilero flight, which spotlights Fuenteseca 7 year, Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia, and Clase Azul Añejo. And there’s an entirely new selection of beer that features both local and national favorites.
Where: 3300 SW 27th Ave., Coconut Grove; www.thecommodorecg.com
26 Sushi & Tapas
What’s better than fresh seafood and Nikkei-style tapas on a hot summer day in Miami? A happy hour that includes all of the above. At 26 Sushi & Tapas, you can enjoy deals every day of the week — like two-for-one mimosas all day on Sundays, two-for-one mojitos on Mondays, two-for-one tequila cocktails on Tuesdays...you get the picture.
Where: 9487 Harding Ave., Surfside; www.26sushitapas.com
Mediterranean fare and ice-cold cocktails are always good options when the weather gets hot and steamy in South Florida, and Villa Azur’s dreamy, South of France-inspired décor makes it a summertime favorite. If you go, make sure you try their Azur 309 Margarita — it’s a winning combination of Avion silver tequila, lime juice, agave nectar and Cointreau infused with fresh jalapeno. The drink is rimmed with black lava salt.
Where: 309 23rd St., Miami Beach; www.villaazurmiami.com
Beaker & Gray
As part of their new “Summer Fridays” happy hour, Beaker & Gray is offering $5 beers, $6 glasses of wine, $7 classic cocktails and specially-priced dishes starting at 3 p.m. every Friday until Labor Day weekend. All this in addition to the restaurant’s normal happy hour, which runs weekdays from 4-7 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday from 11 p.m. until 2 a.m. Our happy hour cocktail suggestion: the Moscow Mule, made with Finlandia vodka, lime and ginger beer.
Where: 2637 N. Miami Ave., Miami; www.beakerandgray.com
With its 1940s Havana-style ambiance and a menu that includes cocktails like El Floridita and Finca Vigia, it’s easy to imagine Hemingway casually stopping in for a drink at RUMBAR at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. And this summer, you can soak up all that nostalgia while enjoying a slew of daily specials like two-for-one drinks on Mondays and Tuesdays from 5-10 p.m., discounted tostones flights on Wednesdays from 5-10 p.m., salsa on Saturday nights and more. A late-night happy hour runs weekdays from 10 p.m. until close and features bites, cocktails, and wines priced from $5-$8.
Where: 455 Grand Bay Dr., Key Biscayne; www.ritzcarlton.com
Brimstone Woodfire Grill
Here’s one for the Broward set: Brimstone Woodfire Grill has a list of super refreshing summer sips ranging from the Mango Sol — a sweet and spicy creation that blends Herradura Silver, mango-habanero puree, agave, Peach Schnapps, and lime juice — and the Grapefruit Smash, highlighting Finlandia grapefruit vodka, fresh lime, and basil.
Where: 14575 SW 5th St., Pembroke Pines; www.brimstonewoodfiregrill.com