Best Cocktails Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2014 - Jack's Grumpy Grouper
There's this idea that cocktails aren't serious unless they're served in a dimly lit bar by a bartender (or mixologist, sorry) donning suspenders and an ironic mustachio. Sure, this caricature knows how to make a mean Manhattan and some other dark-liquor drinks. But that's only one small subset of the cocktail world. It's all about options, people. And when you're melting away in the South Florida heat, a heavy winter whiskey drink is only going to add to the pain. Sometimes you need a lighter and more refreshing change. That's when you need to come to this place. With a large outdoor bar (and another dim air-conditioned indoor drinking option), Jack's Grumpy Grouper is the Florida version of the cocktail connoisseur's dream. Where most bar programs these days are focusing on bourbons and whiskeys, the staff here is mixing up classic tikis and inventive takes on pre-Prohibition drinks. The ubiquitous mojito is enlivened in the namesake Jack's Mojito with house-infused golden delicious apple rum ($8). The average Manhattan is refreshed with freshly grated ginger and George Dickel No. 12 whiskey in the Ginger in the Rye ($8.50) — it's a cool and invigorating take on a strong spirit. Uninspiring vodka is kicked up a notch in the Hibiscus Fizz ($8.50), with house-infused strawberry vodka, fresh lemon, and homemade hibiscus topped with Champagne. Drinks are just as "crafted" as at the speakeasy, but you can rock up in a pair of shorts and flip-flops without feeling out of place.