Like a speakeasy of the 1920s, the aptly named Sweetwater has managed to keep a low profile since opening in April, its small streetfront space off Federal Highway tucked into a clandestine spot known well only to the on-premise residents of the newly developed Las Ventanas. No advertising. No grand-opening celebration. No banners beckoning passing potential patrons. Just word of mouth, said owner and retired-businessman-turned-restaurateur Clint Reed.
Alongside Iglehart, Reed has armed the place with an arsenal of bitters, house-made infusions, specialty liqueurs, fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Take the baby Hudson whiskey barrels above the bar, for example, where Iglehart lets various concoctions infuse for up to 30 days before serving. Menu highlights include the Manhattan and the daiquiri that is nothing like the frozen, sugary blasphemy you'll find at other bars. The Spanish Inquisition is a potent (and spicy) blend of reposado tequila, cuerenta y tres (Liquor 43), sage, lime, and red pepper flakes.
Part of the authenticity also includes Iglehart's ritualistic execution of his craft, the drawn-out process of creating a layered cocktail using old-world style bar instruments. Prepare for a show, keep an eye out for the wooden swizzle stick, and be sure to sit back when he uses an open flame to infuse your drink with the oils from a lemon peel.
The six beer taps feature craft choices you won't find anywhere else.
The bar is provisioned with rows of fresh fruits, herbs, vegetables, and a unique assortment of garnishes.
Sweetwater Bar & Grill,1507 S. Federal Highway, Boynton Beach. Call 561-509-9277, or visit sweetwater33.com.