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Ten Best Bars for Cocktails in Broward County

Ten Best Bars for Cocktails in Broward County

Broward County has a long alcohol-fueled history.

From Prohibition rum-runners to shots-guzzling spring breakers to current craft beer geeks, Fort Liquordale and its surrounding suburbs have definitely earned their reputation for copious consumption of booze in the past century.

Even with all the heavy drinking, our fair county has been left behind in some areas of hooch ingestion.

Yeah, we have plenty of craft beer bars, like Laser Wolf and Riverside Market; heck, we even have highly respected breweries, such as Funky Buddha and Mack House.

And sure, we've got bars in every nook and cranny, from historic beachside dives like Elbo Room to Irish pubs like Waxy O'Connors to high-end spots on Las Olas and everything in between.

What we're lacking, however, is a cocktail culture to rival anything found in Miami or other big cities across the country.

See Also: Is That You, Old Man Winter? A Couple of Beers for Those Florida Cold Snaps

Fortunately, the Broward cocktail scene is on the rise, with a number of new spots -- and some long-term haunts -- creating intoxicating magic behind the bar.

From bourboncentric gastropubs to high-end seafood restaurants to pop-up bars in a coffee shop in a studio, interesting alcoholic beverages are sprouting up in ways that would have been unimaginable even a year back.

Raise a glass to the top ten cocktail bars in Broward County.

 

Ten Best Bars for Cocktails in Broward County

10. Rocco's Tacos

The Broward outpost of the local chain, this trendy Mexican spot features a wide selection of -- you guessed it -- tequila. Fans of Mexico's most famous export can get their hands on more than 200 selections in cocktail -- or shot -- form. House margaritas like the Rocco Rita, with Patron Silver, Citronge Orange Liqueur, and Rocco's sour mix; the Pama Rita, with Cazadores Blanco, Pama (Pomegranate Liqueur), Citronge Orange Liqueur, and sour; and the spicy Tanteo Jalapeño Margarita, jalapeño-infused tequila, triple sec, sour, and agave nectar -- all are made with house-made sour mix and are available by the glass or pitcher -- just try not having a good time with the latter.

Ten Best Bars for Cocktails in Broward County

9. Mai-Kai

Tiki drinks were, like, the original cult cocktails; they still are to Tiki enthusiasts -- yes, that's a thing. So it should come as no surprise that the longest continually running Tiki bar in the country would whip up a damned fine island-inspired drink. The winner of multiple New Times Best Of awards in the drink department, this throwback restaurant serves a wide selection of mixed beverages in an array of potencies. From nonalcoholic like the Tahitian Paradise (a blend of strawberries, pineapple, o.j., and coconut) to the mild Hemingway-inspired daiquiri -- seems like an oxymoron, right? -- to medium rum juleps to strong Mai Tais, this place is sure to take you away. It's up to you to decide how far you want to go.

See also: Ten Best New Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties in 2013

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Bars for Cocktails in Broward County

8. Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille

In the scale of consumables, few food and beverage items elicit more intense pleasure than oysters and booze. You don't need an explanation on that one, do you? At this Las Olas seafood spot, the bar is as much of a draw as the food. While that's not saying much for the area, it is in this case. The cocktail menu features a number of aptly titled concoctions like Vodka Drink #1 (Stoli Elit, basil, lime, St. Germaine, and simple syrup), Gin Drink (Hendricks, figs, mint, ginger, jalapeño, lemon, and simple), and Mezcal Drink (Montelobos, apple cider, all spice, ginger, agave, and lime). The mixtures are innovative, and simple names work remarkably well after you've had a few.

Ten Best Bars for Cocktails in Broward County

7. S3

For the most part, beach bars are not known for mixing up a decent drink. Options generally oscillate between sickeningly sweet margaritas, Coronas, or margaritas with a Corona floater -- gross. This beachside spot serves an array of worldly, tropical-inspired cocktails in a more sophisticated format. From the Southeast Asian Thai-Coconut Crush (vanilla-infused Bacardi, basil, mint, cilantro, and coconut milk gin) to South American S3's Sexy Summer Seduction (Pisco Porton, citrus juices, and passion fruit foam) to Japanese Saki Sunset (Grey Goose, plum sake, cranberry, and pineapple) to the American South (Insani "tea," composed of Jack Daniels Honey, Grand Marnier, and passion fruit iced tea), there's a coastal concoction to please anyone's palate.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Bars for Cocktails in Broward County

6. Tipsy Boar

Located on artistic Harrison Street just steps from much of the Hollywood Mural Project, this gastropub offers drinkers a wide selection of creative, alcohol-infused beverages. Between the huge selection of craft beers, nightly Randall-infused brews, and specialty cocktails prepared by one of the best bartenders in South Florida in Alexander J. Stajduhar, something will be sure to tickle your alcohol-consuming taste buds. Here, the cocktails are like art for the palate.

Ten Best Bars for Cocktails in Broward County

5. Next Door

This library-themed weekend pop-up bar launched in late fall of last year in conjunction with C&I Studios and Brew Urban Cafe. The creative literary-inspired cocktails match the smart and trendy speakeasy vibe. Drinks range from alcohol-infused like the Aaron Sorkin (a combination of gin, cucumber, lime, simple syrup, ginger, and Prosecco) to "straight-edge" with options like the John Porcelly (blueberry juice, lemon juice, ginger ale, and mint). If you're already drinking here, you've made a wise choice.

bestof.jpg
Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Bars for Cocktails in Broward County

4. Himmarshee Public House

Downtown Fort Lauderdale has been a hard-drinking haven for years. For cocktails: not so much. This Himmarshee gastropub serves cocktails that have turned that notion upside down. The bar offers a number of signature drinks, like the Smoking Sangria (red wine, fresh fruit, Combier peach nectar, and liquid nitrogen -- it literally smokes) and Just in Thyme (thyme-infused vodka, fresh limeade, strawberry purée, black pepper syrup, and a sprig of thyme). While those are great and all, what we're really into right now are the punch bowls, which are meant to serve a whole table -- or just one serious drinker -- such as Aperitif Italiano, with rosemary-infused Aperol, Jim Beam, seasonal apples, honey syrup, sparkling wine, and ginger beer.

Ten Best Bars for Cocktails in Broward County

3. Valentino Cucina Italiana

These days, the trend in food and beverages is handcrafted everything. Sure, a freshly muddled drink is great, but a house-made Limoncello is better. Yeah, we like infused whiskeys, but when it's done by a skilled bartender, we're in love. It's easy to fall head over heels here, from the handmade Limoncello and bitters to the nut-infused whiskeys in the the Nutty Manhattan, you'll be wearing your heart on your sleeve in no time. In this case, it's OK to jump right in.

bestof.jpg
Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Bars for Cocktails in Broward County

2. Tap 42

Home to the Best Bartender in Broward and Palm Beach Counties, this Fort Lauderdale bar has a heck of a lot more to offer than its massive -- and sometimes rare -- selection of beers. Beverage director Paige Nast has created a rotating menu of cocktails that could even get the most staunch gin and whiskey haters to fully change their opinion -- it's happened before. We'll drink anything that passes through Nast's skilled hands; however, the Blazin' Cucumber (with Nolet's, basil syrup, lime, and cucumber) as well as the Farmer's Market (bourbon and a rotating selection of seasonal fruits) are what we like best.

See also: Do you enjoy the organized simplicity of a well curated list? We've got more where this came from.

Ten Best Bars for Cocktails in Broward County

1. Stache

Fort Lauderdale's downtown Himmarshee district has long been heralded as the preeminent drinking strip in Broward County. That being said, the drinks served along the block were more along the vodka Red Bull lines than anything else. That all changed when this place came to town. World-reknowned mixologist John Lermayer created a list of drinks that has brought the cocktail culture of Miami -- and other mixed-drink epicenters -- to downtown Lauderdale. From classics like the French 75 (with champagne, Nolet's gin, and lemon) to new inventions like the Mezcalero (Mezcal Vida, Aperol, Blanc vermouth, and grapefruit peel), Broward cocktail enthusiasts now have a place they can call home.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.




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