Ten Best Cocktail Bars in Broward County

Ten Best Cocktail Bars 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've historically lacked, however, was a cocktail culture to rival anything found in Miami or other big cities across the country. Fortunately, the Broward cocktail scene is on the rise, with a number of spots 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 Cocktail Bars in Broward County (9)
Courtesy of Blue Martini

10. Blue Martini
2432 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-653-2583, or visit bluemartinilounge.com.
With locations across South Florida — including Fort Lauderdale — this well-known and longtime South Florida bar and club was among the first in the area to create a Bible-like book of cocktails and offer a well-crafted menu. It's a national chain too: There are Blues in Bellevue, Boca Raton, Kendall, Las Vegas, Brickell, Naples, Orlando, Phoenix, and Tampa. The menu has more than 40 martinis to choose from, each guaranteed elevate your spirit — and taste buds — including the bar's signature blue martini, made with Van Gogh Blue Vodka, Cointreau, Blue Curacao, sour mix, and orange juice garnished with — of all things — a blue glow stick and orchid flower (just in case you need help locating your final drink at the end of the night).

Ten Best Cocktail Bars in Broward County (10)

9. Hyde Beach Kitchen + Cocktails
111 S. Surf Road, Hallandale Beach. Call 954-699-0901, or visit sbe.com.
OK, here's a secret for you: This may be one of the only spots in Broward County where the average patron can sip an alcoholic beverage from a lounge chair on the beach. One part of the Beachwalk Resort and one part restaurant, Hyde Beach Kitchen + Cocktails offers more than just stunning views. Guests can also pull up a chair at the indoor-outdoor bar and enjoy alfresco imbibing while sampling any one of the bar's many craft libations, from the Sahara (Grey Goose La Poire, Antica Formula, Aperol, lemon, rosemary, and orange bitters) to the Pineapple Express (Ciroc pineapple, fresh pineapple juice, South Beach syrup, and lemon) or the Hyde Beach Mojito (Bacardi Superior rum, mint, lime available with fresh puréed strawberry, mango, or blackberry).

Ten Best Cocktail Bars in Broward County (14)
Courtesy of W Fort Lauderdale

8. The Living Room
401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-414-8200 or visit WFortLauderdaleHotel.com.
The W Hotel serves up more than your average cocktail via various bars, from Steak 954 to the rooftop Wet Deck bar. But it's the sleek, blue-lit Living Room lounge on the fourth floor that offers a standup list of award-winning cocktails like the Guava Sin (a Florida-twist on the margarita, with Casamigos silver tequila, lime, a homemade lemon-lime triple sec, and fresh guava purée) or the Gotham City (Hennessy VS cognac, Nolly Pratt vermouth, Creme de Cassis, and lemon juice). If neither of those fits the bill, the regular menu offers nearly 20 handcrafted cocktails in all, while a separate section provides a short list of several seasonal drinks that change every few months. You'll never get bored, and there's always a reason to head back for more.

Ten Best Cocktail Bars in Broward County (8)

7. Mai-Kai
3599 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-563-3272, or visit maikai.com.
Since opening in 1956, the Mai-Kai has been the type of place where you can drown in a flaming scorpion bowl, order a potent tiki drink, or watch a live Polynesian dance show all while listening to tunes from from a real ukulele. Today, the restaurant stands as a landmark of sorts, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and playing host to the annual Hukilau, a four-day celebration of tiki culture and the original cult cocktail. It should also come as no surprise that this — the longest continually running tiki bar in the country — can whip up a damned fine island-inspired drink. The menu offers more than 20 tiki-styled variations; as the winner of multiple New Times Best Of awards in the drink department, there's a wide selection of beverages in an array of potencies. From the nonalcoholic like the Tahitian Paradise (a blend of strawberries, pineapple, orange juice, and coconut) to the mild Hemingway-inspired daiquiri and medium rum juleps and strong-ass Mai Tais, this place is sure to take you away to another place and time. 

Ten Best Cocktail Bars in Broward County (13)
Courtesy of Burlock Coast

6. Burlock Coast
1 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-302-6460, or visit ritzcarlton.com.
Prohibition rum-runners are a huge part of South Florida's history, and now there's a place to belly up that pays homage to that very history: the Ritz-Carlton's Burlock Coast. Here, the bar program relies heavily on every pirate's favorite spirit — rum. There's even an entire room dedicated to highlighting dozens of handcrafted variations with the restaurant's in-house stand-alone rum shop. Selections include French, Caribbean, and Spanish-made varieties as well as a few local picks sourced from across Florida. In your glass, that translates to a rotating list of rums, from specialty cocktails to barrel-aged libations and punches. Drinks change with the seasons but currently include concoctions like Bill's Spirit, Conch Republic light rum mixed with grapefruit-infused Carpano Antica, Martinique cane sugar, and Angostura bitters. The bar also makes one hell of a classic Aviation using gin, Luxardo, Maraschino, lemon juice, and Creme Yvette made from parma violet petals with blackberries, red raspberries, wild strawberries and cassis, honey, orange peel, and vanilla. And the best part: You can enjoy all of them with an ocean view.

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