Healthful imbibing is making its way to Fort Lauderdale with a new concept from Warsaw Coffee cofounders Scott Ojeda and Blaise McMackin. Before the close of 2016, the duo says they will launch an innovative new bar in an adjoining space next door to their popular coffee shop they've dubbed Milk Money.
"The name actually began as a sort of joke — that the liquor sales would be the milk money for the coffee shop," says Ojeda. "So, while the in-house, cold-pressed juices we'll be serving are a big part of the concept, the cocktail bar will be just as important."
According to McMackin, when it opens later this year, Milk Money just might be one of the earliest operating bars in Broward County.
"Milk Money will be unlike anything else in South Florida," says McMackin. "We really wanted a space that would mirror the coffee shop vibe while offering both healthy juices and fresh, fun cocktails — and some nonalcoholic drinks — any time of day."
Equal parts cold-pressed juice and cocktail lounge, the 30-seat bar will open to become an extension of Warsaw, open from 7 a.m. to midnight daily. Thanks to a new kitchen expansion at Warsaw, patrons will be able to order everything from healthful breakfast and lunch options or grab-and-go items like açai bowls to bottled or fresh-pressed juices and — of course — the bar's own brand of veggie-based cocktails (traditional and nonalcoholic cocktails will also be available).
The 600-square-foot space will have a rural, barnlike ambiance, adds McMackin, with white-washed reclaimed wood walls meant to offset Warsaw's darker color scheme. The bar and lounge will also be accessible to the building's neighboring businesses, including a new barber shop and a high-end clothing store.
The establishment's name, Milk Money, is also a reference to what McMackin and Ojeda say will be the bar's signature cocktail: Spain's leche de pantera, roughly translated as "panther's milk," a drink also referred to as the Pink Panther.
The history of leche de pantera can be traced back to the 1920s, when members of the Spanish Foreign Legion — Spain’s elite military unit – devised ways to mix a palatable cocktail that was both cheap and easy to make and serve. The result: a combination of condensed milk, gin, and ice.
McMackin, who traveled to Spain and discovered the drink, has plans to serve a prebatched modern version at Milk Money that combines fresh milk with gin or brandy and the bar's own fresh-pressed fruit juices. They'll be served in glass milk bottles with matching cups, perfect for sharing among two to three people.
"We really want to do something different," says McMackin. "This is all about taking the green, healthy trend directly to the bar. I like to call them 'farm' cocktails."
Milk Money. 815 NE 13th St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-990-4189; warsawcoffee.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.