Cocktails & Spirits

Booze Hound - San Juan and Halo

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Julie Thomson

Halo Lounge on Lincoln Road.

Perhaps you didn’t notice, but last Friday Booze Hound was M.I.A. -- or more specifically, was in MIA, checking a $15 bag (damn you, American Airlines!), getting bumped up to first class (thank you, American Airlines!), receiving a 6 a.m. buzz courtesy of complimentary mimosas (lovve yooou, ‘merican… Airways?) and heading to Puerto Rico for four fabulous days of sun, Spanglish, and stupendous tropical drinks.

Yet, aside from one of the best milkshakes I’ve ever had within the depths of the lushly green El Yunque rainforest, San Juan failed in the cocktail department -- sliding sub-par drinks across barhops that were constantly piggy-backed by arbitrary, desperate, and exploitative prices. And okay, so I had some decent Madras in Old San Juan, but I’m sorry, a $10 mojito absent of any kind of sugar in a country where one of their main exports is sugar is inexcusable.

Never fear, all was not lost. During the week, I was introduced to a delicious Caribbean-inspired libation – a rum and tonic, which, yes, sounds odd, and with a brand like Captain Morgan, kinda of gross, but if you’re having the bored-booze blues, this drink is sure to raise your spirits with a Dominican rum called Brugal and a simple twist of lime.

Saddened by my shitty vacation drinks, back home, I headed to a place where I knew I had a plethora of drink options – Lincoln Road. And I was pleasantly surprised when I quickly stumbled upon Halo Lounge (1625 Michigan Ave, Miami Beach) a classy, gay-friendly bar, after being lured inside by a gregarious man named Daisy whose drunken state, which included a brief cell phone slideshow of himself draped in a gaudy, flower-patterned “Jewish” dress while smoking a blunt, I so desperately wanted to obtain.

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Julie Thomson

Strawberry Mojito.

And Halo’s Strawberry Mojito ($14, yeah, I know, not cheap, but worth it) – muddled on site and free of any kind of bitchy attitude c/o bartenders – quickly got me level with crazy Daisy.

This drink is refreshing and tasty, but watch as your drink as it’s being made! A squirt of grenadine is occasionally added, cheapening the natural sweetness of the fresh strawberries.

Last Call:

After two or three of Halo’s Strawberry Mojitos life seems as funny as the following:

-- Elyse Wanshel

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Jose D. Duran has been the associate web editor of Miami New Times since 2008. He's the voice and strategist behind the publication's eyebrow-raising Facebook and Twitter feeds. He has also been reporting on Miami's music, entertainment, and cultural scenes since 2006, previously through sites such as MiamiNights.com and OnBeat.com. He earned his BS in journalism with a minor in art history from the University of Florida. He's a South Florida native and will be a Miami resident as long as climate change permits and the temperature doesn't drop below 60 degrees.
Contact: Jose D. Duran