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The Sylvester
Photograph: Courtesy the Sylvester

The tastiest cocktail bars in Miami to try right now

The best cocktail bars in Miami serve classic creations and expertly crafted drinks better than any spot in town

Written by
Ryan Pfeffer
&
Sara Liss
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Welcome to the best cocktail bars in Miami, a diverse group of drink-slinging heroes that help us imbibe in style. What exactly makes the ideal cocktail bar? Well, it’s got to be sexy. A great cocktail bar goes above and beyond your average drink selection and strives for creativity with every pour. When executed the right way, the result always leaves us wanting more. Sure, we’ll still hit up the best wine bars in Miami when date night rolls around. Or opt for a Miami rooftop bar when we’re craving a view. And you can catch us at one of the many Miami breweries when we’re feeling a bit hoppy. But can anything really compare to a freshly shaken cocktail? We think not. And when the day calls for something stiffer, these are the cocktail doctors we trust.

Best cocktail bars in Miami

Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company
  • Bars
  • South Beach
  • price 2 of 4

This South Beach spot is an omnipresent contender at the top of best bar lists both local and national. There’s a reason: the cocktails here are near-perfect and range from the classic (like their flawless daiquiri) to the wild (like the sweet potato pain killer, which features sweet potato juice). Happy hour runs daily from 4pm to 8pm and features 95 cent oysters and $9 drinks.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Miami Beach
  • price 3 of 4

The ol’ faithful of Miami’s cocktail scene. Stop by the Broken Shaker day or night, and you can be sure you’ll be handed something delicious by an impossibly cool-looking bartender. Plus, the space is the sort of tropical paradise you’d expect from a proper Miami Beach cocktail bar—think mismatched lounge set-ups sprinkled about a courtyard with a pool. Rolling deep? The large-format drinks are perfect for small thirsty groups.

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  • Bars
  • Gastropubs
  • Downtown
  • price 1 of 4

A low-key watering hole in Downtown Miami, this spot is headed by bartender Mike Reich and owner Brian Griffiths—a Broken Shaker alum and former owner of South Miami’s Shelley’s. The focus is on Florida-centric food and drink with frozen piña coladas and palomas to keep things interesting. Pro tip: get the floater. 

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • price 2 of 4

This former piano bar has been converted into one of Miami’s most eclectic drinking dens. The quality behind the bar is top-notch as well, with a seasonal menu that utilizes local ingredients to whip up killer drinks. There’s no go-to drink here—all the cocktails are worthy of your attention.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Midtown
  • price 2 of 4

This Florida-inspired bar is the second collaboration between Beaker and Gray partners Ben Potts and Brian Nasajon, and brings that same urbane charm and dedication to eclectic cocktails that the team is known for. Cocktails play with the Florida theme like the “Floradora,” a riff on a Moscow mule made with Ketel One Botanicals Grapefruit-Rose vodka, raspberry syrup, fresh citrus, ginger beer, and a fortified rosé aperitivo; and the “Pink Panther,” a tropical gin sour made with gin, guava-lavender syrup, bitters, bianco vermouth, fresh citrus, and egg white.

You’ll want to get dressed up for this one. Nestled inside the meticulously restored Surf Club, this bar hearkens back to Miami’s early-twentieth-century glamour with bartenders outfitted in white jackets, a lushly landscaped patio overlooking the ocean and a team of modern mixologists eager to shake up cocktails that excite the palate. Order anything head bartender Valentino Longo is mixing or opt for a chilled glass of champagne, proffered elegantly from a silver trolley.

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  • Bars
  • Hotel bars
  • Miami Beach
  • price 3 of 4

Like the hotel it lives in, the sultry EDITION, this bar bleeds elegance without trying too hard to fulfill any Miami Beach archetypes. The bartenders here are classy pros too—and happy to help you pick the perfect drink. And during the day, you can see the ocean from your seat at the bar.

  • Hotels
  • Spa hotels
  • Miami Beach
  • price 4 of 4

In the belly of the amazing Faena hotel, the James Bond-worthy Saxony Bar beckons. This exclusive, jazzy cocktail lounge (open Wednesday through Saturday) is almost too fancy to look at. Brace for eye-popping prices and jaw-dropping design because this might just be the fanciest place to drink in the entire city.

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  • Bars
  • Tapas bars
  • Park West
  • price 2 of 4

Dark, smokey and best after 2am—The Corner is a night owl’s dream thanks to its placement in Miami’s 24-hour district. Don't think the late hours mean slouchy service. The drinks here are serious business, and bartenders take their time with them. The kitchen stays open late too, so order up a Chicago dog when the munchies hit.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Omni
  • price 2 of 4

When it comes to cocktails, not many can top Daniele Dalla Pola. Dalla Pola has been a longtime fixture in South Beach, having opened the famous Segafredo L’Originale on Lincoln Road 20 years ago with Graspa Group founder Graziano Sbroggio, before opening this chic ode to tiki in 2019. Not only is he a sophisticated connoisseur of exotic drinks and one of the world’s top tropical barkeeps, but he also happens to be an expert on authentic tiki culture, having immersed himself in the lifestyle for decades. Case in point: you’re in Mai Tai heaven.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • South of Fifth
  • price 2 of 4

This teeny, tiny bar packs a punch. With a focus on American spirits, Scapegoat serves classy drinks (the menu is seasonal and always rotating) with a relaxed neighborhood vibe. It’s also slightly hilarious to watch the bartenders scurry into the tiny crawlspace above the bar to fetch more booze. South of Fifth can be quite bougie but Scapegoat is a refreshing oasis for the everyman.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Design District
  • price 3 of 4

Atop the buzzy Design District restaurant Swan, you’ll find Bar Bevy, a dark, sexy cocktail lounge. Expect a DJ spinning nightly, so much interior design porn and aesthetically pleasing cocktails worthy of the stylish neighborhood’s discerning taste. On a date? Be sure to grab a table in the beautiful rose room. This pink-hued room offers a more intimate vibe for conversations and cocktails.

Drinking on a budget?

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