I never truly understood the whole trend of mixology; that was until last night. At the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach I was introduced to the Hotel Beverage Manager named Hector Acevedo who taught me that mixology is a true art. Each bartender is a wealth of knowledge and they all seem to live by Hector’s philosophy of “my favorite ingredient behind the bar is love.”
At the The Fontainebleau, Acevedo oversees the various beverage programs at Bleau Bar, Hakkasan, Scarpetta and Gotham Steak. Each restaurant-bar has beverages that are twerked to suit each cuisine.
At Bleau Bar, fluorescent bar that is located at the center of the lobby in the hotel, one can find over thirty options of quite special mixed cocktails depending on your mood. All drinks on the property have ingredients that are made in house. For example, I had a lavender simple syrup infused heavenly drink. The lavender syrup that takes three days to complete, is made in house. There are absolutely no canned products; all fruits and vegetables are pressed fresh, and this stands true at all of the restaurants on property. All of the drinks can also be ordered as non-alcoholic and the physical menu is quite interesting, as each beverage style that you choose is in its own specific font…. I suppose to avoid complication during intoxication. Clever!
At Gotham Steak, they serve up designer American Cuisine and the bar has cocktails that are influenced by “Miami style.” I must say that all of the bartenders I met are beyond passionate. Erin at Gotham Steak told me “we came in on our days off to create a beverage program for the restaurant. As bartenders we put our interpretation on it. We take pride in our job and we know our product.” Impressed? Your pallet will be. Hector told me “they did it all by themselves. I had no input. And what is even more interesting is that at some places you have to go by the menu and here you don’t even need it, we create what you want based upon your mood and flavor profile.”
Hakkasan’s Cantonese cuisine is divine, but what is more superb is the interesting art that the Bartenders whip up. Yes, at this point I need to admit that mixology is an art. That is after I watched head bartender Sarah create the Hakkasan special: the Smoky Negroni. In a specific decanter, using a Hickory wood chip soaked in Grand Marnier, the “artist” smokes the gin, literally creating smoke with a scent of a incredible cologne, and pours it over a big ball of ice et voila! Aesthetic magic…. But also a favorite of the master behind the beverage program at every restaurant at the Fountainebleau Mr. Hector Acevedo.
What is even more interesting: this edible “art,” cost approximately $17 each.
The Fontainebleau Hotel
4441 Collins Avenue