Walk through the classic hotel lobby of Collins Avenue’s Shelbourne Wyndham Grand South Beach, head straight to the back, and you’ll get swept up by the iconic hotel’s newest lounge concept: The Drawing Room, Miami’s very own apothecary. Describing their drinks as “medical remedies” rather than just cocktails, guests are invited to pony up to the 1930s and 40s-inspired library bar, where, instead of receipts, they are given a handwritten prescription for their order. The best part? These libations really do have a remedying effect. Due to their fresh ingredients and house-made elixirs, guests leave there feeling better than they did when they arrived; and hangovers don’t even fit into the equation.
Impressed by the experience, we took a moment to interview the marvel behind the magic — Austrian-born, New York-bred apotheker Albert Trummer — to hear about his inspiration for this new Miami hautespot, and tell us why The Drawing Room is here to stay.
What made you want to open an apothecary bar?
I lived in New York for ten years, where I owned Apotheke in Chinatown, and I thought it was time to try a different, more refined concept. While many chef and bar friends I knew went in other, more traditional, directions, I wanted to create a brand with elixirs and mixers. I came up with the concept of serving general remedies and prescriptions for “ailments” a long time ago, but The Drawing Room is my more modern, yet classic, result.
What do you love most about Miami, and why is it the perfect place for The Drawing Room?
Miami is so close to New York City, in both distance and atmosphere. It’s only two and a half hours away. I have a lot of friends here in Miami, and I love the coast and the beautiful Miami lifestyle. I wanted to establish a Miami Beach life, and I saw The Drawing Room as a part of that.
Explain the concept behind your menu.
There are always travelers coming in and out of Miami, and for these travelers, we didn’t want to give them just a regular drink — we wanted to give them “remedies” for whatever it is they need. By breaking down the elements of each drink and creating our own special elixirs, we have a different drink for every ailment: falling into categories like stress relievers, painkillers, elixirs, aphrodisiacs.
What should first-time guests of The Drawing Room take away from their visit?
We serve you a beautiful cocktail, we prescribe you a drink we think is best for you, and your prescription is nothing less than delicious. Everyone who leaves here leaves feeling good — we wouldn’t have it any other way.
How did The Drawing Room get its name?
I always loved how, Morris Lapidus, one of my favorite architects, used to say that when he was designing a building, he used one of his rooms as his “drawing room.” It was where he had the felt most creative. Like him, I use my own Drawing Room to draw up cocktails and recipes for my guests to enjoy.
It’s our first time at The Drawing Room. What should we drink?
My personal favorite is one of our “pain killer” cocktail prescriptions, The Aztec Medicine; a combination of pineapple, Bacardi 8 Rum, habanero bitters & fresh lime. It’s the result of longstanding relationships we have had with many chefs and bartenders from Mexico. Like all of our drinks, it is only made with the freshest ingredients; the pineapple actually has a cleansing effect, and we soak vanilla beans into our rum base to create our own, original flavor. It’s very refreshing.