The Living Room – The Lemongrass Drop
W Hotel, 401 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., wfortlauderdalehotel.com/living-room
This luxuriantly chic bar overlooking A1A and the ocean looks like the sort of place where models drink. Or have half a glass of water and some essence of carrot, whatever. Point being, when a place looks this stylish, it needs beverages to match. The Living Room does just that with concoctions like the Lemongrass Drop – Grey Goose, St. Germaine, lemongrass, lemon, pineapple and mint – that’s, you know, what models drink. They love lemongrass, trust us.
Good Spirits Fifth and Fed – Sorrell Margarita
476 N Federal Hwy., goodspiritsrestaurant.com
We’re not sure we’re going to start referring to Federal Highway – the “Fed” of the name – as Fed just yet. But that’s one of our few quibbles with this fun new spot that’s part of the growing bar and restaurant scene in the area just north of downtown along, you know, Fed. The restaurant’s an upmarket but casual place with a solid sushi menu complimenting modern American fare. And we’re always here for new takes on the classic margarita, so their Sorrell Margarita – lime, hibiscus syrup and orange liqueur – is something we could get used to.
The Balcony – The Smoking Gun
1309 E Las Olas Blvd., thebalconylasolas.com
It’s hard to miss the detail that gives this massive new Las Olas hangout its name. The expansive upstairs balcony looks out onto the city’s main drag and also offers the number of TVs showing sports you’d expect from the people who also bring you popular local sports bar chain Bokamper’s. The theme here is New Orleans, so needless to say, delicious and mysterious cocktails are a necessity. The Smoking Gun mixes Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, vermouth, Danish liqueur Cherry Heering and orange juice (from Florida, natch) for something that’ll have you floating over Las Olas, balcony or not.
The Wilder – We Want Prenup
701 E Broward Blvd., intothewilder.com
If the Wilder did not exist, Instagram would have to invent it. Everything in this place – from the drinks to the tiles on the patio floor to the, erm, massive stuffed peacock above the main bar – seems designed for the Clarendon filter and lots of likes. But these drinks don’t just look good. Social media clout’s nothing without quality product, and the Wilder’s quickly made a name in the latter thanks to drinks like the We Want Prenup. Bright pink and made with gin, vermouth, blueberry, lemon, honey and Greek yogurt, it’ll feel as good going down as it looks on your timeline.
Mai Kai – Mara-Amu
3599 N Federal Hwy., maikai.com
What, we’re going to do a page on cool-looking cocktails and not mention the Mai-Kai? Everybody’s favorite tiki-tastic local landmark has more swanky drinks than you’ll know what to do with. For retro-stylish times, try the Mara-Amu. It’s a little South Pacific rum punch affair in a kitch-fabulous glass that, for a few extra bucks, you keep.