Cams and I are all about gin. Serve it to us neat, with tonic, on soda, with rosemary, honey syrup and fresh lemon juice – whatever – we like the stuff. It’s not entirely because of our favorite parody Twitter account and the countless Linsanity-esque puns we’ve come up, but to say those aren’t contributing factors would be a lie.
Being gin-afficionados, we’ve done our fairshare of cocktailing in the city.
South Beach bars have this tendency to cater to the vodka-and-vegetables diets that keep so many locals skinny and drunk, but really we want more than that. There are some good bars on the beach – I can name a few – but Cams and I were in search of something better than a beachfront tiki hut serving infused mojitos and cosmopolitans. Something a little less, well, Miami.
Enter The Broken Shaker.
There are literally tons of reviews (and other media) about this place on the internet, hell, this isn’t even the first time I write about it (or the second), so if you haven’t figured out how to get there, then you’re just not paying attention (2727 Indian Creek Blvd, Miami Beach).
Hidden on the back patio of a very unassuming, mildly run-down art deco style South Beach motel, the Broken Shaker can be described with a handful of keywords I stole from other people’s reviews: ethereal, secret garden, hidden encove, speakeasy, board games. Also, cobblestones, so watch those stilettos, ladies.
Objectively, this may be the only place in the world where the bartender will straight-faced tell us the drinks are laced with roofies, and we will drink them anyway. Not because we trust them – because we probably shouldn’t – but because they’re that good. I mean, what’s the worst thing a few roofies could do? You know what, don’t answer that, I’m sure these cocktails are ginnocuous. Right? Right. Right. (You can’t get ginfluenza from one drink, right?)
What’s actually in the cocktails? Fucking anything; rosemary, chartreuse, tequila, mescal, kale, broccoli, honey, thyme, gin (obvious), cocoa-puff-infused bourbon, jalapeno bitters, lavender, beets, rhubarb, lemon, lime, orange – et cetera, ad nauseum. Seriously; anything. No, I wasn’t kidding about the kale – it was way awesome too. I fucking love kale.
It’s not even that the drinks are creative. Hell, I can put liquified kale, mescal and lemon juice in a cup too, but it’s mostly going to stay in that cup – unlike TBS’s work – mine is not perfectly balanced, perfectly boozy, perfectly bright or crisp and it definitely won’t take your tastebuds on a ginfluenced journey through time, space and flavor. I just don’t have that finesse. I am ginept.
I also don’t have semi-encyclopedic knowledge of classic pre-prohibition era cocktails and thought a Vesper was a small Italian motorbike the first time I was told about it, but that I can work on.
takes a special kind of place to let us nerds bring in our own wildly offensive card game, let us relax in a breezy patio amongst the sounds of a herb-ridden fountain and provide the best cocktails in South Florida at a relatively reasonable price (We’re talking about comparing $11 masterpieces to the hyper-sweet $17 rum and cokes you can find just a few blocks away). Owners Elad and Gabe may exude an air of we-don’t-give-a-shit-we-do-what-we-want, but at the end of the day, they care that you’re enjoying your drink and that you’re having a good time at their bar. Like their cocktails; it’s a delicate balance.
Just don’t order a vodka-soda; seriously, what are you; a freshman in college? (I’ve seen the attitude a vodka order at the bar gets, and honestly, it only made me love the shaker more).
We love this place. Not in a three-month-engagement kind of way but an in-sickness-and-in-health way. True love. Cams and I can’t get enough, which is problematic since it has an expiration date. Come summer, humidity and high heat, The Shaker is closing. Such is the plague of the pop-up (don’t even get me started on Eating House) – it ends.
It’s going to be a long summer without it, but carpe pedica, my friend. Sieze the gin!
– Caro, the punmaster.