Great world bars we love: The Surf Club photo

There’s no shortage of glamour in Miami, but even the most jaded of luxury travellers will find something to marvel at when setting foot into Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club. A former members-only club that hosted the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Winston Churchill, the historic grandeur of the hotel is still present in every nook. While visitors may get lost strolling the storied halls, most who enter today probably know exactly where they are going and that place is usually the Champagne Bar.

Much of the hotel’s 1930s structure has been well preserved, including the remarkably modern chandeliers that command the Champagne Bar. And though it is a large space, you never feel far from the attentive service of the bartenders, who introduce themselves by presenting each guest with a mini coupe of Champagne.

While the bar’s namesake may hint at a wine-centric menu, visitors would be wise to beeline straight to the cocktail list. Now under the helm of award-winning bartender Ashish Sharma, formerly of Asia’s 50 Best Bars-recognized Bar Trigona in Kuala Lumpur, the Champagne Bar has doubled down on its intention to make cocktails the highlight.

The Rosita (papaya-infused Fortaleza Reposado, Aperol, Cocchi Rosa, Mancino Ambrato Bianco, Giffard Apricot, walnut bitters) at The Champagne Bar. Doris Sun photo

Sharma’s menu can best be described as warm weather spins on classic cocktails. Case in point is the Rosita, a tequila Negroni that incorporates a papaya-infused tequila with lighter Campari substitutes—think Aperol and Cocchi Rosa (see photo below). 

And perhaps in a nod to his Malaysian roots, Sharma has also added a sling to the menu with his version featuring passionfruit and a housemade toasted coconut grenadine. Similarly tropical ingredients like lychee and mango make appearances, rounding out a list that would impress both cocktail novices and the aficionados.

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