Miami’s cocktail menu—designed by master mixologist Martin Cabejšek—takes your favourite classics and mixes them up into complex 21st century drinks. With a focus on sustainability and a strict adherence to the bar’s gorgeous 1980s Miami Vice aesthetic, their selection is a standout in the thriving Reykjavík cocktail scene. Perched on a vapour-wave chair, I tried a selection of their drinks.
Miami has two cocktails on draft, one of which is the beloved Cuba Libre. While serving cocktails on draft might, at first, seem like a novelty, in reality, there’s no separation of the alcohol, and the drink comes out of the tap as if it had been freshly mixed. The cocktail is—like all others at the bar—complex. It starts with the Miami house rum blend. Heavy on vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and a hefty dose of plantation pineapple rum; it’s an electrifying combination that would be great straight-up, even for someone who’s not normally a rum enthusiast.
The resulting cocktail is a real melange. Overlaid with the cola and rum are cherry notes, chocolate bitters, and lime juice. Underneath that is a hint of liquorice and a nuanced bite of spice—a result of the chocolate in the rum. Most delightful is the aftertaste, which harkens back to cola bottle candies from the local corner store.
Sex On The Beach
Sex On The Beach is dangerous. Not only because of sand in dark places, but also because there’s absolutely no hint of alcohol-taste in this drink. More or less a frothy juice, you could easily down several in an hour. The standout element here is the delicate rosewater mist they spray onto the drink after it’s shaken. This floral drizzle adds a sophisticated undertone to the popsicle-taste of the drink; an elegance that balances out the sweetness. If you’re a fan of stronger, more robust cocktail flavours, this isn’t the drink for you—but despite its light, fruity appearance, approach Sex On The Beach with caution. One glass could lead to four, which could easily lead to waking up at Hlemmur the next morning.
Miami Fruit Punch
The Miami Fruit Punch is from the house list of mocktails—that is, cocktails without alcohol. It’s amongst the best thought-out selections of its kind in the city. I was initially skeptical, but the fruit punch feels, for all intents and purposes, like a “proper” cocktail, with a citrusy tang that ensures you drink it slowly and savour the complexity. While I don’t see myself ordering this one, it’s a great way to feel included in a bar setting for designated drivers, or those that don’t drink.
Martin’s own creation—the Cabriolet—is the standout of the Miami menu. A play on Panamanian cocktails, which combine rum with ginger and allspice, it’s an easy-going and refreshing cocktail that’s perfectly balanced. It begins with the Miami rum blend, and then adds house-made allspice liqueur—infused with cinnamon, honey, lime, and more—with ginger juice, and a special hibiscus flower syrup. To serve, it’s placed under a Panama hat and smoked with cedar root. Were there ever a hot summer day in Reykjavík, this would be the drink to have. Ginger and rum is a classic, yes, but throw in a little flower-power and spice and it’s, truly, my kind of vice.