SYDNEY’S VIKING BAR, MJØLNER

I love themes; themed parties, themed dinners and above all, themed bars! So you can probably imagine how excited I got when I came across an article showcasing a new Viking themed bar in Sydney! Now, not only is this Viking bar called Mjølner – you know, old mates hammer, it is also a carvery, a whisky bar and most importantly, right down the road from me. Seriously guys, I almost lost my shit! I grabbed a team of meat eaters, booked in a table and counted down the days to which we would drink all of the mead and feast on all of their beasts, before heading off to war at sun break… or just home to sleep.

Now, of course I was initially a little hesitant about the whole thing. You see, there’s always some new themed bar popping up around Sydney; some that run the distance and those that don’t. But the more I looked into Mjølner and saw the posse they were rolling with – the Speak Easy Group (Eau de Vie Sydney, Eau de Vie Melbourne, The Roosevelt), the more my mind was put at ease.

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The day had arrived and boy was I excited! We entered through a heavy wooden door, wondered down the stairwell and greeted by a shit load of people fighting to get a drink at the bar! Okay, maybe not fighting, but huddled … intensely! The bartenders were working a million miles a minute and people just seemed to keep piling on top of those already waiting – how very vikingesque!

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I must admit, usually I am not a fan of the usual hustle and bustle you get at some bars. It’s pretty intense and not exactly the most pleasant of experiences having someone elbow you in your tit whilst you wait to grab a much needed beverage. On this occasion, I kinda’ loved it – well not the elbow in the tit malarkey but the hustle and bustle… I thought added to the atmosphere!

As I slowly moved my way closer to the bar, I took a second to have a look around at the decor and was pleasantly surprised. There was no tack in site! Just robust wooden tables, beautifully lit display cabinets presenting soon to be carved meats and just the right amount of Viking themed paraphernalia. I liked it alot. An open wood fire would have topped it off for me, but I can’t have it all now, can I?

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So, the real reason I am here: TO DRINK … oh and eat. My review is not going to spend too much time on the food (which was tasty as fuck and the theater that goes along with it is… hilarious) but on the drink situation they’ve got going on. As I mentioned above, the bar was hectic, but we persevered and managed to have a peak at the extensive bar menu and choose our poison.

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There was plenty to chose from, but the star of the show for me would have to be the Kon Tiki: Havana Club 3yo rum, Vida mescal, soured apple juice, salt water & samphire orgeat.

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This cocktail is based on the classic mai tai but with a Nordic twist. I loved this cocktail; it was so different to any rum cocktail I’ve ever had before which is always super exciting for me! Fresh, dangerously potent and deliciously smoky, it was an overload for my senses – which could be a bad thing for some people, but for me, a run ride!

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The bar itself has an incredible selection of poison from beautiful wines, a wide variety of whisky and my love in liquid form, rum! I would highly recommend heading to Mjølner and attempt to drink your favourite tipple from a horn whilst cutting into your steak with a horn-handled hunting knife!

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     Mjølner
     267 Cleveland St,
     Redfern NSW 2016
     0422 263 226

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2017.

PLANTATION O.F.T.D LAUNCH TIKI PARTY

So, my life has been a little hectic as of late; getting kicked out of our flat as our dog looks too “aggressive”, finding somewhere to rent on top of looking for a house to buy, constanly studying, barely keeping afloat at my normal job, attempting to keep my blog updated and above all, trying to be an awesome wife to my ever patient husband and mum to my fur baby – who I have been seriously negating lately. There is too much going on all at once and I am literally a walking zombie.

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 10.05.47So when I got an invite yesterday to head over to The Lobo Plantation for their Plantation OFTD Launch TIKI Party, I was pretty hesitant due to, you know, life! Yet, the more I pondered the more I found myself leaning towards the ‘fuck it’ approach! I hit the accept button, put on some deodorant and headed to The lobo, sans camera- queue terrible iPhone camera photos!

When I arrived at Lobo, I was handed a multicoloured lei, and made my way inside. The Lobo Plantation is an amazing basement bar located on Clarence Street. As you walk (carefully) down the spiral staircase you are welcomed with such a picturesque setting: lush greenery, bead fringe lampshades giving off a warm glow, beautiful leather couches that glisten in the dim light, pink flamingo wall paper and my favourite part of the bar, the amazing ornate mahogany bar where you get yo’ dranks… and possibly lose a few eyebrow hairs from the amount of fire that goes on behind there!

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So, being an incredibly awkward introvert, I made a beeline to a few stools in the corner and stayed there for pretty much the whole night- unless I was doing a drinks run. When I wasn’t people watching, drinking or running to the bar for more drinks, I was pawing over the drinks list for the night- and whatta’ list! We had a choice of six incredible Plantation OFTD cocktails to choose from… and I pretty much tried them all 🙂
The options were:

  • Demerara Dry Float – Plantation OFTD, Luxardo Maraschino, FTD float, passion fruit, lime juice
  • Queens Park Swizzle – Plantation OFTD, Sugar Syrup, Lime Juice, Mint leaves, Angostura Bitters
  • Test Pilot – Plantation OFTD, Plantation Jamaica 2002, Pierre Ferrand Curacao, Pernod, Angostura Bitters, Lime juice, Falernum
  • Captains Grog– Plantation OFTD, Plantation Jamaica 2002, Pierre Ferrand Curacao, lime juice, Grapefruit juice, maple syrup. Vanilla extract, almond extract
  • Palmetto Redux – Plantation OFTD, Plantation Pineapple, Rosso, Orange bitters
  • Planters Punch – Plantation OFTD, Sugar Syrup, Lime juice, Soda, Grated nutmeg, angostura bitters

All the cocktails where pretty delicious, but there were two standouts for me last night:

Demerara Dry Float: A dangerous, dangerous cocktail. This would be down to Plantation O.F.T.D sitting pretty at 69% overproof but god damn! The passion fruit compliments this rum greatly. I am not sure how, but it works and that is all I care about 😀

Captains Grog: An amazingly smooth cocktail that went down far too fast and far too easy. Again, the fruity aspect really compliments Plantation O.F.T.D. which results in a really light and fresh cocktail.

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I sadly didn’t get a chance to try Plantation O.F.T.D straight, but seeing as it is a pretty high ABV rum, it obviously indicates that this is not a sipping rum. It is made for cocktails and you know what, I am more than fine with that 😀

For those of you wanting to know where you can get yourself a bottle, head to your local Nicks store or order it online.

Now, wish me luck as I attempt to pack up my flat and move today! 🙁

 

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2017.

  The Lobo Plantation
  209 Clarence St
  2000 Sydney, Australia
  0437 233 009

BAHAMA QUEEN!

One name you all need to know, Gertrude Lythgoe!

Also known as the Bahama Queen or the Queen of Rum Row. She is literally my all time favourite lady in history.

This beauty was the only woman to hold a wholesale liquor license in Nassau, Bahamas during the prohibition era (1920-1933).

She used her charm and business savvy to send shipload after shipload of the finest rum and whiskey to America while never breaking a single law.

“Impeccably dressed, and always carrying a gun, Gertrude remained ever a lady. She carried many monikers, but for four years she reigned supreme as “The Bahama Queen.”

Whatta’ woman!
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BACARDI OCHO 8 YEAR OLD RUM review

Goodbye social life!

My course books have arrived and I have a sudden surge of regret running through my body! I’m not sure how I thought I would be able to juggle studying for a Certificate IV along with buying a house, dealing with a pup who is going through shitty adolescence, keeping this blog up and running as well as working full time! To say I am feeling a little frazzled is an understatement. So after filling out some pre-course tasks, I was in much need of a pretty strong drink.

I have been pretty obsessed with Bacardi Ocho 8 Year Old Rum lately, so decided to treat myself to a glass of that (on the rocks) in an attempt to settle my nerves.

Now, there have been some mixed reviews about this rum but I am not one to gossip, you can read those for yourselves elsewhere. All I know is that this rum is smooth, spicy and a little rough around the edges. You won’t find any sweetness here. This rum is more on par with a really tasty whisky than a caramel, honey, chocolate dripping rum- exactly what I needed.

It’s going to be a long six months ahead of me…. and I am already half way through the bottle! GAH!!!

Wish me luck guys!

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2017.

NIGEL’S BOOM BOOM SNACK SHACK- British Virgin Island

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Temperatures are hitting above 40° C here in Sydney and I gotta’ admit, I’m struggling. And I don’t mean I am a little sweaty and a little uncomfortable. I mean I am rendered basically useless during this heat! But this got me thinking; out of all the places I visited whilst away recently, where would I like to spend this scorcher of a day? Without any hesitation, I’ve got to say I would love to be back at Nigel’s Snack Shack at Smuggler’s Cove! Now let’s get this straight, I am not a beach person, a sun person, a heat person or an insect person… and this place pretty much has it all… but I still love it! Nigel’s Snack Shack at Smuggler’s Cove was honestly, by far, the highlight of my amazing trip around the Caribbean.

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Nigel’s Snack Shack is in no way fancy (pretty far from it to be honest), BUT what this place lacks in glitz and glamour is made up by the amount of love and heart that is bursting from it.

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Nigel is pretty much, a one-man band. When he is not serving people drinks he is cooking up the most amazing grub on his simple two burner BBQ. This guy does not miss a beat. He makes sure you have nibbles while you wait, and has some amazing stories to tell whilst he does all of the above.

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This guy also has no interest in using a jigger when he is pouring his drinks. He free pours – which is either super amazing or super dangerous depending how you look at it. When you ask for a dark n’ stormy, be prepared for pretty much a glass full of Gosling Rum and a splash of Caribbean ginger beer on top. Nigel is also very keen to do a Belly Bumper shot (which was a shot of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky) with visitors he likes. Not everyone get’s one, but you know you are in his good books when he breaks out the shot glasses- let’s just say, snorkelling was a million times more fun after I finished up my lunch here.

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I got talking to Nigel about how his snack shack came about. Growing up on the island, Nigel began his career hiring out beach supplies to visitors along with refreshing drinks from his esky. Smuggler’s Cove is a beach is in the middle of nowhere, so this would have been a very welcomed treat for it’s visitors. Nigel put the money he saved towards making a little snack shack for the beach, a little bar that sells cold beverages and authentic Caribbean food for all it’s visitors. Sadly Nigel’s presence has attracted some unwanted attention from BVI holiday homebuyers around Smuggles Cove. They claim that Nigel’s business was illegal and is making the island look bad! To me, they are making the island look bad. People flock to Smuggles Cove just to see Nigel. And those who know nothing about him fall in love with him as soon as they meet him.

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Considering the constant battles Nigel faces with BVI holiday homebuyers, Nigel is the most amiable person I have ever met. I wish I could take a leaf out of his book as I would not be handling his situation as gracious as he is.

Visit Nigel’s Snack Shack, you will not be disappointed.

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2016.

 

 

 

 

GOOD FOR WHAT AILS YOU!

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It’s been a little over a week since I landed back home in sunny Sydney from my month long rum travel  – god it feels so good to be back in my own bed! Annoyingly though, half way through the last leg of my trip in London, I was struck down with a cold and only went and bloody lost my voice – not the best when I only ever come to London to see my family and friends once every two years! Cue my aunt fixing me up a glass of Hot Toddy (whisky, lemon, honey and water), which was surprisingly really tasty and super soothing on my throat.

Now I am back home, I have been on a mission to mock up my own delicious, rum based Hot Toddy to soothe all future sore throats. It took quite a bit of perfecting, but I am pleased to introduce you all to my little baby:

Kara’s Rum Toddy

  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • 60ml water
  • 2tsp Manuka honey
  • 60ml Bacardi Ocho 8 Year Old Rum
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Grating of Nutmeg

1. Place all your spices and lemon peel into a small pan.

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2.      Pour water into said pan and begin to gently simmer over a low heat.

3.      Add your honey into the pan once it has begun to simmer- I use Manuka honey for it’s healing properties.

4.      Pour in your choice of rum – I chose Bacardi Ocho 8 Year Old Rum for this due to its very smooth and fruity tones.

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5.      Pour your Toddy into a heat proof glass- feel free to taste for sweetness.

6.      Top with a little nutmeg, breathe that bad-boy in deeply and enjoy.

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What did you think guys. How did my Toddy compare to all the others you have tried? Leave me a message below as I would love to know 🍹

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2016.

PUSSER’S BRITISH NAVY RUM REVIEW- British Virgin Island

You can’t go anywhere in the British Virgin Islands without spotting Pussers British Navy Rum being sold behind every bar you step in to. So it would seem only right to spend the evening in one of Pusser’s official pubs when we landed in Road Town, British Virgin Islands.

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Overlooking Baughers bay, this pub is in prime position for all cruise shippers and boaties docking in Road Town. But this pub is not just for visitors, (even though it looks like something made specifically for us) it is also a meeting place for Road Town locals later on in the evenings.

When you walk in, you feel like you are stepping into an old Victorian tavern – Disney land style. Complete with a deep mahogany infostructure, a cluttered assembly of navy portraits, bric-a-brac’s hanging from the ceiling and Pusser’s branded pewter mugs everywhere… this old English pub seems a little out of place here in Road Town, but the novelty was not lost on me.

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Pusser’s Rum was first introduced to the Great Britain’s Royal Navy in 1655 as a substitute for beer. The Navy supplied its crew a daily “tot” of Pusser’s Rum for well over 300 years – and always double downed before battle and after victory! With such rich history, I was pretty excited to try Pusser’s Rum in all it’s cocktail based forms. So here is what I have to report:

  • Pusser’s Rum PunchA delightful blend of Pusser’s Rum, tropical juices, grenadine, Angostura Bitters and grated cinnamon.

This was the first Pusser’s cocktail I had in the BVI. Really nice and fruity but incredibly deceiving- you will get very drunk after just one. Sadly, I could not taste much of the rum itself in this cocktail- but I could feel it 😉 As a drink in itself, I would give this a 9/10. You really can’t go wrong with a rum punch in my eyes. 8/10

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  • Pusser’s Painkiller®Pusser’s Rum with pineapple and orange juice, cream of coconut and fresh grated nutmeg on top.

The Pusser’s painkiller is a pretty iconic cocktail in the BVI. It is usually the first listed on the drinks menu and the first people recommend you try. So I did… and I didn’t like it. It tasted like a really strong Pina Colada on the rocks, and that just doesn’t do anything for me to be honest. I am not a fan of super creamy beverages, so it is not surprising I did not enjoy this cocktail. 1/10

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  • Caribbean MargaritaA classic cocktail with a Caribbean twist. Pusser’s Rum, Cherry Heering, Jose Cuervo Margarita, Mix 2-3 dashes of Angostura Bitters. Blended with ice or on the rocks.

I had a serious hankering for a Margarita the day I ordered this and was a little let down by what I got. Now I know Margarita’s are typically made with tequila and what I ordered was a rum based one so it was bound to taste different. But what I got looked nothing like the photo on the menu and what I got was not drinkable! Sadly I had to throw it away in the end. The weird thing is, I have no issues with anything that is stated to be in this cocktail. I am used to these ingredients and enjoy them in other cocktails. So sadly, I am blaming the Pusser’s Rum for this heinous crime against cocktails! 1/10

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  • Classic rum and cokePusser’s (Blue Label) Rum, Coca Cola and lime.

If all else fails, stick to what I know and love. A good old-fashioned rum’n’coke. To be honest, nothing was overly offensive about this. It just tasted like a rum and coke, with a little bit of a heat to it. All in all, it was pretty standard. 5/10

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Honestly, I don’t think I will be running back to Pusser’s rum. I didn’t get much from it in smell or flavour. I would liken it to Bundaberg UP- without the afterburn. So if you are a fan of Bundy UP, you may very well enjoy this rum. Sadly, it just wasn’t for me… which is a shame as it was bloody everywhere!

 

“The only way to drink a tot [navy rum] is to swallow it whole, grimace, and sit down to appreciate the glow which spreads from the stomach and engenders that wonderful feeling of peace and bohomie”

– Nelson’s Blood by James Pack.

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2016.

MOJITO’S AND CUBANOS, OH MY!

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Along with drinking Miami dry, I was also on a mission to consume all of the Cubano Sandwiches I could find! So the first free day we had in Miami, Al and I headed straight to Havana 1957 Cuban Cuisine (a new chain of Cuban restaurants) and grabbed a seat outside. This place is full of character: beautiful music playing in the background, vintage Cuban photographs dotted around the place and above all, super-friendly staff.

Drink

I ordered the Ultimate Mojito. You are able to select which rum you would like in your mojito, so I chose Don Q Anejo rum. From here it is mixed with sugar cane and Yerba Buena. This cocktail was amazing! Don Q Anejo is really light with nice almond, honey and caramel tones; which I loved. I also tried the Zacapa 23 option but I found that Don Q Anejo went down a lot smoother 😉

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Variety of rums

There is an abundance of rum options here! Rum lovers will have a ball with all the varieties they have on offer! I would post them all here but it will literally take up all of the page… so here is a terrible, unedited video:

Food

I ordered the Cubano for $14.50 US. Ham, cheese, roasted pork, pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread, comfort food at it’s best. I was a little taken back by how much this sarnie cost (around $20 AUS) but when I saw this bad boy, I could see why it cost so much… it was HUGE!!! Honestly, I could only eat about half of it because it was so gigantic! It was tasty though, I just hated leaving so much waste at the end.

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Price

Havana 1957 Cuban Cuisine is a little on the expensive size, which was the only downside. I think I would have preferred if they served smaller portions and charged less to be honest. Saying that, if you are planning on visiting, you will find Havana 1957 Cuban Cuisine on 405 Espanola Way, Miami Beach, Florida. If not, do not fear as I will be posting a video of my experience here soon 🙂

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2016.

 

BROKEN SHAKER- Miami Beach

Broken Shaker is another highlight from my trip to Miami! Owned by the ever popular Freehand group, this bar is situated in the middle of one of Miami Beach’s most famous 1930s Art Deco buildings, Indian Creek Hotel.

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Although the bar itself is on the small side, outside there’s an abundance of space in their beautiful out-door courtyard: fairy lights, lush trees, mismatched garden furniture dotted around their key feature, an outdoor swimming pool. This is definitely a place where all the beautiful people of Miami hang out every day of the week… as well as all of the drug dealers- so very Miami 😉

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When we arrived, we didn’t waste any time. We squeezed our way to the front of the bar, ordered two Cuba Libre’s and proceeded to the pool area where we people watched and attempted to guess who was a drug dealer and who wasn’t.

Broken Shaker’s Cuba Libre consisted of house spiced Bacardi Gold Rum with homemade Cola and Bittercube Jamaica #1 bitters. Although the Cuba Libre was nice and refreshing, it did taste very watered down. Bacardi Gold Rum is pretty flavoursome as is Bittercube Jamaican #1 bitters, so I could only put this watered-down-ness to the homemade cola or my let lag 🙁

Either way, I really enjoyed my time at Broken Shaker. I would go back and I would encourage you all to go there if you ever find yourself in South Beach Miami- just don’t jump in the pool at 2am as you will get kicked out 😀

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Address2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33140, USA

 

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2016.

SWEET LIBERTY- Miami Beach

If you ever find yourself looking for a refreshing tipple around Miami Beach, I beg you to get your butt over to Sweet Liberty! Just to clarify, this is not a paid feature; I just bloody loved it there. Exposed brickwork, retro leather diner booth seats, tropical wallpaper and a shrine of booze from floor to ceiling behind the bar. This place consists of everything I could have ever wanted from Miami!

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We arrived during Sweet Liberty’s happy hour. I ordered a Classic Daiquiri for just $5, which is pretty much a steal in Miami! A healthy dose of Platino Atlantico Rum, lime and sugar syrup is all they use for this cocktail. This simple mixture resulted in a wonderfully smooth, clean, citrusy cocktail with a little bite.

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For me, this bar is pretty much the only bar in Miami Beach that I would recommend friends to go visit. Seriously, Miami Beach’s bar life could learn a thing or two from this place: amazing service, amazing drinks and an amazing space.

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Thank you Sweet Liberty!

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Address237 20th St B, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2016.