In verdant south Florida, the approach to cocktails is as fresh as can be
I’m from Israel, and Gabriel Orta, my partner at the Broken Shaker, is from Colombia. Both countries are known for foods that rely on lots of fresh herbs, a tradition we like to riff on in the cocktails we make.
Our bar is located in the Freehand Hostel in Miami Beach. But the barroom is just a tiny part of it; most of our space is outside in the courtyard amid an abundant garden. We grow mint, lavender, lemongrass, lemon verbena, and savory herbs like rosemary, basil, and tarragon. We have trees of allspice, lemon, lime, and grapefruit, as well as star fruit and mango.
For us, the easiest way to create a cocktail is to hand-harvest what is growing around us. Our philosophy is: Don’t overthink it. We need citrus, a sweetener, an herb, and booze. That’s about it.
Of course, we also use bitters; they’re the salt and pepper of bartending, adding a bit more flavor and bringing all the elements together. Thanks to our plants, we can make bitters here, along with syrups, salts, and vinegars, which add a nice sour note to drinks like our gin-based Don’t Kill My Vibe. Not only that, but the garden helps keep the mood here relaxed. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching happy guests enjoy cocktails made with the bounty that surrounds them.
The Broken Shaker
2727 Indian Creek Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33140