Mandarin Oriental is one of our favorite properties in Miami and it is not a surprise that La Mar landed there with a spectacular Chef. Here in Spirited Miami, we love to talk about spirits but sometimes food is just that good. Chef Diego Oka has done amazing work in the kitchen and now the bar is getting its due.
La Mar has a new bartender and bar program. La Mar has chosen Eleftherios Kraounakis (or Lef) to lead the expanded bar and nightlife program. On the menu is nine new cocktails along with live music and DJs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8 to 11 p.m. We stopped by for some delicious cocktails and spoke to La Mar’s newest barman and tried some cocktails.
Lef started tending bar at the age of 17 and came to Miami via Greece where some of the tricks of the trade in Greece are practiced in this very bar. He started his Miami career in Bâoli in Miami Beach.
The menu was launched one month ago and Lef started just a month before that. La Mar did keep one original cocktail, Smoky Pineapple, which is one of their best sellers. There is even a hidden cocktail that you have to ask for by name that is not on the menu (this month it was the Uva Rosada). Lef is even making his own Falernum* and his own Pisco-cello (a take on the limoncello) for guests to enjoy after dinner.
Here are our favorites:
Barsol Quebranta, Ginger Water, Dry Peruvian Eucalyptus, Lemon Juice, House-Made Ginger Beer
Bluecoat American Gin, Dry Lavender, Lemon, Mint, Aromatic Bitters
Jasmine Tea & Red Grapes infused gin, St Germain Liqueur, Lime Juice, Jasmine Tea Syrup
Thai Tommy’s Mezcalita
Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Agave Nectar, Habanero Peruvian Peppers, Grapefruit Juice, Lime, Hawaiian Pink Sea Salt
*Falernum is a sweet cordial primarily used in caribbean cocktails.