Theo Von Ungern-Sternberg / Zuma

Located inside the EPIC Hotel in the heart of Downtown Miami, Zuma is one of the most celebrated restaurants in the city. Known for its innovative Japanese cuisine, the restaurant also has one of the best bar programs in town.

In this week’s episode, Chat Chow TV sat down with the man behind the bar, Beverage Manager Theo Von Ungern-Sternberg.

The bar program at Zuma, notes Von Ungern-Sternberg, not only utilizes authentic Japanese equipment to prepare the drinks, but also uses influences from the restaurant’s kitchen to come up with their creative cocktails.

“A lot of the techniques were perfected in the kitchen and spread into the bar,” says Von Ungern-Sternberg. “For instance, the foam that we’re using here was born in the pastry kitchen.”

The restaurant also boasts an on-site lab where they perfect their cocktails, an impressive assortment of shochu – an authentic distilled spirit from Japan – and a licensed sake sommelier on staff.

“In fact, all the assistant managers and above you find at the restaurant at the moment are licensed sake navigators.” Von Ungern-Sternberg adds.

Curious where Von Ungern-Sternberg likes to drink on his days off? What he thinks of Miami’s growing cocktail culture? Or whether he views himself as a bartender or a mixologist? Watch the video above to find out.

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