Ten Best Bartenders in Broward and Palm Beach Counties
From Emeril Lagasse to Paula Deen, whether famous or infamous, the celebrity chef is now such an enormous mainstay of American culture, we hardly remember it wasn't always that way. Self proclaimed foodies and the rise of the celebu-chef is a fairly recent phenomenon. Don't get us wrong - it's a phenomenon of which we hardily approve. We would, however, like to add another aspect to the celebrity line up -- the bartender.
City of Toronto Archives via Wikimedia
Whether you're merely a weekend imbiber or there's a stool at your favorite bar that has your butt imprint worn into it, having a good barkeep/bar patron relationship can make the whole experience that much more pleasant. A good bartender knows his or her regulars, can anticipate their orders, and can prepare any cocktail by the book or with their own special flare. He or she knows your favorite drink -- or spirits -- your weekly habits, and has the perfect trick for cheering you up when you're feeling down.
When carefully cultivated, it's a rapport like no other. (Which may or may not indicate a problem, but we'll leave you to your own business.)
Regardless, chefs might be the new celebrities, but we believe the person pouring our drinks is just as worthy of our respect. With that, we've decided to bring you the ten best bartenders in South Florida.
10. Erik Smith - 3rd & 3rd
South Florida's cocktail culture might be growing -- at a snail's pace -- but there are few spots that offer a great cocktail in a casual setting. Cue: 3rd & 3rd. Friendly and laid-back bar manager Erik Smith serves up inventive cocktails in an environment that feels like home -- if you were a mixologist, that is. Drinks like the Bees Knees with Plymouth gin, lemon juice, and honey syrup and the Sazerac, a combination a ting of absinthe, bulleit rye bourbon, bitters, simple syrup, and a twist, incorporate modern and traditional watering hole trends. Just because you want to chill out doesn't mean you should be resigned to crappy drinks. Pay a visit to Erik: he'll help ease the stress away.
3rd and 3rd is located at 301 NE Third Ave. in Delray Beach. Call 561-303-1939, or visit 3rdand3rd.com.
9. Manny Alayeto - Dada
South Florida is known for its ubiquitous mojitos, but if you haven't tried one of Manny Alayeto's, you're missing out. From dark rum and fresh ginger to strawberry and vodka, Alayeto's creations are out of this world. More than happy to divulge a recipe or two, his homespun mint-infused simple syrup is what perfects these all-too-easy to screw up tropical cocktails. While most bartenders complain about the time and work that goes into making one of these omni-present drinks, Alayeto revels in it, and that's why his are perfect.
Dada is located at 52 N. Swinton Ave. in Delray Beach. Call 561-330-3232, or visit dada.closermagazine.com.
Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.
52 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach, FL
1906 Harrison St., Hollywood, FL
251 Sunrise Ave., Palm Beach, FL
301 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL
1507 S. Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, FL
431 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL
901 Progresso Drive, Fort Lauderdale, FL
308 N. Dixie Highway, Lantana, FL
1411 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL