Video Produced by Vanessa C. Rodriguez
In Miami’s already world-renowned, artsy neighborhood of Wynwood, one can find Beaker & Gray, an 110-seat eatery located at the popular avenue of North Miami, which serves thoughtfully crafted cocktails using high-quality spirits.
In this episode of "Across The Bar," host Paul Barron has a chance to chat and learn from the man at the helm, manager Ben Potts, an investment banker turned bartender. After getting tired of his office job where he barely had the chance to interact with people, even going as far as calling it a “miserable lifestyle,” he decided he wanted to live a life more than long hours crunching numbers.
After reconnecting with his childhood friend and now business partner, Executive Chef Brian Nasajon, together they opened and own Beaker & Gray, which soft opened around this time last year before Art Basel 2015 began.
Potts got his start at Purdy Lounge in Miami Beach about eight years ago. Then he spent some time working at Blackbird Ordinary in Brickell (downtown Miami) and The Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami in Miami Beach.
Cocktail No. 1: The Halliwell
The Halliwell is the most popular cocktail on the menu. Potts alludes that may be due to the combination of the hot Miami weather and freshness of the vodka. Another contributing factor may be that the drink is the first listed on the Shaken menu. The ingredients are Stolichnaya Vodka, Cocchi Americano Rosa, ginger, strawberry, lemon, and mint. To prepare it, you start by muddling fresh strawberries and mint in the mixing tin, add the rest of the liquid ingredients, and then shake it up, strain it, and pour it over crushed ice.
Cocktail No. 2: The Re-Pete
The Re-Pete is actually Potts’ personal favorite drink. It’s inspired by a tiki drink called The Jungle Bird, but this one is made with Avua Cachaça aged in amburana (local Brazilian wood) casts that give the spirit a smoky flavor profile. This was the drink that our host, Paul Barron, had a chance to recreate. The ingredients are Avua Amburana-Aged Cachaça, Campari, pineapple, lime, and grated cinnamon.
Cocktail No. 3: The Inside Outside In
Lastly, Potts shared with us his most unique drink on the menu called The Inside Outside In. The base spirit is a Venezuelan dark rum called Santa Teresa Gran Reserva. He also uses Luxardo Maraschino, a sweet liqueur with herbal nutty flavors from Italy, Madeira, Angostura Bitters. After all the ingredients are combined, the mix is vacuum sealed with pineapple and crushed spices (cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, and cloves) to be left sitting for two hours.
“Once that infusion has taken place, cut the bag open. Pour out the spirit. Save the pineapple,” Potts suggested.
To serve the cocktail, he uses an absinthe rinsed cordial glass where he pours the spirit after it’s been stirred over ice with a side of cocktail infused pineapples.
Watch the episode to learn more!