Beaker & Gray Amps Up Crafted Cocktails in Wynwood

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!

Henry's Majestic Heats Up Dallas Winter Season With 11 New Cocktails

Henry's Majestic Heats Up Dallas Winter Season With 11 New Cocktails

Henry's Majestic is a fitting name for a tavern with majestic, creative fare and signature cocktails, beer, and wine. This rustic restaurant may be based in a Dallas, a city known for its hot, humid weather, but it seems like the holiday season came a little early to the Lone Star State. As of November 8, Henry's Majestic added 11 new winter cocktails to its menu.

"It can be difficult to create a fall menu because Dallas tends to have mild winters. So, I try to keep the flavors of the season that I remember when I was young and apply them in a way that is still bearable during a warmer climate," Alex Fletcher, the corporate beverage director of Bread Winners, Inc. and Henry's Majestic lead mixologist, said in a press release.

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By Mae Velasco, Custom Content Editor

As Miami Food Pug put it best, when you slide across the bar from Will Thompson, you get more than a transaction — you get an experience. And this mix master certainly mixes it up. After quenching the tastes of those thirsting for creative crafted cocktails at the Broken Shaker and Ball & Chain, this summer season, Thompson has shaken up the menu at The Local Craft Food & Drink for libations filled with local fruit, spices, and herbs.

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At Linwood Essentials, Experiential Cocktails Paired With a Story

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“The idea for a lot of the cocktails I freestyle comes down to a simple ratio: equal parts strong, sweet, sour, herbacious,” says Jake Valianes, owner and bar manager at Linwood Essentials in Toronto.

Like many people in the industry, Valianes started from the bottom at a young age — washing dishes, then bussing tables — and worked his way up — to serving, then bar management — before opening a place of his own. Though, his experience behind the bar actually came out of error. “My first ever night managing on a Saturday night, super busy, it started raining, and that usually means we’re super slow, so I cut 90 percent of the staff that night,” he says. “And then we got slammed. So I had to hop on the bar out of necessity, and that’s how I got started.”

The idea of opening Linwood Essentials stemmed from two things: travel and the realization that Toronto doesn’t have many great cocktail bars. “Before I opened, I did a whole bunch of traveling all around the world,” says Valianes. “I went to as many great cocktail bars as I possibly could. I learned as much as I could from every single one of those bars. I just wanted to take everything I learned and open my own bar here with all that knowledge. Toronto doesn’t have very many cocktail bars, so I wanted to bring as much great knowledge of cocktails to this bar as I possibly could.”

In this “Across the Bar” episode, host and Foodable founder Paul Barron imbibes three of Valianes best cocktail creations and gets the background on each.

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BarChef Challenges Conventional Cocktails, Creates a New Drinking Experience

BarChef Challenges Conventional Cocktails, Creates a New Drinking Experience

In Toronto, a dimly lit venue accompanied by candlelight is the home to culinary experiences beyond the imagination. It’s Frankie Solarik’s lab for culinary concoctions known as cocktails, but not of the familiar sort. BarChef, unlike many of the concepts we’ve visited on “Across the Bar” thus far, is not set at a bar, but rather more of a chef’s table. His team is not made up of bartenders, so to speak, but of chefs.

In this episode, Solarik shares with us three uniquely innovative cocktails and the inspiration and preparation behind them.

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