Bartenders are slingin’ first-rate cocktails at La Moderna

The Sunset Harbour neighborhood on Miami Beach shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. Aside from an enviable restaurant scene, their cocktail game is ridiculously on point, especially at La Moderna.

Already known for authentic Italian cuisine, La Moderna’s bartenders are slingin’ equally stellar cocktails behind the bar. And they’re having a blast making their unique creations.

They recently unveiled a brand new line of original concoctions and I was lucky enough to try a sampling of each and every one. The night was filled with colorful, smokey and foamy familiar drinks elevated with specific original touches.

The Bellagio Sour, Sorrento Mule, Blooming Napoli, Sicilian Pisco and Vesuvio all offered different flavors and surprises.

Sorrento Mule

The mule’s made with aged Templeton Rye Whiskey, fresh lime juice, eucalyptus extract, ginger beer and angostura bitters.  It was one of my favorites.

Bellagio Sour

The Bellagio sour has both sweet and sour notes and is made with Amaretto di Saronno, freshly squeezed lemons, home-made simple syrup and a dollop of wasabi paste. Ours was garnished with wasabi covered peanuts. I didn’t venture to try those, too spicy for me, but the drink was quite tasty.

Vesuvio Negroni

The Vesuvio Negroni was by far the most interesting creation to watch. That’s because La Moderna’s skilled bartenders smoke the tasty cocktail ampoule-style. Made with Campari bitters, Cocchi Italian Sweet Vermouth and Miller’s Gin, the combo gives this traditional cocktail an updated taste and balanced flavor.

Sicilian Pisco

I think the prettiest drink of the evening and the most elegant was the Sicilian Pisco, a botanical and floral-infused spicy martini prepared with Pisco, Vecchio Amaro del Capo, Benedictine D.O.M., jalapeño and freshly squeezed lemon. The rosemary sprig garnish gave it a great scent when I took the first sip. Such a nice finishing touch.

Blooming Napoli (Photo courtesy of La Moderna)

And although I’m not a fan of the Bloody Mary, this Blooming Napoli, a traditional Neapolitan cocktail that’s similar to a Blood Mary was quite delicious. Probably because it combines Reyka Vodka, freshly made San Marzano tomato purée (this makes the drink!), house-made bloody mary mix, freshly squeezed lemon, rosemary, oregano and celery foam. The foam atop this drink, which I loved was served in a Mason jar, took it to another level with the colors of Italy. How appropriate.

Burrata with grilled vegetables

Naturally, after so many samplings, although we did nibble on the always complimentary pizzettes they dol out at La Moderna, I stuck around and ordered the signature burrata. The creamy cheese was topped with thick cut grilled vegetables including zucchini and roasted red peppers surrounded by peppery arugula. They have a couple of other variations on the menu as well. What a way to end my whirlwind cocktail adventure at this lovely neighborhood eatery. I’m sure I’ll be back soon. After all, Miami Spice is right around the corner.

La Moderna, 1874 Bay Rd., Miami Beach, 786.717.7274

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