Repour: Creative Cocktail Concoctions on Miami Beach
There are a lot of creative juices flowing out of the new favorite cocktail lounge in town. Repour, located in the lobby of the Albion Hotel on Miami Beach, has only been open for eight weeks and has already developed a loyal clientele, largely in part due to owner and rebel drink slinger Isaac Grillo, whose nerdy, experimental dedication to the craft has inspired the perfect environment to explore the more creative aspects of cocktail trends.
Nerdy is fitting, considering the redecorated old Drogerie space is reminiscent of the basement on That 70’s Show, with mismatched retro couches and vintage flower-patterned rugs. And the crew is as colorful and eclectic as the gang itself; their individuality shines through each of the cocktails they have concocted for the new multifarious menu that, very much like the dry erase wall of the establishment, lets customers doodle and express themselves freely.
This is what Repour is all about: Setting a white canvas for everyone to feel comfortable expressing themselves, both bartenders and customers alike. “I created the whole environment like a house so we’d be approachable always, because if you aren’t feeling comfortable, you aren’t going to have a good time” shares Grillo. But Repour takes it a step further with a vibrant menu that begs you to ask about the individual stories that inspired each cocktail.
“I’m a big fan of stirred boozy classic cocktails” explains New York import, meticulous and dedicated bartender Brian Sassen, “and I love to tinker with contemporary classics so this was based on the classic Penicillin--a traditionally shaken cocktail. I basically took all of its elements and eliminated the citrus so I could get a nice boozy stirred cocktail that still incorporates the ginger, lemon, and the honey elements, and enhances the scotch itself.” Behold his creation the Peated Fleming, Bruichladdich Islay Barley is “re-peated” with a black pepper honey syrup and Isle Scotch mist, and spruced up with Barrows Intense Ginger and lemon bitters, making it a refreshing sipping cocktail.
Siping is the name of the game with a few of the more outstanding drinks of this menu, including newcomer sweetheart Jessica Stafford’s bold and velvety Bitter Angel: “The 5% of evaporation that occurs every year in the barrel-aging process is referred to as the ‘angel's share’ and what’s left behind [the whiskey] is ‘Angel's Envy’” she explains about the name of the bourbon brand used in this drink, “so I paired it with a cherry liqueur called Guignolet and the amazing amaro Montenegro-- a play on a Boulevardie cocktail--and pour it over a frozen bitter chocolate ice ball. Bourbon, cherry and chocolate creates the ultimate bitter angel.
This is the kind of drink you want to make love to, taking it in one slow sip at the time and letting it evolve as the chocolate ball melts.
As a matter of fact, we recommend you go ahead and order another cocktail while you let the chocolate magic ball melt, perhaps something that goes down with more ease like the On That Angle--loose cannon and youngin’ bartender Tyler Ridgeway’s creation. Don’t be fooled with the easiness of this Pisco Sour recreation, that uses a Corona reduction and is topped off with the breezy beer. You’ll wonder what the stenciled 45° on top of the egg foam means, and you can ask him, but be ready to get personal for it’s a matter close to the heart. The cocktail pays homage to his good friend who passed away recently, Inaldis Sibilla Jr., whose favorite beer was Corona. Ridgeway got him hooked on the Chilean (his nationality) traditional drink of choice and “the name came from a social media group he created called "Sittin' 45", to give people hope and create a space for everyone to know they were there for one another. 45° is an angle moving forward and up, just like we are always supposed to, keeping our heads ‘on that angle” he shares.
Forward and up is the way this joint keeps moving. Grillo also announced the addition of in-house chef Adelle Bonilla to their team, who will be catering to the hotel’s guest as well as develop a bar menu of “modern American mashups” which they hope to eventually serve in vintage lunch boxes. “We are taking a bit of every cuisine and turning it into comfort food. We want a story behind our food like the stories behind our cocktails. “
1650 James St.
Miami Beach, Florida
305 913 1000
( Images provided by Magnolia Ad Company )