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Shawn visits some of Miami’s hottest cocktail spots to make drinks with local Miami produce like sugarcane, and locally foraged herbs and spices.

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Transcript

- I'm Shawn Thomas, and this is Local Flight, a show where I travel around to some of the best bars in the country to meet amazing mixologists and challenge them to create innovative cocktails using unique local ingredients. I'm in Miami, the multicultural hub of the Southeast, known for its beautiful beaches, and more recently, craft cocktail bars. Today, I'm headed to Drunken Dragon to meet up with Gui Jaroschy, where his Polynesian drinks are spicing up the neighborhood. Let's talk about Drunken Dragon. - We do tiki-style cocktails, that kind of go back to that original tiki concept of Asian flavors and exciting drinks, cool contrasts of flavors, again, with spices, and fresh fruit, and rums, and tequilas now I'm trying to do. With this cocktail revival that we've had, it's all about classic style and kind of muted flavors, and tiki kind of comes in to be a little more fun. - I would love to try one of your tikis. - I'm gonna go make you one called The Voodoo Lady. - Okay. - It's a really cool tequila drink with a lot of unexpected flavor combinations, I think. There's some homemade ingredients with some classic ingredients as well. - Do your thing, man. - Perfect. - I'm excited. - So for this one, we're gonna do three-quarters of an ounce of lime juice, always fresh lime. Three-quarters an ounce of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. - [Shawn] Okay. - A quarter-ounce of St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram. - I love that stuff. - [Gui] It's really awesome, it's an intense flavor. - [Shawn] It is. - [Gui] But it's really cool. - [Shawn] A little goes a long way, but it certainly adds a lot of nutmeg and cinnamon and-- - Yeah. - Yeah. - I'm gonna put in three-quarters an ounce of a house-made cinnamon syrup. - And you make that just like a simple syrup, but cinnamon sticks, or-- - With the fresh cinnamon, and this one has a little black pepper as well-- - Oh, nice. - Just to give it another level of complexity. - Yeah, of course. - Yeah, absolutely. And then, we're gonna do two ounces of tequila. Blanco. - Okay. - And then the final touch is a couple drops of this ylang ylang extract. Ylang ylang is like a really fragrant flower that they put in everything, from Chanel #5 to various fragrances. - Wow. - So it makes really, really cool flavor in the drink. - Do you mind if I just try a little bit-- - No, yeah, absolutely. Please. - Thanks. - [Gui] You can pick up the flavor as well. - Mm. Yeah, it has that really subtle, white flower kind of smell, like a Jasmine. - [Gui] Yeah, exactly. - Wow, that's really nice. It's almost like a soft lavender, not too soapy. Sometimes lavender can be really soapy. - Right. - This is really subtle. - Right. - So. Delicious. - Cool. And just a couple drops in the drink just brings out this aromatic after you shake it, that really kind of makes it an exciting, different kind of thing-- - Absolutely. - just like all the things you kind of wanna do with a tiki drink. - That's great. Fist time I've ever heard of that. Ylang ylang. - Yeah. - Awesome. - Cool. And then, we'll give it a nice hard shake. - [Shawn] I'm ready. - [Gui] Strain into a tiki mug. Top it up with lots of crushed ice and just a little fresh mint and grapefruit, again, about aromatics. - Mm-hm. That's the look. Thank you. - You're welcome. - The Voodoo Lady. - Yeah, cheers. - Cheers, thank you very much. - [Gui] Mm-hm. - Mm. That's really nice. Good choice on the blanco tequila. I feel like if you had used an aged, it would have been too much of those barrel spices, and it really works well with the grapefruit, and I imagine the voodoo ladies, because it has that slightly feminine kind of fragrance to it from those flowers. - Awesome. - Really great drink. - Awesome, good. - And I know it will pair well with food, 'cause it's got a really nice acidity, not too much. - You know, it's a twist on sort of like a sour, if you will, or whatever. - Yeah, of course. - But you just kind of change up some of the ingredients, and I always think of classics as like templates. You can step out of any of those things if you're thinking about ratios that work. - It's my first time in Miami, and when I go to a city, I try to find an ingredient that really captures what the city's all about, and I have no idea where to find that local ingredient that I'm looking for. - I mean, probably just at the root, at the heart, the most quintessential Miami spot would be Calle Ocho in Little Havana. You should definitely make it out there and get some cool ingredients there that you won't find anywhere else. - All right. - Yeah. - Well, I'm gonna head there now and see what I can find, so I'll be back. - Okay, awesome. - All right. I'll see you in a bit. - All right, see you there. - Okay. Walking down Calle Ocho in Little Havana, I found Angel Hernandez behind the juice counter at Los Pinarenos. His family has owned this place for over 40 years. Locals flock here for the fresh fruit, and I'm excited to try their famous guarapo. I have been walking around this beautiful neighborhood looking for fresh ingredients. - Oh, yeah? Well, you came to the right place, man. - Yeah. - We've been here for 48 years, we're the last existing farmer's market, and everything we do here is fresh and very, very good. - That's awesome. - And we have the best juices in the United States of America. - That's great, I would love to try one. - All right, cool. I'm gonna make you something refreshing, something that'll liven up the atmosphere. I'm gonna use sugar cane. It's called The Miami Explosion. - All right, Miami Explosion. Yeah. - Cool? - Sounds great. - I'm gonna grind some sugar cane. This is what I use as my sweetener. - Fresh sugar cane juice? - Fresh juice. - And you get the sugar cane from around here? - Yeah, from the same grower for the last 40 years. - Wow. - Here you go. - Thank you so much. - [Angel] You're welcome. Try that. - Thank you. So what have we got in here? - We got a little pineapple, we got watermelon, we got mint, and fresh-squeezed-- - Sugar cane? - sugar cane juice. - Wow. - [Angel] Should be very refreshing. - That is just what the doctor ordered. - Wow. - There you go. - Did you come up with all your blends yourself? - [Angel] Yeah. - You blend the juices? - It might take a little longer, but it's made fresh and in front of your face. - The proof is in the juice man, this is amazing. - [Angel] Exactly. - You grow sugar cane on-site as well? - Yeah. - That's awesome. - I have a couple of stocks. - Does it grow like bamboo? - Yeah, like a bamboo. - Guarapo? - Guarapo. - Guarapo. And that's the sugar cane juice? - Yeah, and the is the machine. Special machine. - And you said this stand has been here for-- - We've been here, it's been originally for 110 years, but we've owned it for 48. - 48? - Yeah. - Family-owned? - Family-owned. - One of the things I'm looking is to find an ingredient that captures that personality that Little Havana has, and Miami has. - Oh, that would be the sugar cane. - You think so? - [Angel] Oh, for sure. - Wow, look at the froth on that. - Yep. That's when you know it's fresh. - It has that slight vegetal taste. - Yeah. - You can taste the plant. You can taste the ground that it came from, you know? - Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. - It's not too sweet. Really, really nice. Wow, that's delicious. Well, if I could take some of that delicious guarapo, one or two cups full would be amazing. - You have to remember-- - Yep. - [Angel] it starts fermenting, so you have to use this very quickly. - Well, I'm gonna take this, I'm gonna run back to the bar, and I'm excited to see what he can do with it. - All right. - So thanks very much, it was a pleasure meeting you. - Likewise, sir. - Yeah, yeah. - Come back again. - I will be back. This place is amazing. - All right, cool. - All right, see you, Angel. - All right, bye-bye. - Guarapo is such a unique ingredient. I've never seen it anywhere else in the US. Gui was right about Little Havana. It's definitely a unique place. I can't wait to try this juice in a cocktail. Time is of the essence. I can already tell, actually, this stuff that I brought you is already starting to change color. When I first got it, it was a little bit more green, and so apparently, the sugars are already fermenting. What I love about it, it's not really, really sweet like a lot of refined sugar can be. So you can almost taste the plant that it came from. - Yeah. - What do you think you can do with this fresh sugar cane? - Nice, it has really nice mouth feel to it. - Yep. - Almost like a little tiny touch of coconut, and the sweet, it's really, really cool. - Mm. - Man, you could go a lot of ways with it. Maybe a daiquiri. - I'm in your hands. - Let's do it. - Yeah, I think cucumber would kind of go with this. Just cut a few slices of that to muddle in. - [Shawn] Okay. - [Gui] Four cubes seems about right, you know? - [Shawn] Sure. - And then break that up and give it some of that flavor. And then maybe about... We'll do about an ounce and a half of that cane juice. About a half-ounce of lime juice. And then, the Grey Goose Le Melon. I think that could be a really fun thing to pair with all these flavors we've got going on. Strain it into a chilled coupe, and garnish with a slice of cucumber. There you go. - [Shawn] Awesome, man Thank you very much. - [Gui] Cool, you're welcome. - Cheers. - Cheers. - Wow, if you were going for a really light, fresh summer cocktail... The melon is so subtle. I get it more on the nose than anything else. It's really refreshing. Before I finish this, you gotta try it. - [Gui] All right, awesome. - Yeah, your proportions were just right on there. - Mm. - I mean, that is so crisp and fresh. - Yeah. But you were right about the melon on the nose. - Do you know what I mean? - It's like, yeah. - It gets more on the aromatics than anything, which is, to me, it's such a demonstration of a balanced drink. Solid work. - Awesome. - Really solid work. - Awesome. - Now before I leave you, you have to name this creation. So what do you think? I mean, we got sugar cane from Little Havana. I'm trying to capture the essence of Miami. It's tropical. - I think it's gotta be El Guapo. - El Guapo? - There's guarapo in it, and el guapo's like the good-looking, kind of proud guy, so yeah. - El Guapo. - El Guapo. - Well, I feel like an el guapo drinking this. I'm gonna do pinky out. - Uh-huh. - Cheers to you, man. - Cheers. - Thank you very much, this is a great cocktail. Mm. Great work, man. Thank you so much for having us. - Yeah, dude. Great meeting you. - Yep. - For sure. - So cheers. - Thanks man. - Thanks again. - Yeah. - Take it easy. Miami's historic South Beach is know for sun and fun, amid some of the best-preserved Art Deco architecture in the world. Located in the heart of it all is Issac Grillo's recently opened Repour. - Nice to see you. - Nice to see you as well. Tell me a little bit about your menu. - Well, it's an ever-changing menu. We like to use locally-sourced fresh ingredients, and we like to keep it very eclectic, so there's no twist on classics here, it's all just new, fresh cocktails that hopefully, nobody's ever seen or heard of before. - That's awesome. So where are you drawing your inspiration from? - You know, it really comes from the land. I like it to be very organic, you know? The way I built this place is trying to be relaxed and have people be comfortable, and that's how I want my cocktails to come across. I want it to be everybody involved. - That's fantastic. Well, I'd like to try one of those cocktails. - I've been working on something lately, so I'm gonna go ahead and let you be my guinea pig. - Thank you. - I'm gonna use some of this fresh mango. - [Shawn] Yum. - A little bit of acidity, but nice amount of sweetness. It's perfectly ripe in season right now. And I'm gonna mash it up a little bit. That's gonna be the base. I'm gonna add a little bit of citrus element, so this is fresh lime juice. - [Shawn] Cool. - And then, I've been working on a little play here, so I made a citrus-honey syrup. It's basically just honey with just a little grapefruit, lemon, and some orange rinds. - [Shawn] Nice. - [Isaac] It's gonna balance out the acidity from the fresh lime juice. - [Shawn] That's great, man. - Now, this is Miami, so I thought I'd use a little Miami flavor. This is a black tea. It's actually mojito-flavored black tea that we smoked in-house. So it has a little mint, as well as citrus in it. - [Shawn] I imagine the bitterness in the cocktail actually comes from the black tea as well. - Correct, and it'll really come out when we balance the whole thing together. - Great. - [Isaac] Today I'm gonna use Grey Goose. - [Shawn] Uh-huh. - So I'm gonna use two ounces here. Peppermint is actually very rare. I grow it in the garden here at Repour. So I'm just gonna put a couple of those young leaves in there. And I wanna shake it up very, very vigorously. So I'm not even gonna double strain this, because I kind of want those little bits of mints and fresh mango to come across in the cocktail. Nice pretty color, the fresh mango really comes through. A couple cubes in there, and we're gonna top it off with a little fresh peppermint from the garden. - [Shawn] Wake it up. - [Isaac] Wake it up. A South Beach Tea for you, my friend. - Thank you, cheers. Yum. The smoked tea actually adds almost like a slight barbecue flavor to it as well. - Yeah, you get the little smokiness, and it brings out the mint flavors as well. - The mango is sweet and delicious. Solid, man. - Yeah? - [Shawn] Solid, yeah, it's kind of like, almost like a tiki meets a punch. - Yeah, we've got those fresh local fruits popping. - All right, so I love this city, South Beach is obviously beautiful, but I was hoping you could show me a side of Miami that maybe people don't know, something a little bit more authentic and local, and that's where we could find an ingredient. - Actually, that's awesome you bring that up, because Miami is full of great ingredients that grow all around us in regular neighborhoods, so there's a lot of fresh fruit going on right now, and I know the person that can take us to some local foraging spots. You wanna check'em out? - Yes, I do. - All right. I know just the right person. - All right, cool. Before the city of Miami sprouted up, South Florida was filled with exotic tropical fruit trees, many of which remain today, if one knows where to look. Tiffany Noe is a horticulturist and urban farmer who recently co-authored the stunning book "Forager: A Subjective Guide to Miami's Edible Plants." If anyone knows where to source local ingredients, it's her. What are you picking? - I'm picking fresh oregano. This is a kitchen garden for a local restaurant, so I'm picking this for tonight's specials. - Yum, that is spicy. - It's delicious. - Yeah. - It's really spicy. - What can we expect to find here foraging in Miami? - We're definitely gonna find mangoes. We'll also probably be able to find tamarind. I also know of a really nice elderberry patch, so we'll be able to find berry and flower there. - I'm excited. I have never been foraging, so off we go! Adventurous! Just take it slow, no big bumps, please. - [Tiffany] All right. - [Shawn] Tropical fruit, here we come! Urban foraging has gained so much popularity in the last decade. You can even download an app to learn what grows in your city and where to find it. These modern food cartographers map wild edibles that grow in public spaces all over the world. - All right, guys, look up. - Mangoes. - Mangoes. - This is urban foraging. We are in the middle of somebody's neighborhood. - [Tiffany] This is my neighborhood. - Awesome. - Oh, nice. - [Tiffany] That's why we're here. I have my trusty mango-picker. Basically, you find a victim, and then you use the little razor, and down it comes. - It's simple. - Look at that. - Oh, all right. - Simple, simple. Wow, look at that, right off the tree. - That guy's not ripe yet, but it'll ripen on your countertop. - Oh, he's a natural. - Oh, man. - He's a natural, ladies and gentleman. - So gentle. - [Tiffany] And I was saying that this is what they look like when they're ripe. - [Shawn] That's amazing. - [Tiffany] Shall we snack on it? - Yeah, I would love that. - Yeah, let's try it out. - Man, that looks so good. Thank you. We'll save you two pieces. - [Isaac] Mm. - I mean, forget about it. - That's a great mango. - Not bad, right? - Yeah. - That's a neighborhood, locally-foraged-- - That's crazy. - delicious tropical fruit. Why go to the store when you can just pick'em right off the tree? - Let's go visit the tamarind trees. - All right, tamarind. - Tamarind trees! - I'm so excited. - See the tamarinds? They're like dreadlocks. - Oh, yeah. - [Isaac] Oh, look how much. There's tons of them. - [Shawn] There is a ton. - Okay, guys. Welcome to the tamarind trees. - Thanks. - These are such cool trees. They've been here forever. We wanna get them when they're really fresh. This is just a tree pruner, a telescoping one. We're gonna use this little beak. When we pull this, look. Mm. - Oh. It's like Pac-Man style. - There you go. Find yourself a nice little cluster. - And then just snip, snip? - Snip. - Come on down-- - More snipping. - Mr. Tamarinds. Oh, nice catch, Isaac. Look at that. - Okay. - We're like professional tamarind pickers now. - Okay, snack time. - Oh, it's the cracked part. - All right, can you just eat these, yeah, here. - [Tiffany] Crack'em open. - [Isaac] So this is actually it right here, the shell just pulled off. - [Shawn] I see. Mm. It's like sweet and sour. - [Tiffany] Yeah, it's sour. Let's get a few more for the bar. - Go ahead. - Hey. - All right. - All right, okay. I'll get the next one. - [Shawn] Hey, there it is. All right. - [Tiffany] On to our next destination then. - Yes, what's next? - Elderflower. - Ooh. - Ooh. Does it have elderberries on it? - [Tiffany] We're gonna find out. - [Shawn] Let's go look. - [Tiffany] So let's check out this elderflower tree. - [Isaac] Oh, all right. - So this is the flower. Wanna give it a sniff? - [Isaac] Yeah. - [Shawn] Mm, very subtle. - Yeah, it's very subtle. It's best to pick these right in the beginning of the day before the sun burns off a lot of their very delicate flavors, but because it was overcast today, it should be a nice blossom. - Snip. - Oh, wow, it's really pretty. - Well, there you go. Now, I mean, right off the get go, I'm thinking garnish for that. - Initially, for garnish, it just looks really beautiful. Otherwise, I think you would have to give it a little love. You could make it into some sort of syrup. - You could even just let it sit in honey for a while. And we've also got, look at this. - Oh. - Oh, look at that. - I've seen these before. - Some berries. - Berries. - Yeah, those are the elderberries. - [Tiffany] If you leave the flowers on the tree, you get the berries. - [Shawn] You're coming with us. - [Isaac] Wow, this has been really awesome, Tiffany. - [Shawn] Yeah, Tiffany, seriously. - [Tiffany] Thanks, guys. - Who knew this much grew in the neighborhoods of Miami? Armed with the freshest ingredients the city has to offer, Isaac and I are heading back to Repour to see if we can make a cocktail worthy of Miami's natural bounty. That is a cornucopia of Miami-foraged goods. - Yeah, all from local neighborhoods, the elderberries and elderflower. These are gonna take a little longer to do something with. - Okay. - I'm thinking we do something with this tamarind. I think we should make a jam. - Okay. - Let me grab a pot for you. So basically, we're gonna shell all this tamarind. - Can I give you a hand? - Yeah, please, man. Yeah, and once you get the fruit out, just like that, just throw it in the pot. - [Shawn] You've done jams before? - Yep, I make liquor-infused jams, and they're on my cocktail menu right now, and we change them every month. - In addition to the tamarind, Issac adds watermelon and Grey Goose Le Melon and sets it to simmer. While that cooks, we head to his rooftop herb garden. Issac's bar is located in one of South Beach's iconic deco hotels, and on the deck above the pool, he's growing an array of fresh herbs. We've kind of come full circle with this, considering we were doing a little urban foraging, but this is urban gardening. - Yeah, you know, we're in the middle of the city, so there's not a great place to get a garden, so we kind of just made our own. - It was your idea, the hotel was cool with it? - Yeah, they were super-cool, it brings a nice ambience to the hotel, and it gives some of the fresh ingredients for people to look at. - For sure, for sure. - Here, I think we're gonna use this basil. With this beautiful flower, it's gonna work out perfectly. - [Shawn] Oh, that smells great. - Yeah, it smells-- - All that nice basil aroma. - Nice basil aroma, the flower's looking really beautiful, I think it's gonna really work great with the jam. - Awesome, let's do it. - All right, buddy. - [Shawn] Back in the bar, Isaac strains the fruit, adds a bit more Grey Goose, pectin, and sugar, and finishes the tamarind jam by boil-sealing it in mason jars. - I'm thinking this one's good to go, my friend. - [Shawn] Cool. - So we're gonna pop it open, and I'm gonna start making a cocktail for you. - Fantastic. This is your tamarind, watermelon jam. - What do you think? - That's insanely good, wow. - Yep, so it's nice and citrus-y, it's not too sweet. - Yeah, and the watermelon, and the melon, both of those melons showing up in a big way. - All right. - Yum, yum, yum. - We're gonna start with a little bit of acid again. So we're gonna use one ounce of yuzu, which is a nice, soft, floral Japanese citrus. It'll balance really well with this jam. Now I'm gonna balance that acidic flavor with a little bit of sweetness again. I basically made a simple syrup, but I made it out of watermelon juice, and a hint of the fresh basil that we picked in the garden. - [Shawn] How much of that? - [Isaac] I'm gonna use actually three-quarters of an ounce. - [Shawn] Cool. - [Isaac] Then, we'll move into our jam. Ooh. - Look at that. - And we're gonna take a nice, healthy scoop. Maybe two. So we're gonna make sure our base tastes really good. - Nice. - You want that sweet, sour vibe going on, and then Grey Goose Le Melon. I'm gonna use two ounces of this. Again, we want to taste the spirit, it's a really quality spirit, and you don't want it to be overpowered by the ingredients in it. - No. - And then, we're gonna give this a very vigorous shake. Emulsify all those ingredients. - [Shawn] I like your rhythm. - [Isaac] Thanks, man. - [Shawn] I like your noise. - Just like a song. - Yes, sir. - And strain it right out, and serve it in one of these beautiful coupes. - [Shawn] Classic. - [Isaac] And it has those floral notes from the yuzu, and the hints of the basil. - Mm-hm. - [Isaac] So I think we're gonna garnish this with that really beautiful basil flower that we got out of the garden. There you go, brother. - That's beautiful. Cheers. - Salud. - I can smell the basil from here. Yum. Mm. It's like a classic cooler. The acidity is actually not as pronounced as you think. You get more of that melon, the watermelon, the cavaillon melon in the vodka. Mm. And nice touch with the aromatics. The basil really highlights the yuzu, actually. Take a sip. - Let me take a little... - Yep. Those things kind of come together. - It's pretty good, thank you, my friend. - Yeah, it's good, for sure. Let me see this. So last order of business, we have to name this cocktail. - Ooh. - So I'm thinking, we saw the neighborhoods here in Miami, we did it right, we went to the authentic, like, that's where the locals are. We got all that great produce. - Definitely a neighborhood cocktail. - It is for sure a neighborhood cocktail. You've made this great jelly for it. - I think you might have just named it. The Neighborhood Jam. - The Neighborhood Jam? - Yeah, that's the jam, man. - Dude, that's the name. That is the jam. Neighborhood jam. - Well, cheers to that. - Cheers to the Neighborhood Jam. Mm. Isaac, my friend. - Always a pleasure. - The pleasure was all mine. I hope you had good time, and the Neighborhood Jam is the jam. - Yes, it is. - So thank you for that, man. Thank you so much. I hope you had a good time. Let's go see the other side of Miami, hit some of those nightclubs too. - I got you. - Yeah? Cool, let's do it.