In college, many of us headed to the library, at times not only to study, but to do our work around a certain group of people, perhaps meet new ones during coffee breaks. We go for the ambiance. Well, imagine a library strictly reserved for those coffee break moments, while replacing coffee with cocktails. That place is The Corner.
The Corner is a neighborhood bar in downtown Miami, and a gem if I may. So much so, that it deserves an issue of its own, dedicated to one cocktail. Although The Corner does serve an assortment of salads, sandwiches and snacks, the bar in particular, deserves homage. Despite its small size, every corner of the location is crafted with care. The bar back resembles a library out of Harry Potter, especially due to the sliding ladder. Not to fear, the books have all been exchanged for liquor. The staff also uses fresh fruits and herbs to amplify their original drinks. A small kitchen hides on the left, sitting across from a communal bar with stools, where guests can savor snacks and drinks of course; while the walls are adorned with original cloth wallpaper with a blue tint. Despite the dark look, the dimming lights definitely set a welcoming scene, and the live band adds to it. To clarify, the band only played for a short period. The Corner is a place where you can have a true conversation, with bartenders, friends and strangers alike. The pretension goes out the window, in spite of its location at the core of Miami. Speaking of windows, a small frame hides behind the bar, to easily serve guests sitting outdoors. It is so convenient and laid back, that I felt as if my heels did not belong.
The crowd mixes various age groups effortlessly, along with different styles: trendy, hipster, fratty etc… But most guests have one thing in common: they came to have a good time without the bullshit. I was surprised by how comfortable I felt with strangers. For those who know me personally, I typically speak to strangers on the regular, but at a bar, one must be a little more careful, no? At The Corner, that wall breaks down, not only for me, but for most. In short, gentlemen of Miami, go meet girls there! They should not give you a hard time.
Now let us discuss taste and service. The bartenders are bartenders in the true sense of the word. They understand flavors and know their product well. They make thoughtful recommendations based on your preferences, from the extensive beer list to the colorful cocktail menu. They do not stir up a concoction and add a leaf to it, asking you to choke it down. Rather, they slowly mix ingredients with love, strain any pulp from the fruit, taste each glass they produce, before handing it to you with a smile. This much love in each cup does take a little time, so your patience is appreciated, but you will not be disappointed. Be sure to ask for Desiree; she was not only talented but also pleasant.
Cham- Wow! That was the drink of the hour. It is a mixture of fresh raspberries, citrus, Ketel One and sparkling wine, served in a flute. Again, anyone can mix these ingredients, but remember, the care used at The Corner makes the difference. Watching the preparation is half the fun. The freshness and passion are evident. What blew me away, was that the bartender would triple strain and double taste, until the drink was perfect. Of course, she did so in a sanitary manner. But treating the cocktail so well, turned the bartender into a chef, which is why I was inspired. I enjoyed it so, that I was compelled to order another, but at each occasion, I did not remember to photograph it, before bringing it to my lips. I am sorry but the anticipation was killing me. However, I am sure you will have an idea of the Cham- Wow from the photo provided.
From a cost perspective, the drinks were reasonably priced, considering the taste and care, but I would have paid more if they had asked, in light of my satisfaction. Again, the downside is the wait time required before enjoying each drink; but as I converted the bartender, consider that we wait for gourmet foods, why not also wait a bit for gourmet drinks?