When Drumbar, the rooftop bar at the top of the Gold Coast’s Raffaello Hotel, opened last summer, it didn’t make much of an impact among locals at all—much less serious drinkers. That’s probably because the hotel’s Miami-based ownership placed more of an emphasis on clubby, see-and-be-seen South Beach-style hoo-ha than bringing in regulars who could sustain such a lofty spot in the dead of winter.
That’s really too bad, because not only is the rooftop a gorgeous spot, but the interior of the bar is pretty swell too: dark, comfortable, and clubby in another sort of way—kind of like the Office, the exclusive, subterranean hideaway below the Aviary. So it was rather apt when former Aviary jefe Craig Schoettler took over in November and embarked on a slow but steady rehaul of the beverage program. Things look very promising so far. He’s developed a cocktail list of classic, specialty, and “progressive” Aviary-style cocktails (those are only available Tuesdays and Wednesdays). But what’s even more exciting is the ever-growing depth of the spirits list, which includes some 20 tequilas, 19 gins, 45 bourbons and ryes, and 43 scotches, all available by the glass. Vodka isn’t acknowledged.