The Ritz-Carlton brand is often considered the premiere luxury destination. And Ritz-Carlton South Beach takes that to the next level. Nestled in the heart of one of the country’s best nightlife scenes, Ritz-Carlton South Beach is the perfect destination for foodies, travelers, wanderlusters, cocktail connoisseurs and everyone in between. CELEB takes a look at Ritz-Carlton’s top-of-the-industry cocktail and cuisine scene and we speak to the head bartender Vincenzo “Enzo” Cangemi about his thoughts on cocktail trends and more.
Ritz-Carlton South Beach Cocktail Scene
When you find yourself in the heart of Miami, you’ll probably be on the hunt for a cool and refreshing drink. Cocktails are perfected to an art form in the Southern coastal city, and hospitality venues compete for who can provide the best options and most unique flavors. Ritz-Carlton South Beach has managed to harness the energy of Miami’s cocktail scene and has created their own interpretation of what makes a beautiful cocktail atmosphere, at three venues: Lapidus Bar, the Lobby Bar, and Fuego y Mar.
At Lapidus, guests will step in and feel transported back to the 1920’s and 1930’s. A classic, elegant atmosphere with craft cocktails designed to entice, it’s the perfect combination of formal and relaxed, an ideal place to kick up your feet at the end of a long day of fun in the sun. Lapidus takes a creative and innovative approach to a vibrant and dynamic cocktail menu that includes vintage cocktails, tableside cocktail presentations and a live music lineup fit to compete with any venue in Miami.
However, they’re not content at being the best with just cocktails. On January 18, a brand-new restaurant opened at Ritz-Carlton South Beach and it’s definitely a dinner you won’t want to miss. The Bagatelle brand is known for their “joie de vivre” approach to French cuisine, and now they’ve brought that vibe to South Beach. It’s a combination of French-Mediterranean bites with the energy of South Beach, and yes – you’ll find more delectable cocktails.
Enzo’s Thoughts on Cocktail Trends
With everything going on in South Beach’s cocktail scene, we wanted to sit down with an expert and find out what they think about Miami’s future. Ritz-Carlton South Beach head bartender Cangemi first discovered a love of mixology at a house party. Cangemi’s first foray into mixology was a bit of a disaster – he combined spirits into an interesting but unpalatable potion and that could have been the end of that hobby. However, Cangemi was fascinated and decided to learn more – to the benefit of all cocktail lovers who pass through Ritz-Carlton South Beach. Because without that spark and drive to improve, Ritz-Carlton wouldn’t have his expert hands on the helm, offering Miami’s finest cocktail selections.
Cangemi grew up in the picturesque region of Messina, Sicily, and he brings his childhood flavors into the drinks he crafts. Once he decided to pursue mixology, Cangemi learned the craft at the Italian Association of Bartenders School (AIBES) while earning a degree in Tourism and Hospitality at the University of Messina. Cangemi has spent time learning and perfecting the craft in Scotland, Spain, Italy, Beverly Hills and Manhattan – bringing a literal world of knowledge together to bear at Ritz-Carlton South Beach.
An award-winning mixologist and industry leader, Cangemi shared some thoughts with us about cocktail trends in South Beach. Cangemi has noticed that in the wake of COVID, bartenders are getting extra creative with the tools of the trade. “What I’m seeing is a lot of twists to classic cocktails. Bartenders are adding new ingredients to classic drinks, and the flavor profiles are exploding. It’s a case of traditional flavors meets modern techniques.”
Cangemi elaborates; “For example, lately there is a trend of smoking cocktails and classics, like old fashions. So a lot of brands listened to the suggestions of bartenders and made little smoke tools for us to play with, it’s something that was not even in the market before. You just slap these little things on top of your glass, and it creates smoke cocktails. With this modern technique, it’s very easy to apply. Everybody can look like he’s an expert.”
Cangemi does have a favorite spirit to work with: Mezcal, but he also has a fondness for Scotch Whisky. And he does have a prediction about the trends he expects to keep growing: “Bartenders around the world are creating their own brands. And Amador is very popular in the US right now along with Mezcal. And that will probably take off in the US.”
Cangemi also sees a rise in the low-ABV (alcohol by volume) drinks, and alcohol-free “mocktails.” South Beach is the epicenter of the cocktail scene, and likely to grow. As Cangemi points out, there’s a lot of influence from New York coming to Miami as Northerners head south for the Winter. Combine that with the fact that Miami is already the heart of US nightlife and growing every day – and you have a vibrant and ever-changing cocktail scene that could be shaping the country’s cocktail future.
Ritz-Carlton South Beach
It all comes together at Ritz-Carlton South Beach, which has been reimagined inside of a historic Miami building. A breathtaking destination in an already beautiful location, the Ritz-Carlton is one of the finest and most sought-after hotels in Miami. With uninterrupted views of the blue-green Miami waters and sugar-sand beaches, Ritz-Carlton’s luxury extends from front to back, and floor to ceiling. Here are some things to know when planning your stay at Ritz-Carlton South Beach:
- Rooms: Options include 58 poolside lanai rooms, 41 suites and 67 Ritz-Carlton Club-level rooms and suites.
- Spa: The Ritz-Carlton South Beach Spa offers the nation’s only Timeless Capsule, along with a wide array of holistic treatments designed to rejuvenate, relax and maximize wellness.
- Ritz-Carlton Club Level: South Beach’s only VIP lounge, the club offers a private oceanfront lounge along with personal services and five complimentary dining and drink presentations a day.
- Ritz Kids Programming: This fun program celebrates Rosie the Elephant, Miami Beach Founder Carl Fisher’s baby elephant who hearkens back to the early days of the city.
- Fuego y Mar: Locally-sourced dishes that focus on Miami’s unique blend of Latin American and Caribbean cultures.
- DiLido Beach Club: The only beachfront luxury lounge in the area, DiLido offers light eats and creative cocktails. During full moons, guests can attend a Full Moon party complete with tiki cocktails, live music and fire dancers.
There are few cities in the world with the vibe and electric nightlife of Miami. At Ritz-Carlton South Beach, you can be both deeply immersed in the nightlife and far enough removed to be relaxed. Sip cocktails as you gaze out over the ocean or go exploring around the beautiful property; it’s all there to enjoy. To plan and book your stay at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach and learn more about their dining and cocktail programs, visit the website.