Clarke's: Just Your Neighborhood Joint With Classic Cocktails, Great Food

Categories: Booze Hound
All photos by Laine Doss
Clarke's Rob Montero makes a monkey gland.
Clarke's in SoFi is so deceptively simple looking from the outside, if you don't give it a good long look, you might glance over it as just another Irish pub. That's not to say Irish pubs aren't great. I've spent many evenings downing pints and chowing down on grub -- it's just that I don't think of them when I think of a carefully made sazerac. I now stand corrected.

Read Also: Watch Clarke's Robert Montero Win the Marie Brizard USA Cocktail Challenge

It started when I saw a recent Facebook posting by one of Miami's mixologists. Robert Montero sent out an invite for his new "classic Saturdays". Each week, two "classic" cocktails are presented -- and by "classic" Montero really means "rarely served in Miami". When I stopped by, the cocktails presented were the Vieux Carre and the filthy Bombay monkey gland. Though I've had more than a few Vieux Carres in my day, I have never tried a monkey gland. As always, when a good cocktail calls, I'm compelled to answer.

Monkey Gland -- blush colored cocktail of flappers and mad scientists.
The monkey gland is a gin-based blush-colored drink, made with orange juice and an Pernod rinse, topped with a Filthy cherry. It's the kind of cocktail that you can picture Zelda Fitzgerald getting snockered on. According to legend, Harry McElhone of Harry's New York Bar in Paris invented the drink, naming it after some rather shocking experiments that involved grafting monkey testicles onto human ones as a way to cure impotency (long before Viagra, obviously).

The Vieux Carre, named after its birthplace, the French Quarter.
The Vieux Carre, named after New Orleans' French Quarter, is a potent cocktail made of rye, cognac, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, Peychaud's bitters and Angostura bitters. Created in the 1930s at the Monteleone Hotel, one of the few hotels in the world designated as a literary hotel because of the number of famous authors who slept (and drank) there.

Location Info

Clarke's - CLOSED

840 First St., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

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