Radio Bar Celebrates First Anniversary With New Beverage Director, Fall Cocktails
Locals began to notice the giant radio tower in Miami Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood only after a bar popped up next to it. Can you blame us? Miamiams love a good cocktail, and Radio Bar knows how to serve them. The pop-up-turned-permanent-establishment marks a year in December. Along with celebrating an anniversary, Radio Bar has something else to toast to -- new beverage director Alex Renshaw.
Photos by Carla Torres Cynar is Renshaw's best-kept secret.
Renshaw is the beverage director for Menin Hotels and overlooks the beverage program at Chicago's rooftop bar, Drumbar. At Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, which our own Laine Doss covered, he was named one of the "Top 10 Bartenders to Watch."
Renshaw moved to Chicago to pursue comedy after working in sales and quickly realizing the corporate world wasn't for him. He got a job bartending at Sable (its executive chef, Heather Terhune, was a contestant on Top Chef) when he began skipping improv classes to make drinks. He's never looked back.
A true mixologist, Renshaw is a spirits geek. His face lights up with the mention of rum, and his biggest aspiration is to give people an experience. "When you go out to a bar and drink, you're not really leaving with anything tangible," he explains. "The next day, you wake up and realize you spent $100 and you have nothing to show for it, right?" Wrong. "I want people to say, 'That was fucking awesome. I want to go do it again tonight.'"
To accomplish this, his cocktails lean classic. "No drink should have more than five ingredients," Renshaw says. He also likes to drink local, appreciating high-end beers that are usually offered at Radio, but wants to add more local brews, as well as lighter and less expensive options. During a recent weekend in Miami, Renshaw mixed up the new featured cocktail menu at Radio. He'll travel to the Magic City about five times a year to shake things up.
We were lucky enough to catch him on his visit and watch him in action. Here's what we learned: