A cocktail lounge geared toward thirsty locals is finally opening in the luxurious South of Fifth neighborhood after many delays. The Flat’s extensive menu features 15 to 18 distinctive drinks created by a sprightly Russian who says there will be “something for everyone: savory, sweet, fruity, bitter, tart, spicy, refreshing, and herbaceous.”
Like many modern-day bartenders, Egor Polonskiy refers to himself as a “bar chef” because he manipulates flavors in his drinks as if he were working on a complex dish in a kitchen.
The 26-year-old worked at The James Royal Palm, but is eager to put on a show for his guests at The Flat. Expect to see him behind the bar -- equipped with a pan and fire -- infusing amaretto and cognac with fresh berries and spices for fairly rare flambé cocktails.
You’ll also encounter playful combinations like vanilla and mint in a rum cocktail, truffle and honey in a Pisco Sour, and fresh pineapple dusted with cumin, paprika, chiles, and Himalayan salt. Most of his ingredients are homemade and very interesting. Look for a spicy guanabana puree (marriage of guava and banana), pistachio syrup (like Orgeat, but with pistachios instead of almonds), elderberry jam, and varenie (a Russian, black currant paste).
Polonskiy’s twists on classics include an enchanting “Peach Old Fashioned” with orange peel-infused bourbon and fresh peaches (seasonal, of course); the “Red Square,” a variation of the Clover Club with vodka, a Czech herbal liqueur called Becherovka (think Chartreuse and Jägermeister), vanilla syrup, egg whites and rosemary; and, a rum-based Negroni.
The “Smoked Salmon Caviar Bloody Mary” is worth a visit alone. Polansky uses Alaskan vodka infused with smoked salmon to kick it up a notch and garnishes the drink with a quail egg filled with caviar.
Galena Mosovich is the lead writer for cocktail culture for Miami.com
Smoked Salmon Caviar Bloody Mary at The Flat. Photo: Gary James