Classic restaurant shows its wild side with a new candy-garnished cocktail
Looks can be deceiving at Villa Azur (309 23rd St., Miami Beach). Inside, the French-Mediterranean restaurant exudes the luxury of a château, with its Victorian design and neutral palette, ornate chandeliers and tufted scroll-arm sofas. But outside on the patio, when the sun goes down, the party begins.
Bar manager Carlos Ramos managed to capture its essence in a new cocktail: the Bon Bon St-Germain Spritz.
“We came up with the idea because we wanted to do a spritz with a French ingredient, but we don’t want to lose the fun part of Miami,” he says.
Prosecco makes it a spritz. St-Germain, an elderflower liqueur, makes it French. Cotton candy makes it fun.
“It kind of looks like Villa Azur,” he says. “The cotton candy at the end is fun in the middle of dinner. It’s different.”
Originally, Ramos considered garnishing the cocktail with strawberries, “but that’s boring,” he says. Instead, inspired by the boom in avant-garde mixology, he went in the opposite direction. The idea, Ramos explains, is to eat the cotton candy first, but you can let it melt into the drink, which also features fresh lemon juice and strawberry puree.
“It’s not too sweet,” he notes. “The sweetest part is going to be the cotton candy at the end, of course.”
Three other spritzes were introduced with the Bon Bon St-Germain: the Queen Mary (fresh papaya, lemon juice, Moët & Chandon Rosé Champagne, Mancino Rosso vermouth), Italian Spritz (Aperol, Prosecco, olive juice, soda) and Mykonos Spritz (Skinos Mastiha, lemon juice, fresh basil, orange, Prosecco).
Soon, he’ll try to quadruple the enjoyment—Ramos says he hopes to serve the Bon Bon as a drink for four in a large margarita glass.
“It’s kind of funny for us,” he says. “We’re a classic restaurant, and the people are having fun at the table, dancing. [Bon Bon] St-Germain is part of the face of Villa Azur.”
Bon Bon St-Germain Spritz
2 ounces St-Germain
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce strawberry puree
Shake well and strain into a wine glass. Top with Prosecco and garnish with cotton candy.