Bar Centro, a swanky drinking den from venerable chef José Andrés, takes a playful approach to traditional cocktails. With two locations in Miami—one connected to his South Beach restaurant, the Bazaar; and another inside his Brickell spot, Bazaar Mar—Andrés blends herbs, fruits and vegetables with unique additives, such as salt air and liquid nitrogen, to emphasize presentation and experience as well as flavor.
At Bazaar Mar, inside SLS Brickell (1300 S. Miami Ave., Miami), Andrés’ Key Lime Pie Daiquiri stands out. Each serving, delicately poured into a sleek wine glass, is blended with white rum, Key lime and condensed milk, and then garnished with a generous layer of torch-bruléed meringue.
“We had to find a way to feature Florida’s iconic Key lime pie,” says Miguel Lancha, who works as a cocktail innovator for Andrés’ restaurant company, ThinkFoodGroup. “But we wanted to showcase it in a unique way.”
The mixology team wondered if there was a way to transform a slice of Key lime pie into a frothy drink infused with a spirit. That’s when it clicked—Lancha decided to blend some of a Key lime pie’s ingredi
ents, milk and a concoction of key lime flavoring, with a white rum.
“We chose rum based on the cultural tie that it has to the region, because of its proximity to the Caribbean and popularity in Florida,” Lancha says.
Unlike a classic daiquiri, which is light and flavorful, Bar Centro’s is thicker. With a tart-like texture, the cocktail’s sweet and creamy bruléed top balances the Key lime’s acidity. “The aroma of the freshly torched meringue in contrast with the acidic daiquiri underneath … we just love it,” Lancha says.
Though the cocktail might seem best-suited as an after-dinner treat, customers also prefer it as an after-work pick-me-up. “Our guests enjoy this cocktail at any time of day,” he says.
Key Lime Pie Daiquiri
1½ ounces Plantation 3 Stars rum
¾ ounce Key lime juice
½ ounce condensed milk, room temperature
Key lime peel
Bruléed meringue espuma
Meringue espuma ingredients
½ cup fresh egg whites
½ cup sugar
Meringue espuma directions
Combine ingredients with an immersion hand blender. Pour mixture into a to half-liter mark and seal. Apply one charge of nitrous oxide and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Keep refrigerated and shake before each use.
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker. Express the oils from the Key lime peel onto the ingredients in the shaker and then drop the peel into it. Fill with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled 5½-ounce Nick & Nora or coupe glass. Dispense meringue espuma atop the drink. With a torch, slightly brulée the meringue espuma. Top with Key lime zest.