The New Classic
What’s old can be new at Town Kitchen & Bar
No matter how many turns the world makes, we always go back to the classics—sometimes to the point of stubbornness, something that bartender Rayne Butler is all too familiar with.
“A lot of people are very stuck in the norm. You have to get them outside the box,” she says. “You have people very set in their ways with their cocktails. I’m the type of bartender who likes you to try something new.”
But new doesn’t have to mean entirely different. For Butler, head bartender at Town Kitchen & Bar (7301 S.W. 57th Court, South Miami), it’s slight changes to classic cocktails.
“There’s definitely a lot of bars across Miami—competition that likes to come up with these ‘poufy’ drinks,” she says. “My direction with the cocktails is, I love to put Rayne’s twist on them. An old-fashioned, I’ve made it the new-fashioned. The Cosmo—a little floater of Champagne goes a long way. Just tiny tweaks—that’s what has them coming back.”
Case in point: the Miami Mule, the Pinecrest resident’s take on the Moscow Mule, which traditionally is served in a copper mug.
“When one goes out, literally 10 more are going to be pushed through the bar,” she says. “I can’t take all the credit for the taste because the glass is what really promotes that cocktail.”
While keeping the basic ingredients of vodka, lime juice and ginger beer, Butler adds a Miami flavor: blood orange, which she included as much for aesthetics as for taste.
“With the blood orange, I feel it’s sweeter when I muddle it compared to a classic orange, or a clementine or tangerine,” she says. “Basically, I think it’s the prettiest one of the orange family, so that’s why I chose that one.”
More Miami comes through in other additions: orange-flavored Cointreau and orange vodka.
“I didn’t want to veer too far with a new, crafty, snobby cocktail,” Butler says. “Just a classic cocktail with a Miami twist on it.”
Butler plans to introduce the cocktail at HOUSE, the new restaurant from Town’s owners, which opens this month at 180 Aragon Ave. Though it will be a new location, Butler’s twists will stay the same.
“The vodkas are coming out with all these flavors,” she says. “I don’t like to go that route.”
The Miami Mule
2 ounces Ketel One Oranje
1 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
2 slices of blood orange
3 mint leaves
Shake ingredients. Pour into copper mug. Top with floater of ginger beer. Garnish with mint leaves and blood orange.