At Ace Bartending's 40-foot bar, ice clinks against glasses and prospective mixologists chatter during hands-on courses. Instructors wax informational about the history and production of liquor before outlining state and municipal legal requirements for serving alcohol or distributing liquor to horses. As students progress, they migrate to eight functional bartending stations that feature working carbon dioxide lines, and lessons feed hungry brains tidbits of information on the use of glassware and garnishes to craft a beverage with fitting aesthetic appeal. The curriculum bounds across a bubbling, colorful rainbow of 200 different drinks and recipes.
In addition to hands-on demonstrations and role-playing exercises, courses hand down lessons on how to land a job as a bartender and give tips for job interviews. The classroom's walls, like those of a real bar, are crowded with colorful bottles, lit by crackling neon beer signs, and held together by flyers for bands seeking bassists.
Though it’s a national brand with locations sprinkled across 14 states, Chevys Fresh Mex doesn’t succumb to shortcuts at any of its restaurants. The expert chefs at each eatery gather together fresh ingredients to prepare the entire menu from scratch, whether they’re infusing chicken enchiladas with chipotles or simmering fragrant cauldrons of their homemade tortilla soup. Even though this hands-on approach harkens back to the foundations of Mexican culinary traditions, chefs also give each dish a contemporary twist—tacos meet flavorful drizzles of chipotle aioli, slow-roasted carnitas mingle with fresh oranges and lemons alongside fajita platters. Meanwhile, bartenders engage in serious agave innovation with top-shelf margaritas in flavors such as prickly pear and spicy mango.
Cinco Cantina & Tequila Bar's agave-savvy staff pours artisan tequilas at a bar softly lit by punched-tin lanterns. Duos or quartets of tasters sample three shots of blanco, anejo, and reposado tequilas crafted in small batches by respected distillers such as Don Julio and Tres Generaciones. Spiced chips surf creamy waves of classic guacamole between sips as patrons strain to overhear salsa-themed knock-knock jokes whispered by brightly colored masks on the walls.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, The Globe's CubaLibre Block Party electrifies the streets with Cuban flair as attendees savor creative cocktails, exotic street food, hand-rolled cigars, and plenty of dancing. From the main stage of the festival, Cuban-born, Miami-raised trio Los 3 de la Habana headlines, playing music for the crowds. The band plays rousing tunes such as the sweeping power ballad “Donde esta el Amor” and the thumping “No te pases de la Raya.” Edwin Bonilla y Su Son will also perform to create more traditional, though no less danceable, melodies. Elsewhere, partiers can take in a salsa lesson and demo, or watch a special tribute to Cuban piano legend Bebo Valdes.
At Open Stage Club, visual and auditory delights share the bill with gustation and olfaction to create an extrasensory dining experience. At first glance, it's a restaurant and bar, with a menu loaded with seafood and steak house-worthy entrees, and a wine selection that seems plucked from a sommelier's dreams. But the star attraction of the club is the talent that blossoms upon its performance stage. Equipped with a professional sound and lighting system and featuring a house band for backup, the open stage draws burgeoning singers, dancers, comedians, and mimes into the spotlight to chase their muses as audiences offer encouragement and friendly critiques.
Last Call Pub Crawls? party-savvy guides steer revelers through lively city neighborhoods, stopping at esteemed watering holes along the way. The guides chart courses by strolling the predetermined route to ensure that bars are conveniently spaced apart and not tended by puritan librarians. Once the path is set, they invite explorers to embark with them on the tours, built around themes such as masquerades and drinking around the world, or set in distinct neighborhoods such as Brickell and Espa?ola Way. Each tour lavishes guests with half-off bar tabs and free shots at every stop on the crawl. Some venues may choose to enforce a dress code, so Last Call recommends that crawlers avoid sandals or shorts. Last Call brings photographers along for the ride to document the happenings of progressively hazy evenings and provide guests with new photos to attach to their resumes.