Next up is American Social Bar & Kitchen, which is on the opposite end of the size spectrum. The Harbour Island location for this Fort Lauderdale-founded upscale sports bar and restaurant is the largest of our featured triad, but AmSo Tampa takes advantage of its waterfront property with picturesque views of downtown, four full bars and high-energy atmosphere.
I visited with the intention of spotlighting a different recipe. However, AmSo bartender Antasia Perez — an advocate of what’s known as the Grey Line — talked me into trying her favorite option on the menu. And I’m glad she did.
As the bar’s most popular cocktail, the Grey Line puts a host of fresh ingredients and vodka at center stage to pull off a light, refreshing drink that’s the perfect accompaniment to sitting on the open-air patio, sipping the afternoon away. How much more Florida can you get?
A quick glance at the other mixed creations on the beverage bill will tell you that AmSo has an emphasis on easy-drinking cocktails. But judging by the two pieces of charred wood I saw behind the bar, another beloved drink here is the smoked Old Fashioned. For a bourbon buff like me, that alone has sealed the deal for visit No. 2.
Well, that and the Gruyère toast.
2 basil leaves
2 cucumber slices
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1 1/2 ounces vodka (Grey Goose)
1/2 ounce St-Germain
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Splash soda water
Add basil, cucumber and blackberry into a cocktail shaker and gently muddle. Add ice, simple syrup, vodka, St-Germain and lemon juice, then shake. Strain into a highball glass with fresh ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with basil and a cucumber wheel.