Tours

Inside The Broken Shaker's Lush On-Site Garden

People in a garden of a bar.
At Broken Shaker in Miami, they put their lush surroundings to full use by planting a community garden, which is enjoyed both as an environment and in cocktail ingredients. Photos by Wendy Rose Gould.

Step onto the Freehand Miami campus and you're instantly transported into a canopied, tropical oasis where the cocktails are fresh and flowing, the food is flavorful enough for any critic, and the stretching, outdoor courtyard is more inviting than even your Nana’s house. Even on the disagreeable day I visited – complete with overcast, drippy skies and borderline oppressive humidity – I was swiftly enchanted by the space.

Chairs in a bar's garden, set against palm trees. Broken Shaker is an oasis in the landscape of loud, high-energy Miami clubs.

Freehand is home to award-winning, “best bar”-list making Broken Shaker, and the equally esteemed 27 Restaurant, located on the Freehand campus in a historic house decorated so spectacularly you forget about the outside world. The bar and restaurant combo is the dreamchild-turned-thriving reality of Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi, who boast over 25 years of industry experience.

A man picking something in a garden. Gabriel Orta (pictured) opened Broken Shaker and 27 Restaurant alongside Elad Zvi, realizing their dreams of having a restaurant and bar in such a vibrant setting.

Chairs in a garden. Broken Shaker's garden is an idyllic respite, whether you're vacationing or you're a local.

To give you a better feel of the space, Broken Shaker and 27 were created by Orta and Zvi with the intention of providing casual, laid-back lounging grounds for Miami visitors and inhabitants. Consider it a getaway, if you will, from the loud, fast-paced, dress-code doused clubs for which Miami is known.

A garden. In the Broken Shaker garden, anything grows — from fruit trees to herbs to vegetables.

Okra growing. Picture perfect okra can be found in Broken Shaker's garden and enjoyed in some of 27 Restaurant's dishes.

I went with the mission of touring the impressive onsite garden. With Orta as my guide, we picked, plucked and tasted various ingredients, ranging from fragrant pea flowers to hibiscus-cranberry leaves to mango trees, passion fruit trees, mulberry trees, plush herb splays and picture-perfect okra. Orta talked me through everything – thoroughly vetted in every single item growing on his campus – and shared the ways he uses them in his bitters, syrups, juices and restaurant plates.

Plants in a garden. The garden's bounty is used for everything from shrubs, to syrups, to juices and garnishes.

We then wandered into Broken Shaker, where Orta crafted an on-the-spot cocktail from some of our garden findings. The drink consisted of cranberry-hibiscus leaves, kaffir limes, gin, lemon juice, freshly pressed watermelon and a pea flower for garnish.

Flowers and leaves in a small dish. Orta picks cranberry-hibiscus leaves and pea flowers to create beautiful cocktails.

A cocktail garnished with many greens and flowers. Bartender Gabriel Orta will whip up cocktails on the spot from the bar's verdant garden. This one contains cranberry-hibiscus leaves, kaffir limes, gin, lemon juice, freshly pressed watermelon and a pea flower garnish.

Freehand Miami is located at 2727 Indian Creek Drive, Miami Beach, Florida, 33140. If you can’t make it to the beach, Orta and Zvi have another space located in Chicago.

A mango hanging from a tree. Imagine mango juice that isn't just fresh-squeezed — it's also grown in the bar's garden.

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