Boynton Beach’s Sweetwater Bar and Grill, one of the cool off-the-beaten-path treasures of the South Florida cocktail scene, will vastly expand its scope of entertainment this Saturday when DJ Mike “Jetsetter” Jones spins some out-of-this-world “retro-active” tunes.
“Sweetwater Goes Swankadelic” starts around 9 p.m. and will likely continue into the wee hours at the small, year-old speakeasy on Federal Highway, just south of Woolbright Road. Sweetwater’s classic and inventive cocktails and decadent small-bites menu have garnered rave reviews from many critics, including The Palm Beach Post and New Times.
Liz Balmaseda wrote in The Post in early June that Sweetwater “exalts its boozy identity, wraps itself up in a speakeasy aesthetic, and defies its unexpected location in a Boynton Beach plaza. Yes, rarely thrilling Boynton Beach is home to Sweetwater Bar & Grill, one of the county’s funkiest bars.” She praised the “fresh and wild infusions, barrel-aged rum, mad assortment of bitters and homemade syrups, extensive craft beer menu and nicely curated wine list.”
In a “Cocktail Culture” feature last November, Nicole Danna of New Times also praised the bar’s “arsenal of bitters, house-made infusions, specialty liqueurs, fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables. … Basically, this isn’t your average bar – and these aren’t your average drinks. Instead, prepare for authentic classic craft cocktails brought to you by bartender Sean Iglehart.”
Sweetwater also captured the New Times “Best of 2012” award for “Best Predinner Drinks,” announced in June. The article said Sweetwater’s “handcrafted cocktails are among the finest around,” adding: “Allow yourself the time and peace of mind to savor one (or three).”
Iglehart has created an array of classic-inspired cocktails with a modern twist. He has a passion for gin and whiskey, but the rum and tequila drinks we’ve tasted are just as inventive and well-crafted. The Skinny Dip (rum with fresh ginger and lime) is outstanding, and the Mexican Cockfight (tequila and mezcal with grenadine, lime, black peppercorn and tabasco) will sizzle your taste buds.
Sweetwater uses only the finest gins, and the house-infused bourbons give the cocktails a unique spin. The pecan-infused Pralinato and bacon-infused Old Fashioned as classy, inventive drinks featuring lots of bold flavors. Iglehart has just returned from the Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans, so he might have some new tricks up his sleeve for Saturday’s bash. Fellow bartender Vince Agro is just as adept behind the stick. Try one of Vince’s creations, such as the delicious and naughty Fudgepacker, made with walnut fudge-infused Johnny Walker Red Label and chocolate mint.
After more “research” at Saturday’s event, The Atomic Grog will have a full review of Sweetwater’s eclectic menu, including many great food options. The beer and wine selection is also top-notch, so there’s definitely something for everyone at this clever and creative eatery. Plus, Jones is just as clever with his musical mix, mashing up classic punk and new wave with lounge, surf and exotica. And if you work up an appetite on the dance floor, we’re told the kitchen is open late.
Sweetwater Bar & Grill is at 1507 S. Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, in the Las Ventanas development. Free parking garage directly behind the bar. Call (561) 509-9277.
Official sites: Sweetwater33.com | Facebook