When I tell people - out-of-towners and locals alike - that my favorite classic/craft cocktail bar is in Boynton Beach, I usually get some weird looks. But it's kinda nice having a place to grab the perfect cocktail with friends smack dab in between Palm Beach and Delray, don't you think? That's what Todd, Desi and I did a few weeks back at Sweetwater Bar & Grill.
The place is smallish and cozy, with the lighting set at that just-right-low-level, and the long bar takes center stage, lined with fresh herbs, spices, bitters, shrubs and infusions in hip apothecary style. As soon as you see it, you know you're in for something different.
And when I say different, I mean completely original. This is a true craft cocktail bar, and co-owner/bartender Sean Iglehart is an artist - he's changed the way I think about cocktails, and turned me into a true enthusiast. Fresh foodie-level ingredients, handmade infusions, crazy chemist-like experiments... all of that is going on here, and it's ridiculously inspiring.
And one of the hits on their cocktail menu right now is totally approachable, too: bourbon, tarragon-infused rhum agricole (you know, in case you wanted a history lesson), peach purée and lemon. It's summery, sweet-yet-balanced, easy drinking but still complex and interesting... an easy slide into this world of funky-fresh combinations.
They're even rocking cocktails on tap (the first in the area to do so), making it that much easier to get a drink when it gets busy. I'm personally more partial to the slower, more mellow happy hour vibe, when you have a much better chance at grabbing a front row seat at the bar and seeing Sean work his magic.
The thing I love most, though, is that the menu - for both drinks and food - is always changing. I live for trying new things, and Sweetwater always has my back. Other than the burrata (hand-stretched in house, and beyond fabulous), a staple on the menu, the other dishes we tried this time around were weekly specials: pork belly banh mi and short rib pho. So. Good.
Guys - just go. Big thanks to Todd Good for capturing all the deliciousness!