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What to Order at Jaguar Sun, a Favorite of Miami Locals

Among the highlights are the Wagyu tartare and the Wolf Whistle—a thick, creamy, tequila espresso martini with vanilla bean and cinnamon

by Terry Zarikian

October 3, 2023

Jaguar Sun / Photo: Courtesy of Ruben Pictures

After moving around several Miami locations, Jaguar Sun has finally settled downtown a block from Biscayne Boulevard, becoming a favorite of not only locals but also connoisseurs from all over the world. Will Thompson—co-founder, creator and brain behind this one-of-a-kind hotspot—worked at Ruka in Boston, where he was named Best Bartender by Boston magazine.

Green Ghoul / Photo: Courtesy of Jaguar Sun

As soon as we found our way through a discreet alleyway, our ebullient hostess, Yessi, escorted us to three lovely barstools. The über-friendly bartender proffered menus with colorful drawings depicting each drink. When my guest Linda tasted the Wolf Whistle—a thick, creamy, tequila espresso martini with vanilla bean and cinnamon—she rolled her eyes, saying, “Oh, my God, this is so delicious.” Jaguar Sun’s most photographed drink, Young Astronaut, a concoction prepared with rums, mango, dry vermouth, lime and ají amarillo, falls into the tropical category, along with Living Dead, cleverly served inside a porcelain skull filled with a mix of clairin, absinthe, passion fruit, hard spices, lime and Tabasco.

When we added bites to eat, we didn’t expect such a high level of cookery. Sliced Hokkaido scallop was dressed in a relish of pickled chayote, scallions and warm spices and served with potent aguachile negro, while pristine oysters came with yuzu kosho (citrus chili, rice vinegar and lemon juice) and pineapple hot sauce.

Food & drink / Photo: Courtesy of Michael Pisarri

We then decamped to a table, where freshly baked warm Parker House rolls arrived with divine, finely hand-chopped Wagyu tartare. The pastas—especially the strozzapreti with mussels, ’nduja (chorizo-like sausage) and brioche bread crumb, and the agnolotti with fresh sweet corn, blue crab, saffron and Marcona almond—left us speechless, registering as unforgettable flavors in our memory.

To end, Will recommended his elevated take on the sbagliato, Jewel Game—mixing Barolo Chinato, Campari, chai, grapefruit cordial and a bubbly red Lambrusco—which pairs perfectly with ice-cream sandwich kouign-amann, a caramel-crusted, buttery, croissant-like bun filled with freshy whipped vanilla ice cream. What a dream!