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Cocaine-themed cocktail causes controversy

One Miami hotel has received backlash for creating a cocktail that features a garnish resembling a bag of cocaine.


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The Standard Spa on Belle Isle, Miami Beach, Florida promises guests a luxury, adults-only experience, with the attached Monterrey Bar offering a range of classic cocktails on its new menu, including a Vesper and a Sazerac.

However, the drink that has caught the most attention, by design, is a speciality of the bar.

Called ‘The Belle Isle Bump’, the drink is a combination of nocheluna sotol (a Mexican spirit), blackberry liqueur, rosemary, lemon and edible glitter. The garnish, attached by a clothes peg, includes a bag of a substance vaguely resembling cocaine (though it appears to be filled with the edible glitter and could arguably also resemble ketamine) and a rolled up piece of paper bearing The Standard’s branding. It costs US$24.

Amy Ronshausen, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation and president of the World Federation Against Drugs, told the drinks business of her view on the novelty cocktail.

“I am deeply troubled by the promotion of a drink that glorifies the destructive impact of cocaine use. It is irresponsible and disrespectful to those who have suffered from addiction and its devastating consequences. Miami should be celebrated for its culture, diversity, and vibrancy, not for promoting harmful substances.”

“This drink not only trivialises a serious issue,” she continued, “but also perpetuates dangerous stereotypes. At a time when our country is suffering the devastating impacts of substance abuse, it’s time to prioritise community health and well-being over shock value and profit.”

Florida is one of the major routes through which cocaine is trafficked into the US. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Interim Report on drugs identified in deceased persons for the first six months of 2022, cocaine caused the second most deaths of any drug (1,230), ahead of methamphetamines (1,088), but below fentanyl (2,744). Drugs-related violence is also an issue in the state, with dealers prepared to kill in order to protect their territory.

db has reached out to The Standard for its response to the criticism of the cocktail.

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