December 1, 2016
The Genuine Hospitality Group beverage director Ryan Goodspeed
While on vacation in 2008, Ryan Goodspeed visited Michael's Genuine Food & Drink with friends—and he was so impressed that he applied to work for The Genuine Hospitality Group the next day. Now the company's beverage director, Goodspeed has overseen the bar programs of four restaurants, most recently Restaurant Michael Schwartz inside The Raleigh, where he also tends the hotel's beloved Martini Bar.
He believes in keeping cocktails simple and using locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. "If you're always using the finest produce or spirits, you're going to execute something unique [with just] a few ingredients," Goodspeed explains. Right now he's working a lot with lychees, passionfruit, tamarind, and mangos.
"I really like working with different types of honey, smokey black teas, spices, Panther Coffee cold brew and espresso, syrups, grapefruit juice, and new spirits coming to market or old ones being revived. There's always a hidden combination of flavors to be found," he says.
As far as career path, Goodspeed took big cues from his first mentor, The Plow & Angel Bar's Brett Freeman. "I think the best piece of advice he ever gave me was to stick to restaurant bars." And that advice seems to be catching on throughout South Beach. "The big clubs will always be around, but as awareness for food and drinks grows, so will the craft cocktail scene on Miami Beach. As long as pricing is reasonable, they will come," says Goodspeed.
Currently, you can catch Goodspeed and special guest bartenders every Tuesday night (7-9 p.m.) at The Raleigh Martini Bar. Each week a new guest host introduces an original martini to be added to the Martini Culture Menu. 1775 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
BY LIANA LOZADA
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHELSEA LAUREN