It is with great sadness that we report one of our very own Chilled 100 family members, John Lermayer, has passed away.
He was 45. As the news spread via social media to bartenders, barbacks, bar owners, and patrons who knew him, our hearts broke.
Lermayer was named Best Bartender in 2015 by The New Times and was featured in their magazine two years later. They reported that, as a slinger of drinks, Lermayer took advantage of his opportunities and lived life to the fullest. He told them he experienced everything from crafting cocktails at the White House to enjoying sherry in the private gallery of a Spanish distiller.
A veteran bartender and world renowned mixologist, Lermayer spent his amazing career doing what he did best, which was smiling, being friendly, and making drinks that wowed his patrons. Lermayer got his start in New York when the mixology trends were just coming around.
In 2004, Lermayer moved to Miami Beach and began working at Skybar at Shore Club. Two years later he teamed up to work with Willy Shine at BED, and in 2008, rocker Lenny Kravitz chose Lermayer to create a signature cocktail for the Florida Room with the intention of bringing life back to Delano’s basement.
Over the span of his impressive career, Lermayer left us some knowledgeable mentees who have taken their training from him to create some amazing mixology and go on to have successful bar careers themselves. He enjoyed traveling to promote his brand of spirits that focused on the ways cocktails were made long before Prohibition.
His biggest achievement, arguably, was in 2015 when he and David Martinez of Michy’s, and Dan Binkiewicz of Purdy Lounge and Blackbird Ordinary, created Sweet Liberty, a place where Miami residents and tourist alike could find a world-class cocktail and American-themed food. Sweet Liberty was voted one of the 50 Best Bars and Playboy’s Best Bars in 2016.
“John was the most wonderful man I knew. He was the most positive, loving person.”
– Dan Binkiewicz
Lermayer leaves behind a son, Radek. A GoFundMe page has been set up as a college fund for Lermayer’s son.