Owner and Bartender, Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company
John Lermayer is an award-winning bartender best known for his animated personality and enticing cocktails. With two decades of experience, Lermayer has garnered worldwide attention from the cocktail community after working in top nightlife spots in NYC, Miami, and the Hamptons. Hailing from New York, the Miami-based bartender gained global recognition as the mastermind behind the award-winning cocktail menu at The Florida Room at Delano.
In 2004, Lermayer move to Miami to start a position at Morgans Hotel Group hotspot Skybar at Shore Club. During this time, he advanced in regional and national cocktail competitions and participated in the prestigious 42 below Cocktail World Cup held in Queenstown, New Zealand. The competition also served as a landmark experience in Lermayer’s career, allowing access to the world’s top bartenders and serving as new inspiration for his trade.
Lermayer’s natural aptitude for the trade continued to garner attention, and in 2008, he was handpicked by rockstar designer Lenny Kravitz and Morgans Hotel Group Vice President of Nightlife Ben Pundole, to create a cutting edge beverage program for a new nightlife space in the iconic Delano. He took on the blank canvas with fervor creating a beverage program and concept that would become known as The Florida Room, one of the world’s most renowned cocktails bars and entertainment destinations.
2008 marked another highpoint in Lermayer’s career, as he was selected by bartending legend Dale Degroff to participate in the “Bar Chef Challenge” at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. There, Lermayer shocked the cocktail world and took first place, his victory triggering an unprecedented run of cocktail competition awards including the 2009 Canton Bartender of the year, the Hennessey Art of Mixing and the Bols Global Cocktail Challenge to name a few. In 2009, Lermayer was also chosen by the founding members of BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource) to receive the Chuck O'Conner Scholarship. The scholarship was founded by five of the world's leading spirits and cocktails authorities, the BAR program equivalent to a Master Sommelier.
The next couple of years brought other notable achievements with Morgans Hotel Group. Lermayer was selected to create the beverage program for Woodward at the Ames Hotel in Boston as well as Mondrian Soho in NYC. In 2010, he founded John Lermayer LLC to continue to independently consult for the top spirit companies, hotels and venues around the world.
Lermayer received worldwide recognition for The Florida Room, with its nomination in Tales of Cocktail for the World’s Best Hotel Bar of 2010. It was the only bar in the U.S. to be nominated. Florida Room was named one of the top 10 Hotel bars in the world by Food and Wine magazine in December 2011. With his love for champagne, Lermayer became an aficionado of the luxurious spirit that led him to be appointed by Krug Champagne to lead a series of influencer events and form a strong relationship with Francis Ford Coppola.
After a lengthy career with Morgans Hotel Group, Lermayer took on the position Beverage Director at LDV Hospitality’s Regent Cocktail Club at The Gale in 2013. Again Lermayer earned international acclaim for creating the unique drink program and bar concept at Regent. Lermayer continued to be an active member of the global drinks community, often touring the world to guest bartend and conduct seminars.
2015 marked one of the most notable milestones in Lermayer’s career when his dream to open his very own Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Co. in Miami Beach came to fruition. Conceived and operated by Lermayer, Dan Binkiewicz and restaurateur David Martinez, Sweet Liberty brings an intelligent selection of food and drink from sophisticated to simple to downright delicious. Since opening, Sweet Liberty has been featured on Vanityfair.com, CNTraveler.com, Esquire.com, Details.com, and more. In addition, 2015 marked another milestone for Lermayer as he became the first American bartender to participate in the Daquiri King competition at the El Floridita Bar in Cuba since the restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the US.
It is Lermayer’s tireless work ethic that has helped him to bring his neighbors the bar they’ve been asking for, all while maintaining his contributions to the industry. In addition to Sweet Liberty, John is a dedicated father with a passion for travel and life.