The Showman

To Michael Lassandro, bartending is like being a magician, putting on a show and making something new appear every time he does one of his “tricks” at Toro Toro inside InterContinental Miami.
Words by Sandy Lindsey | Photos by Edward Leal | March 30, 2019 | Lifestyle

Michael Lassandro of Toro Toro stepped behind the bar for the first time a few years ago when he moved to Miami to finish his Master’s in Architecture. “At that point I was a barback with zero experience and only trying to make ends meet,” he says. Less than a year later, he was promoted to bartender and immersed himself in the experience. After he graduated, it had become apparent that he enjoyed using his skills in design more and more toward the crafting of cocktails, one-of-kind presentations and physically building functional bars themselves, as seen in his signature drink, Ahumado. “The spicy boldness of the mezcal represents the deep Latin influence in the food and ambiance at Toro Toro,” he says. “I created this cocktail for each guest to enjoy the experience of how flavors build as the blood orange ice cube slowly melts. It makes me happy to see guests’ emotions change along with the drink, it’s truly something special to witness.” He receives strong support from the InterContinental Miami, who encourages his interest in the history that is embedded into so many of the wines, cordials and spirits the restaurant carries. When he’s not behind the bar, this multi-talented barman spends his time working on LassandroDesign, the craft design & build company he started last year that focuses on design work in the concept stage as well as the construction side of purpose and space-specific furniture and built-in units;

2 oz. Del Maguey Vida
1/2 oz. Solerno Blood Orange
1/2 oz. Agave
2 small strips Bell pepper 
1/3 oz. Lime Juice 
Jalapeño Blood Orange Ice Cube