Tampa’s tallest rooftop bar offers smoked cocktails and unreal views

Rendering of The Current Hotel

Rum old fashioned cocktails. Smoked sage elixirs. Luxury cocktails served in rose gold chalices. Welcome to Rox, Tampa’s tallest rooftop bar with views of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater. This inventive bar, with a menu in total dedication to Tampa history, sits atop The Current Hotel. Welcome to paradise, folks.

A smoked rum old fashioned at Rox Bar at The Current Hotel

Local art and flavors on display

The Current Hotel, part of the Autograph Collection, is tailor-made for Tampa’s Rocky Point area. The waterfront hotel gives off serious local boutique vibes. One of the first pieces of art you see when you enter the main lobby is a metal work by the prolific Mark Aeling, who some might know as the sculptor behind the forth coming Rise Monument in St. Petersburg.

We could tout the chic design of the main floor, the local-focused menu at Julian’s, or the stunning ground level views on Rocky Island, but somehow those things aren’t the headliner at this meticulously designed space.

The Lotus Cocktail at Rox Bar at The Current Hotel

A menu inspired by Tampa history

Mixologist Cha and her partner Kim, the duo behind Lucky Elephant Winery, have curated a list of liquors that specific to the history and flavor of Tampa. Cha is everything a mixologist should be: Charismatic, brilliant, and a natural storyteller.

Cha notes that bartending is one of the oldest performance arts in the world. Let’s be clear, your cocktail is a show. Start with the rum old fashioned. A luxurious glass case is set out on the table. After Cha mixes the cocktail, she places it inside the case, and proceeds to light it up.

Cha smoking sage at the Rox Bar at The Current Hotel

Cleansing the bar of bad juju

Smoke billows inside the case until the drink itself is totally submerged in a flavorful mist. The entire process feels made for Instagram. Yes, you can totally pad those social stats here.

My favorite drink is the No Bad Juju. The irresistible nectar is made with Martell Blue Swift Cognac, Taylor Fladgate, 10-year port wine, and Pierre Ferrand dry curacao. I may have been swayed by the scent and process of burning sage, something Cha always does to cleanse any area of bad energy.

Get ready to fall in love with Bumbu Original Rum, and Red Drum Corn Whisky. Cha has sourced as local as she can. The bar features honey from Sarasota, tropical juice from just north of Tampa, and even beloved Buddy Brew Coffee.

Pouring the No Bad Juju Cocktail

Cocktails as works of performance art

From the shimmering rose gold glasses, to the ample cushy seating, Rox may be the best new bar in Tampa. Seriously, you can’t compete with the view.

You can keep up with all of the Instagrammable moments at The Current by following the hotel on Facebook and Instagram.

View from Rox Rooftop Bar at The Current Hotel

The best staycation spot in the city of Tampa

The Current also features a shop curated by Oxford Exchange, offers easy access to the scenic Courtney Campbell Trail, a revolving showcase of Tampa Bay area artists, and a fitness center on the 9th floor.

It’s a new hidden gem on Tampa’s Rocky Point. Who’s ready for a staycation?

The Current Hotel, 2545 North Rocky Point Drive

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Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of thatssotampa.com. Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to info@thatssotampa.com.