The Sips of Summer
Put a mango in your mojito. And, while you’re at it, skip the rum and break out the sake. A Mango Sake Mojito? Domo arigato. Lan’s executive chef/proprietor Lan Bradeen uses fresh mango and mint for a bracing new take on this cool Cuban favorite. Like any great invention, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it. 1568 Main St., Sarasota; (941) 953-7111.
It’s smooth. It’s cold. It’s worth the brain freeze. The Tropical Blast smoothie at Simon’s Coffee House is truly a blast—an ice-chilled concoction of pineapple juice, strawberries, mango and banana. Did we mention it’s healthy? Pour this vitamin-filled delight (for a calcium fix, add a splash of yogurt) into a tall, cold glass and you’ll be the master of Sarasota’s dog days. 5900 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; (941) 922-2500.
Stay cool as a cucumber with Derek's Culinary Casual’s Cucumber and Mint Champagne Cocktail. This invigorating aperitif is an inviting blend of puréed cukes, rosemary syrup, mint leaves, a sugar cube and some dry, blissful bubbly. Sip slowly to transform a scorching summer evening into a balmy, beautiful night. 514 Central Ave., Sarasota; (941) 366-6565.
Give cava the cred it deserves. Spain’s sparkling wine bubbles with its own crisp character; it’s not the poor man’s champagne. Cava fans will enjoy MoZaic’s popular Oasis cocktail.Its base isrosé cava, ingeniously enhanced with a splash of pomegranate syrup. Served in, bien sur, a champagne flute with a sprig of mint, this fruity, fragrant and light concoction delights nose and palate and goes perfectly with appetizers or dessert. 1377 Main St., Sarasota; (941) 951-6272.
The Atlantico Rum Punch at Cork packs a punch to please any pirate. Ron Atlantico’s Private Cask, from the Dominican Republic, is a blend of supreme small-batch aged rums. This rich, mellow nectar is served on ice with fresh orange, pineapple and cranberry juices, a splash of coconut rum and a little vanilla liqueur. Here be chilled treasure, my matey. 29 N. Boulevard of Presidents, Sarasota; (941) 388-2675.
If you can’t stand the heat, pop in for a traditional Italian soda at Cosimo's Too. To seriously boost your chill factor, try the Pomegranate and Apple Sparkling Italian Soda. It’s a tangy, bubbly rush of sparkling water, apple and pomegranate juices, with all sorts of healthy antioxidants along for the ride. If you crave a more adult taste, a dash of Cavalli vodka will make it grow up in a hurry. 8201 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; (941) 927-3800.
Saint-Germain-des-Pres is the quintessential Left Bank Parisian neighborhood where the post-war intellectuals used to (and may still) discuss being and nothingness. Think Café de Flore, bright chatter, pungent Gauloises smoke and the St. Germain Cocktail, an elegant fluted affair of champagne, St. Germain liqueur (a light, fragrant nectar distilled from elderflowers) and a splash of Perrier. Now you can find this quintessential French cocktailat Suzette Café, a traditional French creperie and bistro. Salut! 23 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota; (941) 487-8393.
Everyone out of the water! A Shark Bite Hurricane has been spotted at Siesta Key’s Daiquiri Deck. Bar manager Thomas Roesicke invented this chilly blue wonder that turns blood-red in front of your eyes. How? Imagine a tall hurricane glass filled with Stoli vodka, Bacardi Limon and blue Curacao—as blue as the Gulf on a calm sunny day. Then—presto!—a dash of red grenadine turns your placid drink into something bloody exciting. 5250 Ocean Blvd., Sarasota; (941) 346-1664.
For high-octane caffeination, get a jolt of the Naked Bean Frap at The Naked Bean Coffee Bar located inside Village Bikes in Lakewood Ranch. This killer iced frappuccino offers a double shot of espresso for that energy boost to keep you in the race. It’s made with milk and vanilla syrup and can be customized with mocha chocolate and/or caramel syrup for an extra sweet edge. 6283 Lake Osprey Drive, Sarasota; (941) 907-2995.
The Old Fashioned is a classic favorite, and at The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort’s Monkey Room Bar, it’s also a classy way to beat the heat. Bourbon, of course, is the solid base, but the Colony’s mixologists add a delightful dose of Poire William (pear eau-de-vie), muddled fresh pears, a dash of Angostura bitters and a splash of lemon. Served in an Old Fashioned glass with ice and garnished with skewered cherries, this tropical take on a timeless cocktail proves that classics never really go out of fashion. 1620 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key; (941) 383-6464.