This week: The Ultimate Planters Punch at O'Leary's Tiki Bar and Grill
The drink: Rum, orange, pineapple and lime juices, grenadine. A basic tropical cocktail--not too sweet, not particularly strong--made exceptional by the setting. Somehow, the plastic cup makes all the difference.
The bar: One of my favorite spots, not just because it's a serene tropical setting in and of itself, but also because it's right downtown, like Sarasota is saying, "We can aim for urban, but let's not forget our original wonders." The sprawling chickee hut hosts unintrusive live music, and the outdoor tiki bar draws laid-back crowds, but for me the magic lies in the shoreline picnic tables, the crunch of the shell beach and the lap of the waves.
Other notable potables: The specialty cocktail menu spans the gamut of rum/vodka-and-fruit-juices combos, but to be honest, my O'Leary's default order is a pitcher of beer.