Rubytini pier 22 spirits ufxmzw

This week: The Ruby-tini at Bradenton's Pier 22

The drink: Deep Eddy brand's "Ruby Red," a particularly grapefruit-y grapefruit vodka, plus grapefruit juice and triple sec. The bitter-tartness of all that grapefruit emphasizes the sweet orange of the triple sec, striking a lovely, decidedly citrus balance.

The bar: A long stretch of marble backed by a couple of high-res TVs (usually tuned to ESPN). There's overflow seating in an area that doubles as a waiting area for diners, but a seat at the bar is certainly the best option--and those can be at a premium during peak hours in the early evening. It's not fancy-fancy, but let's call it "fancier than casual."

Food: You bet. Pier 22's menu spans steak to sushi, and there's a variety of small plates options--flat breads, calimari, seared tuna--that make for great bar bites. 

Other notable potables: Grapefruit fans will also want to try the Ruby Fizz, which combines that same Ruby Red vodka with champagne. Other specialty cocktails incorporate peach- or sweet tea-flavored vodkas, plus your usual bloody Mary/margarita/mule options.

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