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Drink Like a Local - Your Guide to Craft Cocktails in Sarasota

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Written by Tara Caguiat for The Sarasota-Manatee Originals

Some people choose a restaurant based on their cocktail menu over their food menu. If you're one of them, you must visit these restaurants in Sarasota.

Many are known for their cocktails and others have notable cocktail menus that fly under the radar. Either way, when visiting one of these restaurants, you're sure to find a delicious craft cocktail, lovely libation or that necessary nightcap. 

A craft concoction from MADE Restaurant

Avlí Mess Hall

Avlí Mess Hall is one Main Street restaurant you don't want to overlook. Its fresh and airy design welcomes you to a modern establishment that makes daring Mediterranean dishes and delectable cocktails. Plus, they have Happy Hour with fried calamari that's so good, you'll want to order seconds!

The mezcal lovers out there will want to try the "Some Like It Hot"—a craft cocktail with Mezcal Reposado, simple syrup, grapefruit juice, lime and soda. Or, if you're feeling something more tropical, go for "That Party Last Night" that has passion fruit puree, Old Forester Bourbon and Giffard Vanille de Madagascar.

1592 Main St, Sarasota, FL 34236 | 941.365.2234 | avlionmain.com


Bevardi's Salute!

Pasta isn't the only fresh item on the menu at Brevardi's Salute!

This tried and true Italian cuisine stop in Downtown Sarasota has open-air outdoor seating, an impressive wine selection and, of course, craft cocktails. Try a classic Italian aperitif like an Aperol Spritz or keep it simple with a mojito or margarita. And if you want to drink your dessert, a decadent Espresso Salute! Martini should do the trick.

23 North Lemon Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236 | 941-365-1020 | salutesarasota.com


Blasé Bistro & Martini Bar

Blasé Bistro & Martini Bar on Hillview Street is the second establishment opened by Cynthia Breslin, whose slogan is "We know how to throw a party."

The French Mediterranean cuisine restaurant has put considerable effort into their cocktail menu and it shows. Prepare to be seriously torn when you see the menu, you'll want to try each drink! We're torn between the Lavender Martini, Peanut Butter Martini and Blood Orange Margarita.

1920 Hillview Street, Sarasota, FL 34239 | 941.312.6850 | blasebistro.com 

The Bar at Blase Bistro

Brick's Smoked Meats


Head to State Street in Downtown Sarasota if you're in the mood for slow cooked USDA Prime Brisket, pulled pork and a whiskey or tequila cocktail.

Bricks has an attractive Happy Hour offering mouthwatering House Margaritas for only $6 along with small bites like Texas Nachos, ceviche and queso.

1528 State St, Sarasota, FL 34236 | 941.993.1435 | brickssmokedmeats.com


Café Gabbiano


Café Gabbiano is located right in the heart of Siesta Key Village in the Davidson Drugs Plaza, making it perfect for a pre or post-sunset meal.

Their cocktail menu goes above and beyond with three special sections: Craft Cocktails, Bellini Bar and The Mules. Try something different like the Peach & Honey Mule, Basil Martini or Whiskey Limoncello Sour. Yum!

5104 Ocean Boulevard, Sarasota, FL 34242  | 941.349.1423 | cafegabbiano.com


Element: Steak. Seafood. Pasta.

Steak, seafood, pasta and cocktails! Element's cocktail menu has some impressive concoctions and cheeky names to go with them!

"The Church Girl" drink is the perfect balance of sweet and tart with Plymouth Gin, lemon and raspberry. But if you're looking for something on the savory side, the Element Martini fits the bill with Grey Goose, brine and stuffed olives.

1413 Main St, Sarasota, FL 34236 | 941.724.8585 | elementsrq.com


Jack Dusty


The Ritz' first floor restaurant delivers waterfront views, coastal cuisine and otherworldly cocktails—most notably, The Siren. Don't let the $25 price tag put you off, this gift to the world is well worth it!

The goblet-sized drink comes with an vibrant purple orchid ice cube, a cranberry cube and a grapefruit ice cube. Liquor wise, you get a magical blend of Reyka vodka or Hendricks gin with elderflower liqueur, lemon, simple syrup and a prosecco topper.

1111 Ritz Carlton Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236 | 941.309.2266 

The Siren at Jack Dusty

 MADE Restaurant


Get your fill of upscale American comfort food with a craft cocktail to wash it down.

Known for their brunch (with mind-blowing Billionaire Bacon), MADE Restaurant has put real effort into developing a sustainable drink menu. They pull out all the stops with the Umami—a Milagro tequila margarita served over a mezcal, mango and mint-infused ice pop.

1990 Main St #112, Sarasota, FL 34236 | 941.953.2900 | maderestaurant.com


Michael's On East

Michael's On East is known for having one of the best wine programs in Sarasota and lively public wine tastings, so it comes as no surprise that their drink menu has specialty cocktail options.

If you visit the Lounge for Happy Hour, try one of the classics like a Margarita, Brandy Alexander, Manhattan or Old Fashion.

1212 East Avenue South, Sarasota, FL 34239 | 941.366.0007 | bestfood.com


The Overture Restaurant and Gallery Lounge


Peruse artistic masterpieces while you sip on something fancy in Art Ovation Hotel's American restaurant and bar. If you show up solo, pick up a "Right Hand Man"—Maker's Mark Bourbon, Busnel Calvados, golden apple syrup, lemon and cranberry bitters. Or, if you're in the mood to dance, "Feel the Rhythm" is sure to get you moving with 12 Bacardi, lime juice and turmeric-pineapple syrup.

1255 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236 | 941.316.0808


Sage

Housed in a historic Sarasota building, Sage is the new hotspot for an upscale dining experience and—you guessed it—craft cocktails.

Whether you're dining in the restaurant or sipping drinks on the rooftop, Sage's ever present ambiance is sure to delight you. Have a drink for dessert with either the "Lemon Poppy Cake" or "S'more Is Never Enough" cocktails

1216 1st Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 |  941.445.5600 | sagesrq.com


State Street Eating House + Cocktails


Start or end your evening under State Street's golden glow. This Mid-Century style bar and restaurant has craft cocktails that win awards annually! 

Try something classic like a Manhattan or Bramble, or ask the bartender for a creative cocktail suggestion that's not on the menu!

1533 State Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 | 941.951.1533 | statestreetsrq.com

A signature hand crafted cocktail at State Street Eating House + Cocktails


Stay tuned for details on the best places to get craft cocktails in Bradenton, Venice, Longboat Key, Lakewood Ranch and more!...

Article ByTara Caguiat

Swell Copy is a freelance copywriting and content marketing service run by Tara Caguiat. She does everything from writing Facebook ads and email funnels to identifying your brand voice and writing your homepage copy. Shoot her an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check out SwellCopy.com to learn more.

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