Hand Crafted Cocktails & Sunsets at Zota Beach Resort

Hand Crafted Cocktails and Sunsets at Zota Beach Resort

Imagine sitting on a beautiful second floor open air space overlooking a stunning sunset and a gorgeous beach. You hear the waves rushing in, feel a cool breeze and watch the sun go down. At the newest hotel to open on Longboat Key, Florida you don’t have to imagine any of that… it’s a reality served up every night along with amazing craft cocktails!

Welcome to Viento Kitchen + Bar at the Zota Beach Resort on Florida’s Gulf Coast. During a media dinner, we had the opportunity to not only try several craft cocktails, but some of their favorite dishes they serve. The drive from our house seemed far – yes, you get really lazy living in Sarasota – but it only took about 30 minutes from downtown Sarasota area and was well worth it.

The evening started with the Zota Mary (which we skipped since neither of us like tomato juice), the Zota-rita, and the Blueberry Mojito. They claim to “press” their drinks, which got an interesting conversation going on what that meant. According to their publicist the term “pressed” refers to pressing fresh fruits and vegetables to make all their juices in-house. We did a little more digging and spoke to banquet manager Joshua James who elaborated on the process for us.

“Pressed refers to what we do. Which is a combination of muddle and press. We take the fruit and cut it in half and have a device to squeeze together to bring the juices out, but we also muddle it with the skin of the fruit on'” said James.  “When you only squeeze fruit you don’t get the bits of the skin that has great flavoring. The extra effort brings out more flavors.”

Working with fresh fruit always makes a difference. But the extra effort of “pressed” definitely made that extra difference. Both drinks we tried were amazing and featured Bacardi rums.

The ZOTA-RITA was made with Bacardi Coconut Rum, Sauza Signature Blue 100% Agave Tequila, pineapple juice, margarita mix, and garnished with lime and fruit. There was a hint of spiciness to it that made it a truly unique and enjoyable craft cocktail. They rim the cup with a herb salt seasoning. According to James, sometimes the chef adds pepper, sometimes celery salt, or other ingredients.


The BLUEBERRY MOJITO was made with Bacardi Superior Rum, fresh lime, mint, blueberries, simple syrup, and topped with soda. Because the blueberries are so small, they use a straight muddle on this. They garnish with whole blueberries that soak up the drinks flavors for a perfect snack at the end of the drink.

BLUEBERRY MOJITO at Zota Beach Resort

The food was served family style so we got to taste a variety of things. Robert’s favorite items included the Zota Crab Cakes and the Grilled Filet. Mine was the Zota Salad and Lobster Ravioli (think giant chunks of lobster… YUM!). I apologize to those on the other end of the table who didn’t get to try the Zota Salad. Our side kind of devoured it before realizing it was one big plate to pass along. Whoops! Luckily, the staff made up some more.  On paper, the Zota salad seems like a seemingly normal salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, candied pecans, etc. They must have some magic ingredients in the lemon vinaigrette that forced us to have more than one serving!

We also got to try Caymus 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon. Apparently it is a big deal that they are the only place to serve this wine by the glass. By no means are we wine connoisseurs but holy cow! This stuff is fabulous! I wouldn’t do it justice trying to explain. You’ll just have to try it yourself. It retails for $75 at Total Wine so it’s good you can go to Zota for a glass before making that kind of investment.
Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon

All in all, Zota Beach Resort is a new place to not only drink and eat, but stay for the weekend. The rooms are new, the setting is spectacular, and the service is extraordinary. Plus, James said we must come back for the bacon. It’s worth the visit just for that he says. Sounds like we need to make sure really soon!

Here’s some scenes from Zota:

  • Hand Crafted Cocktails and Sunsets at Zota Beach Resort
    Sunset View from Zota Beach Resort





  • Marcie November 20, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    This looks like such a relaxing place to enjoy a drink! I’m always down for a well-made cocktail!

  • thatssodarling November 20, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Wishing I had a blueberry mojito in hand right now 😉

    • Kim & Robert November 21, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      Always! Thanks for stopping by. Cheers!

  • Lynn November 20, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    I love Caymus and Zota. Need to make a trip there ASAP.

    • Kim & Robert November 21, 2017 at 1:36 am

      We will come with you! Cheers!

  • Diana Rambles November 21, 2017 at 12:41 am

    That photo with the sunset through the drink is really cool!

    • Kim & Robert November 21, 2017 at 1:36 am

      Thanks! We have the most gorgeous sunsets here in Florida.

  • Aarika November 21, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    This place is beautiful! I definitely want to drink the Zota-Rita. It looks amazing. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us.

    • Kim & Robert November 21, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      Hope you have a chance to try one. Let us know! Cheers!

  • Jill Berg November 22, 2017 at 12:54 am

    Beautiful photos and on point recollection of.a sunset filled evening at Viento! You really captured the descriptive flavors of the cocktails…and I liked that Zota salad too! What a special dining venue.

    • Kim & Robert November 22, 2017 at 3:06 am

      Glad you got to enjoy the Zota Salad too! So good! And well, those drinks…… divine! Cheers!

  • Kim Lemke January 19, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    I just saw this for the first time. I love it! Thank you for the kudos!!This is one of my new favorite hotels and so happy to have it as part of my collection on the west coast of Florida. I hope to see you out and about soon. Thanks, again!


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