What’s left after you’ve been awarded three honorary doctorate degrees, been inducted to the Florida’s Women’s Hall of Fame and Maryland’s Women’s Hall of Fame and countless others awards and accolades and been the subject of many books? How about having a local restaurant group name a cocktail after. The rest all pales in comparison, right?
All kidding aside, ladies and gentlemen, a little back story on Eugenie Clark, aka The Shark Lady.
Eugenie Clark has a special place is southwest Florida. A renowned scuba diver, marine biologist and ichthyologist , Clark founded the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory in Sarasota in 1955 by herself. This lab would later become More Marine – a world-class research lab with 25 research programs, public education and a public aquarium.
The Mote Marine Laboratory survives on donations. Generous donations. Small donations. Any donations.
They take these donations and turn it into research. Lots of rewarding research. Lots of necessary research. This year some of their much-needed focus has been on red tide. Southwest Florida’s coastline has been victim of some of the worst red tide on record.
Red tide is caused when algae in the water becomes so plentiful and thick it discolors the waters. It can also deplete oxygen in the waters and release toxins that can be harmful to humans, animals and marine life. Mote is working on finding a way to prepare and handle these outbreaks.
But that takes money.
And that brings us to the delicious rum drink referenced in the first paragraph – The Shark Lady.
Sarasota’s own Gecko’s Hospitality Group, owners of many great local eateries have put their money where your mouth is. The created a drink and named it after Eugenie Clark for the sole purpose to help raise funds for Mote Marine Laboratory.
Gecko’s owner Michael Quillen and the Fruitville Gecko's General Manager Kevin Thompson were kind enough to invite Tervis in for a taste test. Take it from us, we're champions of tasting all kinds of new bartending drinks and The Shark Lady passed with flying colors - and a yummy gummy shark to boot!
“Mote is a world class independent lab that exists on philanthropy, so we’re going to help them out and show them some love,” Anne Rollings of Geckos Hospitality gleamed.
For every Shark Lady you order, they are donating $1 to Mote Marine Laboratory. That’s right, a dollar is donated for every Shark Lady sold. That’s at all their restaurants. That’s all 6 Gecko's, the Dry Dock Waterfront Grill in Longboat Key and the Dockside Waterfront Grill in Venice. The Shark Lady is on their permanent bar drink menu and it’s a winner. That’s a lot of dollars headed Mote’s way.
And it’s working. They’ve been serving them up for over three weeks now and the Shark Lady has been a smashing success.
Great people. Great drinks. Great food. That’s the winning trifecta in the hospitality biz. And the fact that they’re giving back to a great local cause make us like them that much more. Stop in to any Gecko's, have a delicious lunch or dinner and don’t forget to order the Shark Lady. Or two. Do it for Mote. Make Eugenie proud.
The Shark Lady
1 1/2 oz Don Q Coco Rum
1/2 oz blue curacao
Equal parts pineapple and sour
Add all ingredients in shaker. Cover and shake vigorously until nice and frothy.
Pour over rocks in 12oz tumbler.
Garnish with a gummy shark.
And forget the straw. Straws have no place in a drink all about the sustainability of our oceans.
Sip and enjoy.