One woman with a long-time love of sharks creates elaborate shark-inspired cocktails each day of Shark Week and people are hooked!
Although Sara Biesek doesn't live near the ocean, her love of the predatory sea creatures runs deep and each year she concocts new drinks to celebrate the animals and promote conservation efforts in tandem with her favorite week of the year.
"This is my fifth year doing this and it all started one year when my friend Emily and I said, 'What if we did a different drink every day for Shark Week?'" Biesek told ABC News.
"I had the shark ice cube molds so I thought this will be really funny for Shark Week," she said. "We’ve done different themes and different styles every year."
What started out as a simple creation with soda, a bright red tropical liquor and shark-shaped ice cubes has evolved into over-the-top shark-inspired libations.
"The most elaborate one was a bourbon bloody bowl last year for the 30th anniversary," she said. The drink was based on a bloody Mary and Biesek jazzed it up with Cajun fixings, including a whole lobster.
Just like sharks, no two cocktails are alike and each of Biesek's creations are named after a different species. She posts the cocktail on Facebook along with a fact about the animal and a photo.
"We just changed the theme every year. Last year I did savory drinks so I said why don’t we do something sweet this year," she said.
This year's theme is alcoholic ice cream shakes, which are all Biesek's original recipes.
So far she has posted the cloudy coconut, named after the cloudy shark, which is made with coconut rum and a local Wisconsin ice cream.
"I used Cedar Crest coconut explosion ice cream, milk and topped with whipped cream, almonds, toasted coconut and a coconut caramel delight cookie," she explained of the decadent drink. Her friend makes homemade shark cookies and Biesek adds "shark cutouts and shark-related items to the drinks."
The drink she's most excited for this year is the "monster cookie cutter" milkshake. She got inspiration from monster cookies that have M&M's, chocolate and peanut butter.
"I found a peanut butter liqueur and I'm using Pirates Bounty ice cream that has Oreo pieces and M&M's in caramel ice cream," she said. "I’m gonna also use some Irish cream and I’ve got five or six different cookies to make it really crazy and elaborate."
Another sweet ingredient Biesek has added: social responsibility.
"I try to bring a little bit of awareness to it as well. My biggest thing is I usually try to post stuff about how we need to focus on shark conservation," she explained. "This year I used all paper straws, last year we had all reusable metal and silicon straws."
She added, "I want people to know how important it is to make small changes, like switching to a sustainable straw, as well as reusable water bottles."
Her posts highlight how easy it is "to help support sharks and the ocean from wherever you're at. It's great. You can love them from a distance."
Check out more of the incredible Shark Week cocktails through the years!
The "sharknado" contains cotton candy, which Biesek said made it easy to "stick the sharks in there and make it look like they were floating."
For the "47 Meters Down" drink, named after the shark thriller, she used light-up ice cubes to give the illusion of deep ocean shark dives.
The midnight shake is more of a float, Biesek said. It's made with dark chocolate ice cream, a shot of coffee liqueur and topped with dark chocolate stout.
"I look forward to the new one every day going, 'OK, what am I going to do tonight?'" she said.
Biesek, who lives with her boyfriend Adam on a dairy farm, invites her close friends and neighbors to come over, taste the cocktails and enjoy Shark Week together.
"I started it just for fun, but I look more forward to it every year knowing I’m not the only person this excited about it," she said.