Beat the Heat: Martinis That Taste Like Margaritas

Sips of tequila + red wine + an eighty-degree evening + a long-pants dress code = sweat.

I’m not a math guy, but that equation became pretty clear last night. I found myself wiping my forehead, hydrating often.

Don’t take it the wrong way – don’t mistake honesty for rudeness or complaining – I had a great time last night despite the heat.

We met up before the sun went down at El Mirador – an outdoor martini bar overlooking the palms and the pool – and I said to the bartender, “Que recomienda Ud?”

In Spanish he said, “I can make a martini that tastes like a margarita.”

A vodka martini that tastes like a margarita, I thought, mentally grabbing my chin and looking up and to the left.

“All right,” I said, “Let’s see it.”

When he brought the drink over it was bright blue, and I’ll tell you what: He was right.

The color was different (blue), but it tasted exactly like a margarita. You didn’t get the bite of the tequila – and thus it was a weaker drink (and perhaps a better aperitif) – but all things considered it was a wonderful cocktail to enjoy outdoors as the shadows from the buildings grew longer, the lighting on the palm leaves changed and the lanterns of the resort began to flicker and illuminate.

After the cocktails, we dined at Bon Vivant – the French restaurant at the resort – and one of the other writers requested tequila. There was hesitation in the air – no one was really in the mood to throw back shots – but the friendly waiter smiled and brought over a sipper: Jose Cuervo’s Reserva de la Familia.

I still drank it out of a shot glass, but I took my time and let it sit on my tongue. It had a huge nose on it – you could almost taste it by smell – and I’m pretty sure it killed every germ in my mouth (I was borderline breathing fire after a small sample).

I like that sort of thing, though – I like to let it linger and feel what it’s about, taste the flavors. I’m no tequila aficionado, but I can highly recommend it for drinks that aren’t loaded with sugar (don’t order it in a margarita, for example, it’d be like mixing Grey Goose with Sprite).

FYI it can cost anywhere from $100 to $150 a bottle depending on the year and where you buy it, so be sure to savor!

We drank the tequila and ate mussels for an appetizer – white wine, garlic, chives, and thyme. The mussels were great – meaty and flavorful – a great dish to pass around the table.

For dinner, I tried the Medallon de Atun (tuna). It was quickly seared – still raw on the inside – and it was served with a peach chutney and, believe it or not, mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes and tuna. I was skeptical – until I realized the outside of the tuna had a spicy meat taste. I swear – the outer portion of the fish tasted like pepperoni.

Medallon de Atun.

No one else at the table believed me, either – until they tried it. It was one of the most unique things – and meat and mashed potatoes is a classic combo. I’m not sure what they did to make it taste that way – standing applause. I woke up thinking about it this morning – dunking the fish into the mashed potatoes.

All right – it’s going to be 98 degrees today and I didn’t bring any sunblock (nice one).

It will be fine – I’m going to spend the morning checking out the spa and enjoying a massage, and then later we are going to head out into the town of San Jose del Cabo and wander around.


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