Earlier this year, our Test Kitchen Manager, Pat, went on a week-long vacation to Playa del Carmen, Mexico with her husband. They danced, laid by the beach, drank and enjoyed numerous beachside cocktails. It sounded like a week in paradise, and as Pat relayed story after tropical story, I started to get a little jealous she got to spend a week on the beach while the rest of us stayed home and went to work.
But truly, it was great to hear these stories and be transported back to paradise. Pat told me about a cocktail she had in Playa del Carmen, that was sweet and tangy, with lots of citrus and a cool blue wash of color. I thought back to my days as a bartender and together we recreated her favorite drink as closely as possible. The freshly juiced citrus melds perfectly with the sweetness of the pineapple, creating a tropical base for the rest of your cocktail.
Tip: You can make this with bottled juice, but we highly recommend using a juice extractor to get the freshest juice you can. The difference in taste is absolutely worth the bit of extra effort.
Coconut rum is next, then the whole thing is shaken and strained into serving glasses with ice. The last ingredient is what makes the drink so much fun: blue curacao. Pour it over a spoon to prevent it from sinking to the bottom, creating a layered effect. Garnish with an orange slice and you’re all set. You’ve got a drink that looks good, smells amazing and tastes like vacation on the Mexican Riviera.
Until I can make it on another beach vacation, I’ll have to make do with the hot, southern sun and the humid summer weekends. I’ll go to the river, swim in the pool and try to make the best of what I’m given. It’s not Mexico, but the imagination can run wild when you let it, so I plan to mimic a beach vacation by making this amazing cocktail at home. Then I’ll just take a sip, close my eyes and let myself feel the sun on my shoulders and the sand in my toes as I’m transported back to the beaches of Playa del Carmen.