Ah, the dismal greige skyline of Manhattan. Haven’t seen you in a while. What? No, I wasn’t fake-baking! I may be living in Jersey, but bitch, pleeez. This is the real deal. I was basking poolside all last week in Ixtapa, Mexico at Club Med Food Blogger Camp—or as we should have called it, Camp BloggaWannaMargarita.
Don’t get me wrong—we were hell-bent on soaking up the knowledge in our daily workshops, which have been well-documented by my fellow campers. (I’ve included a list of our blogs at the end of the post.) However, as part of my unofficial observation of food bloggers in the wild, I quickly began to notice a pattern in our migratory habits.
The blogger species, like its hard-bitten newspaper-reporter predecessor, loves to congregate around the bar. And when free drinks come at all hours courtesy of the all-powerful Club Med Bracelet, the bar can be whenever and wherever the pack wants it to be.
And so we brought mugs of Sol to the afternoon workshop! Took Mojitos to the post-workshop beach gathering/daily pummeling by the Mexico surf in preparation for Greyhounds at the pre-dinner happy hour! And of course, closed out every evening under the stars at the Miramar bar with a glass of vino rojo.
It was one of those nights at the after-dinner bar when Owen Rubin, husband to the lovely, whip-smart Dianne Jacob, suggested an amaretto sour. I gave him the eye—god, I haven’t sipped one of those out of a tiny red straw since I turned 21—but he convinced me to give it another post-college try. With precision, he instructed Hugo, our man behind the bar, and slid the finished product over for my review.
Hey, it was actually sour! Instead of retching from sickly amaretto overload, my mouth was puckering! What was this ambrosial nectar and could I get another?
Club Med’s house sour mix made the drink so brain-tinglingly citric, but our stateside bottled versions fail miserably at any hint of sourness, more like thawed lemonade concentrate that leaves a plasticine aftertaste. I’m keeping it tropical by using fresh citrus juice—which also keeps the scurvy away, mind you—but you could sub in bottled lemon and lime concentrate if you absolutely must.
And not to get all bespoke mixologist on you, but through my attempts to recapture the magic at home, I’ve noticed smaller square ice cubes really do work best in this cocktail. Larger chunks melt more slowly, but the flavors seemed meld more fully when they’re quickly chilled. Any food scientists want to help me out with another explanation?
Owen’s Amaretto Sour
- 1 oz. amaretto
- 1/2 oz. triple sec
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
- 2 oz. lemon juice
- 1 oz. lime juice
Combine all ingredients over ice in a generously-sized old-fashioned/rocks glass, and top with seltzer to fill. Stir gently and drink with wistful remembrances of swaying palms, open-air bars, and mosquito-bitten legs.
A Beach Home Companion
Good. Food. Stories.
Learn to Preserve
A Plate Full
The Runaway Spoon
Spoon and Chair
Matt Armendariz, Matt Bites
Elise Bauer, Simply Recipes
Diane Cu and Todd Porter, White on Rice Couple
Jaden Hair, Steamy Kitchen
Dianne Jacobs, Will Write For Food
Adam C. Pearson
Michael and Donna Ruhlman