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Margaritas at Canes

Canes' margarita

Canes' margarita

  • -1-1/2 oz. tequila
  • -1 oz. triple sec
  • -Margarita mix
  • -Sweetened lime juice
  • -Splash of orange juice

Some people sound so damn cool ordering their drink.

“Martini. Shaken, not stirred.”

Or they know which vintage of wine is best and what wine you can and can’t have with what food. Okay, the wine drinkers might sound more pretentious than cool, but most people think it’s cool if you know your alcohol. (They appreciate it, also, if you can handle your alcohol.)

I often say I have the palate of a 12-year-old. So when I turned 21 and my friends were enjoying the “free” drinks at the casino, I tried a few. I figured I liked soda — why not order a Jack & Coke. It was awful. How about a 7&7? My mom gave me 7UP when I was sick. Drinking three 7&7s almost made me sick. How many ways could they screw up the taste of delicious sodas?

But on my quest for an alcoholic beverage that tasted good, I found two I love. Because I have that sweet tooth, the Whiskey Sour is the perfect drink. It tastes great. Most drinks that taste good come with an umbrella, a three-foot straw with curves and loops, and four slices of fruit on the rim. Or they sound weird to order.

“I’d like a Fuzzy Navel, please.”

You can say “Whiskey Sour” and sound like a real man. Not just because “whiskey” is in the name, but because it’s a drink that has history. In a book from the mid-1800s, How to Mix Drinks, the Whiskey Sour is there.

It contains a few ounces of blended whiskey, some lemon juice, a half teaspoon of powdered sugar, and only one piece of fruit — a cherry on top.

The other drink I love is the Margarita. Margaritas taste the same most places. I prefer the ones made with triple sec.

I like to drink Margaritas at Canes, right on the boardwalk in Mission Beach. It’s hard to beat sitting on the rooftop, people-watching, and checking out waves. And all for just over $10 a pitcher.

I like them blended, because, again, to my 12-year-old’s palate, they’re like a lemon-lime Slurpee. Except you’re a bit buzzed after a pitcher.

My favorite Margarita story involves Rupert Holmes and his song “Escape (The Piña Colada Song).” He initially had it written as “If you like Casablanca/ And getting caught in the rain…” His manager was tired of his mentioning films in songs, and it was decided he’d change “Casablanca” to the name of a drink. It was going to be “If you like Margaritas…”

As Holmes sat in the studio thumbing through a book on drinks, he came across the Piña Colada. It had one more syllable than Margarita and worked better, but Holmes had no clue how one tasted. Poor Margarita. Think how much more famous it would’ve become.

And no, you don’t sound cool ordering a Margarita. And you don’t look cool in Old Town drinking one the size of a birdbath.

But, hey, I had a lawyer friend who always ordered a Monkey Fart. It was a blend of chocolate, cinnamon, bananas, and who knows what kinds of alcohol. Another friend loves a drink called Liquid Cocaine, but most bartenders have to ask him how it’s made.

You never have that problem with the Margarita. Heck, people make them in blenders at their backyard barbecues.

But they don’t taste as good as they do at Canes, when you’re sitting a few yards from the ocean, hearing the screams from the roller coaster, smelling the smoke from a bonfire…

And waiting for the Breeders to hit the stage.

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