The thing about staying at the Fletcher’s Casa Corona del Mar is that you’re bound to gain weight. The minute you walk in the door (even if it’s well before noon) one of the Fletchers is liable to offer you a cerveza or a margarita made with just-pressed limes. Just to be polite, I’m liable to say, “Sure, why not,” thinking I’ll spend the afternoon lounging on one of their oversized outdoor beds on the patio and, you know, make my single margarita last until comida.
The problem is that the Fletchers are treacherous people; every time you close your eyes, just for a moment, or grab the binoculars to look at the humpback whales breaching a short distance from shore, they refill your drink.
And then the afternoon becomes what I like to call a Mexican Dorothy Parker afternoon. Remember what she said about martinis? “I like to have a martini, two at the very most. After three I’m under the table, after four I’m under the host.”
The same goes for the Fletcher’s margaritas.
Yesterday, they hosted a fiesta at their home. Marta and several other cooks at Punta el Custodio made a plethora of food, ending with red and green enchiladas and grilled camerones the size of small lobsters.
Since Marta was otherwise employed and the Fletchers were being gracious hosts, I took over as bartender, making batch after batch of blended margaritas. Of course, I had to sample each pitcher to make sure I’d gotten the ingredients just right, sometimes adding another splash or two of tequila, other times sweetening things up with a bit more Mexican Controy (which, to my tastes, is far superior in a margarita to the traditional French Cointreau).
We drank, we ate. The Latin music was fabulous. People got a little tipsy (did someone fall into the pool?). As often happens, the hangers on stayed late and laughed riotously at absolutely nothing. Eventually when the last guests left, I tucked myself into what the Fletchers call The Chicken Room (because of its yellow walls and tin chicken lamps) and turned off the light. Amazed to see that it was 9:30.
That’s what happens when you start drinking Marta’s margaritas before noon.
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