The storm never came. I was relieved of course. Clear skies meant another day at the beach and another day of sampling. The “arduous” part of the quest was starting to hit home, however. Even with a long night’s sleep, I napped on and off through the morning in between cups of coffee, a pina colada, and some seriously tasty eggs benedict. Finally, my boozing buddy roused me, gathered up the beach gear and hustled me into the car. The storm could come any minute and we didn’t want to lose sun time.
Before we hit the beach, we detoured to the north side of the island to visit Al’s Mar-Azul. I’d been there before and knew the rum punch was good, but every other bar tender in town reiterated that I needed to head there as a part of the quest. There is nothing pretentious or fancy or luxurious or highbrow about Al’s. I have no doubt they would be proud to read this in print too. We’re talking about a place where everyone knew each other’s name! Where there is a bra hanging from the ceiling. Where there are license plates from every state nailed to the rafters. Where the rum punch is served in a plastic cup and tastes like the nectar of the gods.
By this point in the quest, everything was running together as far as ingredients. Again, gold and white rum (Don Q, I thought I saw) as well as juices and something else other bartenders speculated to me might be brandy. It went down easy in the heat and humidity of the elusive tropical storm. To rev up my engines and cut the fruity yumminess, I had a Cuba Libre, a rum and Coke with lime juice.
After a couple of different beaches and another couple of naps we headed out for dinner. Even the Thirsty Jane has limits and I’d hit mine. I drank about a gallon of water and let my guy do the taste testing at a new place called Sabores in the main town of Isabel II. We were at a table and didn’t get to see or talk to the bartender, so all I can is speak to the drink’s taste and appearance. Yes, I managed a sip. I am a professional! This drink was much redder than others, so I suspect more guava juice or perhaps some Passoa, which is a passion fruit liqueur. I also caught a glimpse of coconut rum in there. It was refreshing and gorgeous, and my honey enjoyed it thoroughly! Next time, I’m sitting at the bar though. I want that recipe!