by T. Newcombe
I am convinced that no margarita, no matter how
delicious, is worth 3000 pesos. Obviously someone disagrees because the
Exotic Category Margarita prepared by Hinde and jaime’s most serious
cocktailologist Patty Hueso produced just that. 3000 hard earned
And the “losing bid” garnered Patty’s second margarita for 2900 pesos.
OMG. That works out to 5900 per blender for a few
ounces of booze and a little crazy lime juice.
Now don’t get me wrong. Patty’s margaritas are
delicious as everyone knows. But 3000 pesos? Was it her smile? Her well
thought out music? Her pyroactive performance? Who knows? The truth of
it is that according to those who tasted her two concoctions (me
included), was that they were a
solid no non-sense margarita. IT WAS THE performance and
presentation however, that put Ms. Hueso over the top.
The Margarita Challenge is into its 7th
year. The restaurant packs in about 200 people for a reasonable 200
pesos per person which includes the dinner.
After the crowds have been fed a delicious meal, the
entertainment, the mixologists begin to blend their favorite margaritas.
The blender produces 3 small margaritas - one for each of the judges –
and two jumbo size glasses to auction off to the crowd.
There are two categories; exotic and classic. The
three judges led by Bill Bazooka evaluate each contestant using a dozen
or so criteria including performance. The challenge has seen belly
dancers to magicians. Kids dancing to mini skits. Then the jumbo
margaritas are auctioned to the crowd. In 2009 one drink was auctioned
for a record setting, unbelievable 1500 pesos.
I digress. This year was all about Patty.
A bit nervous? Oh yes. Patty started out quickly
glancing at her family’s table and then back down to cutting the limes
and pouring the tequila and secret ingredients. But it was when the
music started that this young woman transformed from a first time
contestant into a confident performer. Oh yes she got the crowd clapping
“Old time rock and roll….Music that sooths your soul”
The pyro stunts began. Her assistant Xavier started
heating up the booze so it would light up easily. Flashing neon green
ice cubes were placed into each of the glasses. Pyramids of glasses
blinked and were drowned in alcohol. Then Fire. A volcano of fire. Of
margaritas. Whoo whoo!
And the winning bid was 3000 pesos;
for a margarita made by a La Penita young woman on her first
attempt to wow the Margarita Challenge. While I still wouldn’t pay 3000
pesos for one drink, I certainly understand why someone ( probably
someone less Canadian than I)
would do so.
The event is very entertaining. One half of the
money goes towards feeding the less fortunate. The other half goes
towards an elementary school. This particular school is building a
special needs classroom – a very much needed rarity in this neck of the
Always loved Jim Williams and wife Bonnie have
consistently run a great event that gives great value in terms of food
and entertainment. The Pina Colada Restaurant is a solid venue and even
in the torrential downpour, delivered hundreds of delicious meals on
time. Jims says it is his committee of tireless workers that makes the
event run as smoothly as a well a great concocted margaritas. He
deflects all compliments and kudos to the 20 or so team of tireless
The other winners? Delma from Latitude 21, Val and
Chris from, well,,,Val and Chris. And of course Rubin from David’s
Place. All are great players and sound participants. But this year’s
challenge was all about Patty. Fire and Rain. Volcanos of glasses and
rock and roll.
The Howell boys Jimmy and David along with Jim
Williams give a special salute to their father Robert Howell
Click on photographs to view in larger format