“Are you...in a golf cart right now?”
I cackled into the phone, waving.
“Say hello, ladies!!!” I said, emitting a stream of high pitched teeheehees as the golf cart sped off into the distance.
I was about two dozen margaritas deep at this point, having drank more than 50 margaritas over the past couple days.
The reason I was indulging in this particular brand of madness? Personal glory. While planning an upcoming trip to Cancun a few weeks ago, I found out there was a hotel premiering a menu of 150 margaritas, each made with its own kind of tequila. I vowed right then and there that I’d try to drink ‘em all, tasting 150 over the course of my trip.
It turns out some things are easier said than done, and so I present to you the tale of what happened when one woman tried to take on 150 margaritas by herself.
I thought I’d tackle this over the course of 3 days. That meant 50 margaritas per day, a feat I somehow thought was possible.
After a day of drinking margaritas poolside, I arrived with a group of ladies at the Marriott’s lobby bar. A giant wall glowing neon blue served as the backdrop for the 150 spirits featured in the margarita menu. Cozy couples could be spotted canoodling over the soft table lights. It was, by all means, a classy place and a fine spot to challenge my liver to a duel.
It was finally tequila time. The menu was divided into four categories: Classic, Modern, Fusion and Exotic. My first margarita was the Basil Mangorita, a mix of mango, basil, lemon and Clase Noble Resposado. Having been aged in oak barrels for 2-12 months, Resposado tequila is smack dab in the center of the tequila spectrum, right between blanco (no aging) and añejo (aged for +1 year). Each margarita even had its own tiny pipette so you could taste the tequila on its own before mixing it in.
I quickly cycled through each category. A citrus-inspired Blue Margarita made with Herradura Blanco made me think blanco was destined to be my jam. Meanwhile, a “Pucker Up” made with Tres Generations Añejo and "apple pucker" made me wince, in a way that wasn’t entirely unpleasant. Other notable margaritas included a Jaeger Rita (Jaegermeister, strawberry, Lapis Blanco), a Limoncello margarita, and something called a “Flirtacius” margarita (Tequila Ceninela Blanco, strawberry, cucumber, pineapple juice).
Little did I know that I had already made a crucial error. Rather than taking a sip of each, I decided it would be best for me to drink the entirety of each one.
12 margaritas later, I was holding my head in my hands in an effort to stop the floor from switching with the ceiling again. I was not, as I had hoped, aboard a pirate ship sailing away into the sunset. There was no charmingly colorful parrot to keep me company.
I awoke the next morning feeling considerably aged, almost as though tiny elves had snuck into my room at night and beaten me with pillowcases full of bricks. I cursed sugar and its intoxicating powers thoroughly before a cold shower that brought me back to reality.
The evening brought some of the spicier margaritas, including a Piacpina margarita (Avion Plata, habanero syrup) as well as my all-time favorite, the Habanerita. Made with Don Nacho Blanco Extra Premium, habanero and chamoy (pickled fruit sauce), it was tart and spicy. Having abandoned the notion of shame long ago, I made it my mission to crowdsource as many of these bad boys as possible. Several extras found their way over to me, as if to say: we love you too, mamacita.
A few other margaritas included the Pepinagua (Reserva De Los Gonzales Anjeo, cucumber, basil), a visually stunning Hibiscus margarita, and a Prosecco margarita. I enjoyed them so much that I even started taking unfortunate selfies:
Enchanted by the promise of tacos for dinner, I polished off a few margaritas with lightning speed. I then went into the bathroom to dance to Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack” in the mirror for a few minutes before heading back out.
The margaritas that night focused on the Fusion section of the menu. Spices came into play in innovative ways—like the vanilla in the L-43 (Jose Cuervo Tradicional Resposado, orange juice, Licor 43, vanilla) while an unusual coffee margarita polarized the entire group with its acidity. A “7 Moles” margarita debuted, confusing my tongue with a litany of spices. The runaway winner of that night, however, was the Romerita margarita, a rosemary lemon-based cocktail with smoked rosemary sea salt.
Dinner went by in a flash, save to say I got real friendly with the live mariachi band and realized the volume button on my voice was no longer working. I roared loudly at everyone and began cackling to myself after each drink, swearing merrily all the while.
I was giggling in the backseat of a golf cart a few minutes later, sending snaps and slipping the driver handfuls of pesos to look suave, as I went on to join the group for karaoke.
Unhinged by my favorite mistress, tequila, I couldn’t help but do what came naturally to me: dance. I started dancing as I sat in the audience... and then got up into the corner and started dancing...before I finally busted out my Mark Morrison moves with the kind of confidence only tequila can inspire.
A wizened old man came up to me, smiling from ear to ear.
“Don’t take this the wrong way, miss, but ah—you can really move!”
My tiny Bukowski analogue grinned at me and continued.
“You get it...it’s about the passion of life, of letting go and appreciating the small things!”
Small things, indeed. I had consumed some 60-70 margaritas over the course of the past few days, precious drinks that made my liver weep and my booty shake with total abandon. Was tequila the secret to eternal life?
Before I could pose this question he winked at me and took off, leaving me with a beet-red face and new love of Mexico in my heart.
God bless you, tiny Bukowski, wherever you may be lurking today.