In the sea of iniquity that we call life, the Margarita is truly God’s little helper; it soothes away all our aches and pains, as well as all memories of the weapons grade quarter wits that darken our daily paths, as completely as if they had never existed. Truly, it is a miraculous invention.
And, when we are on holiday, where else do we turn for sustenance and enlightenment than to the humble Margarita? It is truly a drink for all seasons, and for even more reasons.
But how do we get the best out of it, I hear you cry? Fear not. Help is at hand. Here, in succinct and simple language, is your perfect guide to enjoying the Mark One Margarita.
(Please note that this instruction guide is also applicable to the Mark One Strawberry Daiquiri, the Mark One Harvey Wallbanger, and certain brands of Californian Zinfandel)
Please also note that these instructions apply only to Margaritas consumed on cruise ships, and not ashore. I apologise, but I cannot be everywhere.
1) Firstly, be aware that the Margarita can be enjoyed at any time of day. For, as the great prophet, Saint Jimmy of Buffett tells us, it is always five o’clock somewhere. So don’t worry if you’re at sea in the Caribbean at eight in the morning. It’s already five o’clock in India…
2) Location is everything. The true aficionado should seek out a spot near the pool, buffet and bathrooms, in order to minimise the amount of walking they will have to do later. This could be more important than you think after your third Margarita.
3) When on a ship, never ask for a Margarita on the rocks. It’s just bad etiquette. When a bartender asks you how you would like your Margarita, the correct response is ‘quickly’….
4) Find a sun lounger with the back tilted to an angle of around thirty five degrees, and make yourself comfortable. Now, take a baggage label with your name and cabin number written on it, and tie it around your right wrist. This will be of enormous assistance to the poor crew members that will have to pour you back into the boggy lair that constitutes your cabin at some yet to be determined hour.
5) Worried about mosquitoes? Don’t be. After three Margaritas, your blood stream will be around ninety per cent Tequila. Any ‘mozzy’ that bites you will either die of alcoholic poisoning, or else it will hit the sea like an out of control kamikaze. It’s a kind of pest control and, ultimately, also a service to your fellow passengers. Selfless, too. Cheers!
7) The Mark One Margarita should be held at the stem, and tilted back until the straw makes contact with the mouth. Which should be open. Tip the glass gently up and down to ensure a free flowing connection from straw to mouth.
8) After a while, you may begin to hear the sound of reggae music. Even if none is actually playing. In these circumstances, it is perfectly acceptable to tap your fingers to the beat, while mouthing the word ‘shabba’ at random intervals.
9) While this may induce the blue rinsed matriach sitting next to you to spit out her teeth in shock, it will also prevent her from consuming the flying saucer sized burger that she was just about to sink those same, gravestone sized gnashers into. Hurrah! You have helped her cholesterol levels, even if it is a bit too late for the poor old cow. The one on the plate, that is.
10) In the event of flow interruption, please check the contents of your glass. Is it empty? If so, cry loudly. Wailing is acceptable when there are less than thirty people within earshot. With luck- and powerful lungs- your bartender will come to your rescue quicker than an Australian kangaroo down a coal mine. What’s that, Skippy? Another slice of lime?
Just repeat these simple and elementary steps until you pass out. In the morning, you may awaken in your beautiful boudoir, liberally refreshed, and safe in the knowledge that, in the words of Saint Vivien of Leigh, today is, indeed, another day.
Always make sure that you are aware of the opening times of your favourite bar. Be discreet. It is considered unseemly to be seen banging on the cabin door of your favourite bartender at six in the morning, crying and wailing because he/she will not get out of bed to make you a Margarita. A polite phone call might be in order first. Or perhaps take him/her some coffee and croissants, as well as a cocktail shaker. Good manners cost nothing.
When your favourite bartender decides to call it quits after a fourteen hour shift, do not threaten to throw yourself overboard the moment that he/she brings down the shutters for the evening. Have some dignity and consideration. Or just find another open bar.
Always remember that, like sweet little puppies and fluffy cute kittens, a Margarita is not just for Christmas. You’ll also have less trouble shoving a lime into a Margarita. And no nasty scratch marks afterwards, either.
So, there you have it. Simple, really. Bottoms up- though again, best perhaps not to say that on a cruise ship. Enjoy!